Just because it's called a shrug doesn't mean you should brush off this useful (and extremely common) upper-back exercise.

When executed properly, the shrug can yield tremendous benefits for your trapezius muscles, as well as your neck. When executed improperly, though, this isolation move can put serious strain on your upper body and could potentially lead to injury. 

So: To capitalize on these benefits and strengthen (and safeguard) your traps, follow these essential instructions:

- Brace your core

- Pull straight upward

- Squeeze at the top of the move 

- Avoid rolling your shoulders