Barbell Upright Row – An Entire Guide With Form Tips


How To Perform the Upright Row Exercise Tutorial

Video taken from the channel: Buff Dudes


Upright Rows (EZ Bar) Exercise Tutorial & Form Tips

Video taken from the channel: Patrick Wilson


11 Upright Row Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Video taken from the channel: Renaissance Periodization


STOP doing this exercise? Upright Row form, technique with Barbell or Dumbbell

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The Upright Row How To Do It Properly & Avoid Injury

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How To Fix The Upright Row: Avoid Shoulder Pain & Maximize Growth

Video taken from the channel: Jeff Nippard


World’s Most Dangerous Exercises! (UPRIGHT ROWS)

Video taken from the channel: ATHLEAN-X™

How to Perform the Barbell Upright Row. Begin by placing a barbell on the floor or rack pins and selecting the appropriate working weight. Ensure you add an even amount of weight to both sides of the bar. don’t place 10lbs on one sides and 25lbs on the other side. Uneven loading won’t improve your gains and will likely lead to an injury.

Barbell Upright Row – Your Guide to Form, Tips, and Variations. The Upright Barbell Row is an exercise for the development of the shoulders and trapezius muscles. It is fundamental a weight lifting shoulder exercise performed while standing, holding a weight hanging down in the hands and lifting it straight up to the collarbone.

In addition to strengthening and sculpting the shoulders, mastering the barbell upright row can help you with those bigger lifts like squats and deadlifts. Form Tips Bracing your core during this movement can help you reduce any strain on your lower back, and will ensure the focus of the exercise is on your delts. Upright Row Tips: Focus on keeping your elbows higher than your forearms. The elbows push the motion. Keep your body fixed throughout the set.

Don’t lean forward as you lower the bar, and back as you raise it. Movement of the body makes the upright row easier, and you will not get the most out of it. Stand with an upright torso holding a barbell in your hands with an overhand grip extended at arm’s length. 2. Grab the bar with a slightly narrow than shoulder-width grip. The barbell should be placed on your thighs, and your elbows.

How to Perform the Barbell Row. Begin by placing a barbell on the floor, selecting the appropriate working weight, and adding an even amount of weight to both sides of the bar. don’t place 55lbs on one side and 35lbs on the other side of the barbell; doing so won’t improve your gains and will likely lead to an injury. Avoid excessively rounding your back as you perform the barbell bent-over row. Instead, keep your chest up and engaged core to maintain a neutral back.

Avoid letting your shoulders roll forward as you row the weight up; this internally rotates your shoulders. Instead, lighten your weights. This is the definitive guide to proper form on the Barbell Row. Watch from 22:40 for the Barbell Row tips.

Yates Rows are Barbell Rows with an upright torso and underhand grip. The weight hangs in the air and doesn’t return to the floor until your set is over. Your torso is 45° incline instead of horizontal.

Upright Row Exercise Guide – Stand Tall Step 3. Elbows Up. Pull the elbows upwards and slightly out, keeping the barbell close to the body. Be sure not to let the barbell go out away from the body. The gripping muscles, the external rotators, the serratus anterior, upper and lower traps to a lesser degree, and more.

Allow the wrists to hang and grip normally, so no active wrist extension. Take a slightly wider than shoulder width grip but not much wider. Your hands should be outside your thighs.

List of related literature:

To recap: place the feet and grip shoulder-width apart, grip the bar like the bench press, keep the back neutral, descend straight to the clavicles, tilt the head back while looking forward, raise the bar along the same path, shift the torso forward slightly, squeeze the glutes, and lock out.

“Thinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body” by Michael Matthews
from Thinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body
by Michael Matthews
Oculus Publishers, 2019

To perform deadlifts properly, keep the low back slightly arched while bending the knees and grabbing the barbell with a shoulder-width grip (a).

“Natural Bodybuilding” by John Hansen
from Natural Bodybuilding
by John Hansen
Human Kinetics, 2005

Briefly, the spotter should stand behind the bench press and use an alternated grip (i.e., one hand using a supinated grip and the other hand using a pronated grip) when lifting the bar out of the racked position on the bench and when helping rerack the barbell.

“Laboratory Manual for Exercise Physiology” by Greg Haff, Charles Dumke
from Laboratory Manual for Exercise Physiology
by Greg Haff, Charles Dumke
Human Kinetics, 2012

The outer back responds to Rows done with a narrow grip because with a narrow grip the handles or bar allows you to go back no farther than the front of the torso and shortens the range of motion.

“The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revis” by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Dobbins
from The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revis
by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Dobbins
Simon & Schuster, 2012

You should not make the mistake of resting the wooden bar across the back of the neck; the correct form is to rest it on the back of the shoulders and the trapezius muscle.

