Workout RoutinesWorkout Routines for MenWorkout Routines for Women

The Anatomy of The Upright Row Exercise

upright row anatomy

The upright row  is a compound exercise as well as a shoulder exercise working all three heads of the deltoids , the trapezius, and the biceps. The narrow grip add mass to your trapezius muscles, as opposed to the deltoids.

Upright row exercise can be used with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, cable machine, and Smith machine.


How to do Upright Row Barbell Exercise:

upright row barbell

Step up to the bar with feet about shoulder width apart. Grip anywhere from inside shoulder to outside it’s going to vary upon personal preference. People find that with shoulder impingements, it’s a bit easier to do that wider grip.

One of the benefits of the wider grip is you’re going to be focusing a little bit more on the lateral head of the deltoids.

The upright row is a weight training exercise performed by holding a grips with the overhand grip and lifting it straight up to the collarbone.

– Inhale and pull the barbell upward close to your body until it reaches your chin
– Slowly return to the arm extended position, avoid any jerk movements
– Exhale as you complete the movement

How to do Upright Row with Dumbbell Exercise


Another common question is whether the dumbbell upper row is a trap exercise or a shoulder exercise? While the dumbbell version definitely involves the traps. It particularly targets the shoulder not just the middle and front delts but also the rear delts as well. It’s one of the few exercises when done properly that actually hits all three deltoids heads of the shoulder.

– Start by holding a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs.
– Use the deltoids to pull the dumbbells up to lower chest height while bringing your elbows out to the sides. Don’t go any higher than that.
– Lean back a bit to make the movement clean as you bring the bars up. This will also help to hit more of those rear deltoids
– Bring the elbows out to the sides as you come up to focus more on those middle delts as well as the rear delts

Research shows that when you do upright rows as the elbows come out to the sides more wider, the more rear delt involvement.

Prevent Injury from Upright row Exercise:

Due to the amount of internal rotation of the humerus during this movement, this exercise may worsen shoulder impingement syndrome.

As long as you’re careful you take it slow. Start with light weight to feel the contraction, make sure those shoulders are going to be healthy throughout the movement.

Avoid raising the bar above the chest line will help in avoiding injury or symptoms related to rotator cuff impingement. If pain arises, stop this exercise immediately.

Make sure you bring those elbows out to the sides it’s going to help to focus more on the middle part of the delts and rear delts while involving the front delts.

Want to see all the workout anatomy, get this top seller book by Frederic Delavier


One thought on “The Anatomy of The Upright Row Exercise

  • I have lost 47 pounds so far at 24hour fitness GYM four the last four months .on just doing Carido and light weights lifting .plan to keep it up !” Thank you for your help ad support .sincerely Reynaldo j Martinez sunny southern California .

Leave a Reply