Standing Upright Row

Training Details Standing Upright Row

  • Primary Muscle
    Middle Delt, Rear Delt
  • Secondary Muscle
    Front Delt, Traps
  • Equipment
    Barbell, Bumbbell
  • Level

Why Should You do Standing Upright Row?

Standing Upright row is a good shoulder exercise that also trains the upper back and shoulders. Today, many coaches advise against this exercise as the risk of injury to the wrists is significant if you make a mistake. The shoulders also rotate forward, which is not suitable before a heavy lift. The key to not straining the joints too much is a wider grip.


Choose a barbell of the appropriate size. Grab the barbell narrower than shoulder-width but not too slim. The load on your wrists will be significant if your grip is too narrow, so avoid this. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, and your knees slightly bent. Tighten the core to maintain a controlled and strong posture.

Pull back the shoulders and pinch the shoulder blades together, push the chest forward. This opens up the shoulder joint which makes the movement easier.

From the starting position, lift the barbell by using your shoulders to chest height or up to your chin (if you are comfortable with it) in a controlled motion. Always keep the barbell close to the body when lifting and lowering. At the top position, the upper arms should be parallel to the floor, and the elbows should be pointing outwards. Let your elbows control the movement. In addition, they should always be higher than the forearms.

Then return to the starting position in a controlled motion and repeat the exercise.

Guide for Standing Upright Row

  • Pull back the shoulders and pull your shoulder blades together, push the chest forward
  • Always keep your back straight and keep the barbell close to your body.
  • Tense your torso during the exercise
  • Lift with the shoulders and not the rest of the body.
  • Perform the lift calmly and in a controlled manner
  • Lower the weight in a calm and slow manner, always with tension in the muscle you are exercising. 
  • Make sure that the technique is in place before you take on too much weight in order to reduce the risk of injury.

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