Smith Machine Upright Row

Exercise Information

  • Alternative Names: Upright row with Smith machine
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Smith Machine
  • Muscles Targeted: Traps, delts
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 4-5 with 8-12 reps each
  • Variations: Smith machine one arm upright row
  • Alternative: Upright row with bands, standing dumbbell upright row

The Smith machine version, unlike the barbell upright row, allows you to better isolate and target your shoulder muscles through its fixed movement pattern. It does not allow you to bring your elbows higher than the shoulder level and is thus causes less pain on the shoulder joint. You may include it in your shoulder, upper body, or full body workout routine.

Smith Machine Upright Row Exercise Information

  • Alternative Names: Upright row with Smith machine
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Smith Machine
  • Muscles Targeted: Traps, delts
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 4-5 with 8-12 reps each
  • Variations: Smith machine one arm upright row
  • Alternative: Upright row with bands, standing dumbbell upright row

How to do a Smith Machine Upright Row

After standing in the middle of the Smith machine, unrack the barbell off the j-hooks by rotating its safety latches. While breathing in, brace your core, and drive your elbows high to lift the weight to your chest level. When the weight has reached the top of the lift, wait for a second and then move the barbell back to the initial position in a controlled manner.

Tips

  • Do not rely on momentum while pulling the weight up. Keep the movement under control and avoid leaning back.
  • You can substitute this exercise with the dumbbell or banded variations if you feel your wrists are stressed.

Variation with One Arm

The Smith machine one arm upright row is performed by grabbing the bar with one hand, using a pronated grip at about two to three inches outside of the shoulder. After finishing the reps on one side, repeat on the other.

Alternative Exercises

  • Upright Row with Bands
  • Standing Dumbbell Upright Row

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