Yes, this "upper trap" exercise is a highly popular move used by everyone from serious bodybuilders to novice lifters. But it can be murder on your shoulders. "It's my pick for the absolute worst exercise," says Mike Robertson, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Indianapolis Sports and Fitness. "It puts your shoulders in a horrible position."
That's because the exercise requires you to rotate your upper arms inward while raising them to shoulder level or above. This puts you at high risk for shoulder impingement, a painful condition in which the muscles or tendons of your rotator cuff become entrapped in your shoulder joint. We say this is one to skip entirely; there are plenty of other great exercises you can use to work your shoulders. (You'll find more than 40 shoulder exercises in The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises and The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises.)