“Stretching Exercises Encyclopedia” by Isabel Arechabala, Oscar Morán Esquerdo
from Stretching Exercises Encyclopedia
by Isabel Arechabala, Oscar Morán Esquerdo
Meyer & Meyer Sport, 2016

Start out by holding the bar using an overhand shoulder-width grip.

“52-week Basketball Training” by Chip Sigmon
from 52-week Basketball Training
by Chip Sigmon
Human Kinetics, 2003

Once you find your ideal stance, set up with the bar touching your shins (or very close to your shins), hinge forward from your hips, externally rotate your hips as you descend (turn your knees outward), and form your grip on the bar.

“Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training” by Bret Contreras, Glen Cordoza
from Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training
by Bret Contreras, Glen Cordoza
Victory Belt Publishing, 2019

Second, you need to start with the strict pull-up (see page 229) and address the basics before you start swinging from the bar.

“Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance” by Kelly Starrett, Glen Cordoza
from Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance
by Kelly Starrett, Glen Cordoza
Victory Belt Publishing, 2015

TRAINER’S TIP you don’t have a corner in which to place the bar—ordon’t wantto START POSITION E Place one end of an Olympic barbell in the corner of the room at an angle or under the handle of a heavy dumbbell.

“Testosterone Transformation: Lose Belly Fat, Build Muscle, and Boost Sexual Vitality” by Myatt Murphy, Jeff Csatari
from Testosterone Transformation: Lose Belly Fat, Build Muscle, and Boost Sexual Vitality
by Myatt Murphy, Jeff Csatari
Rodale Books, 2012

If you’re new to the barbell squat, I recommend you start with the low-bar position and only go high bar if it’s too uncomfortable.

“Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body” by Michael Matthews
from Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body
by Michael Matthews
Waterbury Publishers, Incorporated, 2019

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • is there any way to recover from the issues caused from doing this exercise long term? i’ve been doing this exercise for quite a while and now im having the exact pains jeff mentioned.

  • Ok he’s right. You get pinched nerves in the forearms and inflamation in the shoulder joints with this. That being said, I still going to continie to do them occasionally becase of the results.

  • Crazy I always did this exercise with no problems I was looking up the right grip position come to find out ima have to give up this exercise damn lol

  • The reason I like BuffDudes is cause your tutorials are short to the point and I love the vibe. Props to the artist as well! Also greetings from Japan haha!

  • Basically here is what he is trying to tell you in 7 minutes:

    Ditch the barbell and stick to DUMBBELLS. That is the whole point of the video. Barbell = Bad for JOINTS. Dumbbell= Good for JOINTS.

    Stick to dumbbells to protect your joints. Ditch the barbell movement,.

  • Jeff I’m a gym guy, and I’ve been working out since I was about 14, I’m 19 now and I’m pretty lean and muscular but I’m 5’6 like you and I’m not nearly as big as you, I was wondering if you could do a nutrition video for bulking, I want to get big

  • got straight to this video after having a shoulders pain when I tried upright rows a few days ago. I started to notice that my shoulders pain always had upright rows involved. Will stop it from now on. Just my personal experience after 6 years of working out.

  • You might be the reason why we’ll have a few Healthy In shape 70-80 year olds. Your teqn along with Healthy eating I believe is the secret. Also please start praying Mr. Jeff. Believe in Jesus Christ. And read the Bible to start at least once a month. Please promise us that. Like if you seen this so I know.!

  • Thanks mate, I started to try doing band upright rows the other day and instantly had shoulder pain. Guess I know why now! Thanks for the alternative, love your videos!:)

  • There have been occasions when I have exercised incorrectly and have suffered the consequences, it is always wise to know the correct way and thanks to this video i now know.

  • The bad thing is i do this movement for a living. Im a builder and in the uk we build with concrete blocks, you do this exact movement to lift the blocks up and over your building line.

  • For more effective tips please visit at this link

  • God Bless. This is my school email-I’m on my school’s baseball team. If I didn’t see this video, I could’ve seriously messed up my shoulder, and had to take tons of time off before being able to throw again.

  • You are a moron shoulder inpegments is an injury the excorse isn’t smart the elevation with international rotation not a good combation

  • use an EZ bar its easier on the wrists dont go past nipples and dont snatch the weight do it slow and steady and you will not injure your shoulder. its a dangerous exercise because idiots try to overload the bar and yank it all the way to their chin if you cant do it slow and hold form drop plates. i been doing uprights for 6 or 7 years no issues.

  • Now that exercise selection is limited due to the quarantine, i’ve been experimenting with the 20-30 rep range. It really does work!!!

