Standing Cable Trap 3

Every athlete/client we train at the GTS Performance Facility fails in the lower trap (referred to as trap 3) on our upper body structural balance assessment. (assessment learned by Coach Charles Poliquin) This is a great exercise to strengthen the lower-mid and lower trap, which helps strengthen retraction, depression, and adduction of the scapula. Strengthening these muscles will help increase the strength in your bench press.

Tags: , ,


  1. @CCampLI That is the most ridiculous thing I have read in a long time. “People should just keep doing what they are doing, they shouldn’t try to get stronger” is what you are saying. Ab crunches are nowhere near as good for sport performance as any level of hanging leg lift work. This free-hanging work is much, much easier than using a stall bar and thus limits the effectiveness, but that’s a separate issue.

    Why are you against people making progress? Are you having trouble getting stronger?

  2. @GTSPerformance You’re right, garhammer isn’t anywhere near as hard as stall bar hanging leg lifts, it’s essentially a much easier partial ROM HLL with nothing forcing the shoulders to stay under the hands. The reason I mentioned stall bar HLL is that it is a staple exercise in gymnastics for both males and females.

    The main difference between men and women is that you’re more likely to find men with some degree of resistance training fitness than you are women in the general population.

  3. All of the one’s I train.

  4. Makes sense.

  5. No disrespect intended, but how many female’s can really hold their body weight, and then raise approx. 50% of their bodyweight in a fix line of pull?

    A vast majority simply do not posess the upperbody strength.

  6. I respectfully disagree about the ab crunch. And why can’t females do the garhammer raise. Poliquin himself has had females do them.

    No exercise is for everyone.

  7. This is a modified or another trap 3 exercise.

    Retract the shoulder blade first so the scapula is braced up against the rib cage. Better recruitment then.

  8. Garhammer raise-

    Hanging from a bar with a pronated mid-grip. Posterior pelvic tilt, tuck the chin in, flex the hip with knee’s locked to 60 degree’s above the waist line.

    Most people should just stick with a regular Ab crunch and work in their range. Garhammers are not for everyone, especially females.

  9. I assume that he is working trap 3. Why is he retracting the shoulder blade though? 1) Opposite leg forward(which he is doing) 2) Supinate the wrist 3) Raise the chest 4) The arm goes across the body through the shoulder with a parallel hand grip. The whole idea of going through the shoulder rather than around is to not use the rotator cuff.

    Is this a “motified” trap 3 lift?

  10. Watch for a video on my youtube page. I’ll make a video of both exercises and post within the next two days.

  11. That is valuable information. Thanks!

  12. It’s not the trap 3 test exericse. It’s just a good one to strengthen the trap 3. Poliquin’s structural balance trap 3 is with one arm on an incline bench and you’re bent over at the waist about 45 degrees and using a dumbbell. You should be able to do 8 clean reps with roughly 9% of your 1RM Close Grip Bench.

  13. So this is the exercise for the Lower Trap on Poliquin’s Structural Balance Assessment. Good to know. Can You please tell me how much an athlete is supposed to lift in this exercise in relation to his 1RM Close Grip Bench Press?

Leave a comment