The upright row is an upper-body train that primarily trains your shoulders.

Regardless of being an efficient train, some keep away from the upright row, believing it carries a excessive threat of harm.

In fact, performing the upright row with poor type could irritate your shoulders. Do it accurately, nevertheless, and it’s completely protected. 

On this article, you’ll study what the upright row is, why it’s useful, the best way to carry out it utilizing correct type, one of the best upright row alternate options, and extra. 

What Is An Upright Row?

The upright row is a shoulder train that includes pulling a weight from hip top towards your chin.

The 2 most typical variations are the barbell upright row and dumbbell upright row. 

Whereas each practice the identical shoulder muscular tissues, most individuals desire the barbell upright row train as a result of it requires much less coordination and lets you carry heavier weights, which is usually higher for muscle development. As such, we’ll give attention to the barbell upright row on this article.

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Upright Row: Advantages

Many weightlifters practice their facet and rear delts lower than their entrance delts.

Over time, this may result in energy and dimension imbalances between the entrance, facet, and again of the shoulders, which can blight your upper-body aesthetics and improve your threat of harm.

Analysis reveals that the upright barbell row successfully trains the facet and rear delts, making it preferrred for making certain your shoulders develop proportionally and stay wholesome.

Moreover, it trains your higher traps. When these muscular tissues are nicely developed, they assist “body” your higher physique and aesthetically join your neck to your shoulders.

One other potential profit is that it mimics actions we make in on a regular basis life (lifting grocery baggage onto a counter, for instance). This implies you should use it to strengthen the muscular tissues concerned in these actions, which can make day-to-day actions simpler.

Upright Row: Muscular tissues Labored

The primary muscular tissues labored by the upright barbell row are the . . .

It additionally works your biceps to a lesser diploma.

Right here’s how the principle muscular tissues labored by the upright row look in your physique:

Upright Row Muscles Worked

Upright Row: Type

The easiest way to study the best way to do an upright row is to separate the train into three components: arrange, row, and descend.

1. Arrange

Stand along with your ft shoulder-width aside and grip a loaded barbell with an overhand grip (palms dealing with your physique) simply exterior shoulder width.

Let your arms hold straight down in order that the barbell is in entrance of your thighs. 

2. Row

Whereas retaining the bar as near your physique as attainable, carry the bar towards the ceiling by driving your elbows out to your sides and up. 

Proceed lifting till your higher arms are parallel to the ground, retaining your elbows larger than your forearms all through the motion. 

Don’t carry the burden past that time at which your higher arms are parallel to the ground, as doing so can improve your threat of harm. 

3. Descend

Reverse the motion and return to the beginning place. This mirrors what you probably did in the course of the row. 

Don’t let the barbell fall again to the beginning place or attempt to decrease it slowly—all the descent must be managed however solely take a couple of second.

The Greatest Upright Row Options

1. Dumbbell Upright Row

Utilizing dumbbells moderately than a barbell permits your wrists to maneuver extra freely, which will be useful for individuals with mobility points or accidents. The dumbbell variation can also be a viable different in the event you practice at house or whereas touring and don’t have entry to a barbell.

2. Cable Upright Row

Performing an upright cable row on a cable machine retains fixed stress in your muscular tissues all through every rep, which is helpful for muscle development. 

You may as well have extra freedom to decide on an attachment that feels most snug, like EZ-curl bar or cable rope upright rows.

3. Vast-Grip Upright Row

Performing the train along with your fingers two occasions wider than shoulder-width aside emphasizes the facet delts and traps greater than performing it with a narrower grip, making the wide-grip variation a wonderful choice for these seeking to maximize shoulder and upper-back growth.

That stated, some individuals discover taking a large grip aggravates their shoulders, which suggests it is probably not appropriate for this with a historical past of shoulder points.  

4. EZ-Bar Upright Row

The EZ-bar upright row is sort of equivalent to the common upright row. The one distinction is you utilize an EZ-curl bar as an alternative of a straight barbell. 

As such, you may consider the EZ-bar and barbell upright rows as interchangeable—do whichever you’ve got gear for. 

5. Smith Machine Upright Row

The Smith machine upright is just like the barbell variation, although it in all probability isn’t as efficient at creating your upper-body muscular tissues. That stated, it’s a workable different in the event you don’t have entry to a barbell, in the event you’re new to weightlifting, otherwise you merely don’t wish to do the barbell model.

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FAQ #1: Is the plate upright row an efficient upright row different?


Plate upright rows are ineffective for 3 causes:

  1. Plates max out at 45 kilos, limiting the quantity you may progressively overload your muscular tissues.
  2. Since gripping a plate is awkward, you will have to finish a set of plate upright rows when your grip provides out moderately than when your shoulder muscular tissues are absolutely stimulated.
  3. Many plates don’t have a deal with, and on people who do, the deal with is usually small, forcing you to take a grip along with your fingers shut collectively. This decreases how a lot your shoulders and traps contribute to the train and, for some, places stress on the wrists, making the motion uncomfortable. 

It’s a viable choice if nothing else is on the market, however it shouldn’t be your first selection.

FAQ #2: What does the upright row work?

The upright row trains your facet and rear delts and traps. It additionally trains your biceps to a lesser diploma. 

FAQ #3: Are upright rows unhealthy to your shoulders?

It relies upon. 

Many weightlifters shun the upright barbell row as a result of they imagine it’s unhealthy to your shoulder joints

They suppose this as a result of it requires you to carry out shoulder inner rotation (rotating your higher arms so your elbows level straight out to the edges) whereas elevating your higher arm above shoulder top. 

The problem is that doing this will likely trigger the bones within the shoulder joint to “rub” in opposition to the rotator cuff muscular tissues and tendons, inflicting ache and irritation. 

Analysis reveals, nevertheless, that the upright row is completely protected, supplied you retain the barbell near your physique all through the full vary of movement and don’t carry the burden past the purpose at which your higher arms are parallel to the ground.