Barbell Upright Row

Exercise Information

  • Alternative Names: Upright row with a barbell, upright barbell row, upright row
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Barbell
  • Muscles Targeted: Shoulders, biceps, traps
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-4 with 10-12 reps each
  • Variations: Close and wide grip barbell upright rows
  • Alternative: Upright cable row, upright row with bands

The upright barbell row, as the name indicates, is performed by standing with your torso straight. It is one of the most commonly used exercises for developing the traps and widening your shoulders. It is a slightly difficult variation and can be performed in combination with upper body workouts like lateral raises and high pulls.

Barbell Upright Row Exercise Information

  • Alternative Names: Upright row with a barbell, upright barbell row, upright row
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Barbell
  • Muscles Targeted: Shoulders, biceps, traps
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-4 with 10-12 reps each
  • Variations: Close and wide grip barbell upright rows
  • Alternative: Upright cable row, upright row with bands

How to do a Barbell Upright Row

Set up for the barbell upright row by loading a barbell with about 50-100 lbs weight plates. Hold the barbell with a less-than-shoulder-width, pronated grip close to your thighs keeping your arms extended and the elbows slightly bent. Lift the bar by using your shoulders and moving the elbows up to your side. Continue the movement until the bar almost touches your chin. Pause for about two seconds at the top before lowering the weight back to the initial position.

Tips

  • Your elbows should always be in a higher position than your forearms and should drive the movement.
  • Keep your body stationary throughout the movement. Do not lean back while raising the barbell and forward when lowering it.
  • Squeeze your traps at the top and lower the weight slowly to add intensity to the movement.

Variations

  1. Close Grip Barbell Upright Row: Involves holding the barbell using half-of-shoulder-width grip so that you can perform the movement through the maximum range of motion.
  2. Wide Grip Barbell Upright Row: Is performed with a wider-than-shoulder-width grip which engages more of the middle deltoid muscle and keeps you from lifting your elbows too high.

Alternative Exercises

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