Bench Press Machine Shrugs

In this article, we will discuss the how-tos and tips to help you get started in developing and strengthening those back muscles with this fun yet effective exercise. Plus, some variations and alternatives that you can add to your routine. So, read on and get those muscles working!

Bench press machine shrug back exercises

How To Do Bench Press Machine Shrugs

Setting Up

For the bench press machine shrug, you will need to find a bench press machine. Preferably one with a bench you can move out of your way. Stand between the handles, facing the weight stack. Set your feet shoulder-width apart and grab the handles using an overhand grip. You may have to bend forward a bit to grab the handles of the machine.


Stand straight as possible and allow the weights to pull your shoulders down and forward as far as your body allows.

Using your trapezius, shrug your shoulders as high and to the rear as you can. Then lower it back down to the initial position. This is one rep. Repeat movement until desired number of repetitions is achieved.


  • Keeping your core and glutes engaged all throughout can reduce the chances of any strains or injuries, especially in your neck and back area.
  • Avoid leaning too far forward by maintaining a straight and neutral back and an elevated chest.
  • Stand on something if you are too short to allow your shoulders to be low enough in the start position.
  • You can stand with your back to the machine for a variation of this exercise.


  • Great trap isolation
  • You will also feel this in your forearms and upper pecs

Illustrated Guide

How to Do Bench Press Machine Shrugs

Muscles Worked

Primary Muscles

  • Trapezius

Secondary Muscles

  • Forearm Muscles
  • Upper Pecs

Bench Press Machine Shrugs Variations

  • Leverage Machine Shrugs
  • Trap Bar Shrugs

Bench Press Machine Shrugs Alternatives

Back Exercises Guide

Kevin Harris