Dumbbell Upright Row

Exercise Information

  • Alternative Names: Upright dumbbell row, db upright row, standing dumbbell upright row
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Dumbbells
  • Muscles Targeted: Trapezius, deltoids, biceps
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-5 with 10-15 reps each
  • Variations: Wide grip upright row with a dumbbell
  • Alternative: Upright row with bands, barbell shrug

As the name suggests, it is performed by lifting a pair of dumbbells and is considered a safer way of building traps and delts than the basic barbell upright row. It is because your shoulders do not rotate inward as much, causing lesser shoulder impingement than the barbell version.

Dumbbell Upright Row Exercise Information

  • Alternative Names: Upright dumbbell row, db upright row, standing dumbbell upright row
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Dumbbells
  • Muscles Targeted: Trapezius, deltoids, biceps
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-5 with 10-15 reps each
  • Variations: Wide grip upright row with a dumbbell
  • Alternative: Upright row with bands, barbell shrug

How to do a Dumbbell Upright Row

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. Move the dumbbells up, driving through your elbows, and keeping the weights close to the body. Continue the upward movement until your arm is in line with the floor. After holding the position at the top of the lift for one second, slowly lower the weights back to the initial position.

Db Upright Row Tips

  • Perform the lift in a controlled manner without any swinging or jerking movement.
  • Make sure that you do not use heavier dumbbells because it can result in bad form and lead to a shoulder injury.
  • If you have shoulder issues, substitute the upright row with lateral raises.

Variation with Wide Grip

The wide grip upright row with a dumbbell is performed in the same way as the db upright row, but the weights are held wider than shoulder width.

Alternative Exercises

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