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Stand with legs at a comfortable distance apart—shoulder-width is about right. An upright row can strengthen the posterior chain muscles, including the shoulders and upper back.

You can also use: Using dumbbells allows your hands to move more freely than with a fixed bar, meaning that internal rotation that can cause injury is less pronounced. Pause for one or two seconds before lowering the weight back to the initial position.

When the dumbbells reach shoulder level, lower back down.

Try to keep the wrists from moving down or to the side during the lift.

Popular with bodybuilders, athletes and general exercisers alike, the upright row is usually performed with the aim of increasing upper-back and shoulder muscle size. Progression models in resistance training for healthy adults. Your grip should be shoulder-width distance.

Begin to lift the dumbbell up, pulling through your elbows and keeping the weight close to your body as you go. Stop when your elbows are level with your shoulders and the barbell is at chest level. Using a barbell is best as you develop your technique. If you need something low impact, look no…, We’re excited to say that the squat bandwagon has arrived, and it’s here to stay. Don't raise the arms above parallel to avoid shoulder impingement. There are several variations on an upright row you can try to spice things up. Adding an upright row to an upper body day can be a great complement to other variations of rows, as well as lat pulldowns, chest presses, pushups, and more. With great attention to form, you’ll reap all the benefits.

Use dumbbells only if you know how to do this exercise correctly. However, these muscles can be effectively developed with safer exercises, such as the bench press, overhead press, and pushups.

World records, results, training, nutrition, breaking news, and more. In this upright row exercise guide, we’ll cover multiple topics including: The below step-by-step guide discusses how to perform the upright row, specifically the barbell upright row. Go as slowly as possible throughout the movement. If an upright row aggravates your shoulders, there are several other exercises you can try to strengthen your shoulders in different ways. Similarly to dumbbells, kettlebells allow more movement in your wrists and arms and are less likely to force any internal rotation of your shoulder. The shoulders should be pulled back, with the shoulderblades set down the back. Make sure to complete 5 to 10 minutes of low- to medium-intensity cardio followed by some dynamic stretching to prime your body for movement. Again, opt for a kettlebell in a bit less than half the weight of a barbell you were working with. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company.

Here is how…, Abdominal bracing is a technique that can help you protect injury-prone areas like the neck and lower back from straining.

Do not lift heavy with this exercise unless you are experienced and trust your shoulder joints. Shoulder impingement has been reported with excessive weight or poor form. Pause at the top, then return to start. The face pull is similar to the upright row in that the muscles often trained are the same.

But is it real? Slightly less is OK. Return the barbell back to the starting position, breathing in as you lower it. However, there are many other muscles that must engage to allow the elbows to be pulled upward. BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting. Resistance Exercise to Prevent and Manage Sarcopenia and Dynapenia. Here are 8 exercises, with pictures, to get killer biceps, triceps…, If you want to sculpt a killer set of triceps — the muscles on the back of your arms — look no further. Hold a light dumbbell in each hand down at your sides, and keeping your arms straight, raise them up at a 30-degree angle from your body.

Avoid heavy weights with this exercise.

When using a barbell, the "wavy" EZ curl bar makes this exercise a little easier on the wrist joints.


Note, that some exercises, such as in Olympic weightlifting, use movements very similar, called high pulls, to target many of the same muscles groups. This exercise however, has more direct timing and technique application to movements like snatch and cleans, and therefore is often used to increase total body strength, pulling power, and improve positioning in the extension phases of the snatch and clean. Paul Rogers is a personal trainer with experience in a wide range of sports, including track, triathlon, marathon, hockey, tennis, and baseball. The upright row exercises the front and middle heads of the deltoids, as well as the trapezius, rhomboids, and even the biceps muscles. It is very good at growing these muscles. For some lifters, issues arise after the first pull (assuming the first pull and set up is ok). Nicole Davis is a writer based in Madison, Wisconsin, a personal trainer, and a group fitness instructor whose goal is to help women live stronger, healthier, happier lives.

Note, that some lifters may have issues with the upright row due to the shoulder mobility necessary for the movement (as well a the internal rotation of the shoulder).

