Building big traps is a necessity for a symmetrically sculpted upper torso, and most guys usually give these muscles attention at the end of their shoulder workout. But to really build some shirt stretching traps you've got to isolate this area with a variety of exercises that target the upper, middle and lower section of these muscles.
The upper traps can be developed by elevating the shoulders through such common exercises as shrugs and upright rows, while the mid traps can be developed by pulling the shoulder blades together. As for the lower traps, they can best be developed by drawing the shoulder blades downward while keeping the arms almost straight and stiff.
Dedicate a training day to these muscles with the following 4 exercises, and you'll be busting out some bigger traps in no time.
Stand up straight with feet shoulder width apart while holding barbell straight down at thigh level - palms facing in.
Raise your shoulders up as far as you can go and hold for a second.
Slowly return to the starting position.
4 x sets: 12-15 reps
TIP: This exercise can also be performed with the barbell behind the back, with dumbbells by the side, or with a Smith or shrug machine.
Bent-Over Lateral Raises
While holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with knees slightly bent and back arched forward.
With palms facing torso, extend arms out to sides with the elbows slightly bent.
Raise the arms until elbows are at shoulder height and arms are roughly parallel to the floor.
Try to bring the shoulder blades as close together as possible when the arms are raised.
Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
3 x sets: 10-12 reps