  • This exerciseis SO HORRIBLE that I was able to feel it was wrong even being myself a TOTAL NEWBIE. I quickly realized it was hurting me instead of making me stronger. I swear I first realized it was just plain WRONG and then went online and confirmed what I had learned intuitively by doing it: it’s a horrible exercise; do NOT do it; never; forget it; pure abomination; evil; stupid; you name it.

  • I’m here from London Real, from the month ago interview. But I’ve seen it before. Loved your channel for many years, and still do, even more so! Even with resistance bands probably is bad. I do feel it’s weird when I’ve done them. I’ll stop now. Thanks! <3 #GoVegan #GoAgnostic #Yoga #XiaomiBand4 #ResistanceBands #Calisthenics #Fasting <3

  • Learned this before I started to work out end of the ’90s. Was doing martial arts in those days when 2 friends signed up at a local gym and went all out. In their teenage years so that already was risky. One guy got a chronical bursa infection after almost a year of working out because of upright rows. He could not swim nor workour ever since.
    Funny thing was that in those days I worked during school vacation in a local meat factory. Quite heavy work lifting frozen blocks of meat (25kg each) for almost 6-7 hours. Because of a disk hernia in my lower back I had to lift these blocks in a responsible way in order not to risk further injury to my back. So I used my arms, legs and did no rotating tilts and did push-ups at home. My gains were on par with my 2 friends and they were so surprised ��

  • My issue with these types of videos, is when you demonize an excersize that just needs to be done right. Like shit, maybe deadlifts shouldn’t be done due potential for back injury or bench for the shoulder and pec injury potentials. Just do the fucking excersize right. Damn,

  • Hey I wanted to thank you for this video. I just started back on weights, after a long hiatus, and wanted to make sure my form was correct for these upright rows. Unfortunately I had completed my workout before watching your video. And sure enough this morning I woke up with pain in that joint on my shoulders, EXACTLY as you described. Had I not seen your video I wouldn’t have known I was damaging my shoulders, not building them. Will not be repeating the experience, thanks to you! ��

  • I’m 55 and was very close to buying your old school muscle program. I decided to read the terms and conditions. Did I read correctly that most people will gain weight/fat and not get the results you’re advertising? Please clarify this for me.

  • Just found your channel but I love how honest you are when you explain things. There’s no magic, nothing to sell, just straight forward advice and tips to make things easier.
    Sometimes we get so caught up in our workouts that over years we develope bad habbits or dont even realize some of the stupid things were doing.

  • People bash AthleanX, but you all need to understand that he’s a physical therapist. His whole training style is to eliminate injury risk as much as possible. Literally every single physical therapist I have ever spoken to has said to eliminate upright rows due to higher impingement potential. For me: I choose to eliminate as much stress on my shoulders as possible, because upright rows have hurt me in the past and they feel extremely uncomfortable now. For others, it’s probably not a big deal as long as you don’t abuse the exercise.

  • Wow this is a very good suggestion about The Upright Row How To Do It Properly & Avoid Injury. I will try to follow your suggestion properly guys.

  • My rear delts are very weak and I have dislocation issues with external rotation. How can I strengthen my rear delts without fear of dislocation and prevent injury in the future?

  • Upright row is actually not a dangerous exercise, it’s just that many of u including Jeff is doing it wrong. Before u haters come at me, hear me out first.

    I have been doing up right row 4 X 12 2 times a week for almost half a year and have felt zero pain. When I saw this video, I was applaud and saddened.

    That was when i realised he, the one who have appropriate degrees in this field as well as a pysio therapist, have done this exercise wrongly.

    I believe when all of u who feel pain when doing the upright rows do it with your wrist 10 inches away from your torso (mimicking zombies arm posture)
    I do feel pain when I do raise my hand that way too.

    The correct way is to keep your wrist as close as possible to your torso and pull up, your elbows shouldn’t exceed the height of your shoulders. If U do it this way, u shouldn’t feel any pain At All.
    From the video, u can see that Jeff’s wrist is actually away from his body, it should be almost touching your torso.

    Jeff nippard’s video also supports everything i have said, be rest assured and continue doing the upright rows. I just felt the need to address this.

  • I’ve tried attaching 2 straps on the bar and put my wrist through the strap (fists facing each other), so my wrist is always at the same level as my elbow when I do upright row. Is this OK?

  • My shoulders would feel like they are snapping and my left wrist would slightly come out of socket when bringing this lift past my face. I agree it never felt right.

  • That’s crazy, it was one of my favorite exercises. But makes since. But what I get from this is that I can still do it but not with a straight bar.