If you're new to the upright row, start with a barbell with no weight. This will give you a chance to experience the lift, learning the movement and the positioning throughout. If you’re looking to increase shoulder and upper back strength, look no further than the upright row. Check out the below ultimate workout guides for more tip and exercise instructions to take your fitness and training to the next level! Standing up straight, adjust your grip so that your hands are about in line with the thighs. The American College of Sports Medicine and the National Federation of Professional Trainers both say this exercise should be avoided by people of all levels of fitness. If you choose to use it, be sure you are being coached to use perfect posture and form.

The primary use of this exercise is by bodybuilders who are targeting specific muscles and are using perfect form. Shoulder-width apart (no closer) is recommended for wrist and shoulder safety. Testing a strength and conditioning program to prevent common manipulative technique training injuries in chiropractic students: a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Benefits extend from….

Hold a pair of dumbbells (weighing 45-70 lbs) using a pronated grip that is shoulder width apart, while keeping your arms extended and back straight.

Start by determining the grip width you will take, as a wider grip will target more of the posterior shoulders while a narrower grip will emphasize the trapezius more (both grips will target both muscle groups. Your arms should go no higher than parallel with the shoulders.

We'll discuss the pros and cons of sleeping after exercise. If this is something you are aware of, the main differentiation of an upright row with a high pull is that the upright row negates momentum from the legs and hips to make the vertical pulling movement target the upper body more. Lift the barbell straight up toward the chin, leading with the elbows and keeping the bar close to the body. Repeat for the desired number of reps. The dumbbell lateral raise in a slightly bent-over position is preferred. The purpose of having a narrower grip on the barbell is to increase the involvement of the upper traps and back, and minimize the need or increases posterior shoulder strength and performance. This exercise can strain the wrists, so use only a wide grip (shoulder-width).

Below are recommendations on how to program the upright row for strength and application to other movements (such as high pulls).

If you’re using dumbbells for your upright row, add a bicep curl at the bottom before rowing upward again. Keep the torso stationary and your abs braced throughout the lift—no turning or twisting. Although it may be tempting, don’t increase the weight until you’re fully in control of 12 reps, as this can increase the chance of injury. The lifter can also choose the gri that best suits their needs (snatch/clean emphasis), overall shoulder development, etc.

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Pull the weight up into an upright row, and then before releasing your arms back down, flip your wrists back and push the weight up into an overhead press.

Lifting your arms higher than parallel to the ground is what can cause shoulder injury. If this powerful move isn't in your exercise repertoire yet, it…. Put a slight bend in your elbow and raise the dumbbells straight out to your sides, feeling the resistance from the band increasing as you get closer to the top. The shoulder joint is a very complex mechanism and injuries to it can severely impact your exercise goals and can be slow to heal. Muscles Worked.

Join the BarBend Newsletter for workouts, diets, breaking news and more. The narrower the grip the more the trapezius muscles are exercised, as opposed to the deltoids. It is generally recommended that you switch to other exercises to develop these muscles. Increase the weight lifted cautiously. Upright rows are an exercise that nearly everyone can do using a wide variety of grip widths.

Annu Rev Gerontol Geriatr.

Below are three (3) upright row variations that every strength coach and athletes should be aware off to maximize upper back strength, hypertrophy, and performance. Move the dumbbells up, driving through your elbows, and keeping the weights close to the body. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med.

Regardless of how and when you add an upright row to your routine, properly warming up before weightlifting is important. Coach’s Tip: Start by taking a grip that is about 3 inches outside shoulder width (clean grip, or slightly wider). The movement should isolate the shoulders and upper back as much as possible. Below are five (5) upright row variations that every strength coach, athlete, and student of the game should be aware off to maximize upper back strength, hypertrophy, and performance.

What are the most common mistakes to watch for?

Keep your wrists supple during the lift, allowing them to flex as needed. No movement in the legs should occur. Breathe out during the effort.

The below muscles are targeted when doing upright rows. If your weight is too heavy, the movement will require momentum, which will take the focus away from the shoulders or, even worse, put too much stress on them. This is a lift that requires perfect form for the best results and to avoid injury. As highlighted, the upright row specifically targets the shoulder muscles.

Coach’s Tip: Once upright, squeeze the barbell so that the knuckles are pointed down towards the floor and the elbows are slightly flared out towards the sides (without allowing the shoulders to round forwards). In an earlier exercise guide, we discussed the upright row, one that finds its way into many strength, power, and competitive fitness sporting movements.