  • I find that determining a point to end the movement at using the bar as a point of reference is huge for me when repeating the same movement from rep to rep, set to set. For instance, in this upright row, her best reps bring the bar about to her eyebrow height. It can be super beneficial to remember that when performing the movement and repeating it.

  • It’s because of videos like these that I completely stopped using the upright row in my routine. I already have a bad left shoulder. I don’t need to destroy it anymore. If the alternative is going to protect my shoulders and help me make gains then that is what I will do. Thanks Jeff!

  • I have seen countless videos on the upright row and it seems that nobody agrees on whether this exercise is safe or how to perform it.

  • Pulling upward is one of the most common natural movements ever performed in “working situations”. To say it is dangerous is incorrect. To say it can be done wrong is correct. To say it can be done in a safer way is logical.

  • I’m training for my 2020 athletic goal of clean and pressing 225 pounds. My hands are shoulder width apart but I rotate my elbow and by extension my shoulders a full 90 degrees in the clean portion of the exercise. Does this at least slightly negate the negative effects he’s talking about?

  • I’d been training for about a year, shoulders twice a week with no problems. I decided to add upright rows, within a month I had injured my left shoulder. It was too painful to even think about training shoulders for four months after. Slowly started exercising them again (NO upright rows). The left shoulder is almost back to full health but still being super careful. Anecdotal I know but I firmly believe upright rows fucked me up.

  • Sup Doc
    I really enjoy your videos, big fan of your work in general btw! Whenever I see “Dr. Mike Israetel” in the video discription I know im in for a high quality information video.
    I could name 10+ exercises I would love for you to break down but im gonna be humble:) Like Rajarshi I would like to see the bent over row or the pendlay row! Thanks!

  • Hopefully this helps clear up some misconceptions about the upright row and helps you guys perform the exercise more safely and effectively! It’s one of my favourites when done properly!

  • Just tried it in the gym with the barbell, sharp pain the shoulder. Only ropes works and halfreps in the smith. Which feels quite good actually.

  • Of all the variations of uprights I’ve tried, only dumbbells, with proper form, seem to be safe. All the others I can feel the wasted stress on the vulnerable points.

  • I’ve always hated the upright row because of high internal rotation grinding on the shoulder but after doing so many dumbbell lateral raises and cable shoulder abduction I’m tired I think the barbell is way more stable than the db so Im going to turn to upright rows now to kick my lateral delts going and this video is the perfect video on how to do it safely

  • Do you have any further thoughts or recommendations regarding upright rows with the EZ bar? thanks in advance and keep up the great work!

  • seriously, you need to make a video cover the topic how much gain you think you got after those weird movements and repeat the lifts for filming.

  • Shoulder internal rotation is what causes impingement. Doing one arm w external rotation is the fix. Shocked you missed explaining this

  • Isnt a safe variation that athlean x made called the pants pull up or something like that? U pretend to pull up ur pants (with dumbels in ur hands) and externally rotate well u pull up to ur nipple line to hit the middle delt and rear delt. Am i wrong to think of this as a upright row variation???

  • Whenever I perform an upright row I begin to have wrist pain. Any suggestions on how to fix this? Thank you so much for providing soo much amazing content. I always come to your channel when I want to learn:)

  • Great video as always Jeff! Currently enjoy doing upright rows with an ez bar but after watching this video definitely want to try the single dumbbell upright row.

  • Hey Jeff, I was thinking about previous science explained videos where you had discussed the percentage of fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibres in each muscle type and explained how different rep ranges may be more effective for different muscle compositions. However, have you ever looked into alpha-actinin 3, PPAR and other related proteins and their impact on muscle composition. Variation in the genes encoding these could surely impact muscle composition and therefore the recommended rep ranges suitable for the muscle?
    Also I’ve heard you recommend maintaining volume during a cut. Are you aware of any studies that test this against, for example slowly, periodically lowering volume during a cut while rates of muscle repair are impaired due to prolonged deficit. Perhaps maintaining volume would lead to overtraining and muscle damage that would not be repaired before the next session, especially on a PPL split, ultimately resulting in more muscle loss? I know these are very minute details but it would be interesting to hear your opinion and perhaps if you had seen any literature regarding these issues.
    Also thanks for putting out useful and scientific content and changing the lifting community. Science and evidence based training like this keeps me sane.

  • I just love these video’s because they are able to communicate information in such an easy to understand and effective way! Once again very important and effective information!

  • When you preform that weird wrong execution you are always alone at the gym. Tell us the truth: you wait until everyone left so no one can see you! =D

  • Definitely a great shoulders/traps builder for me! Cable upright rows are my favorite for constant tension and monster kettlebells when I want something heavier!

  • Jeff, I wanna thank you so much for showing the upright cable version (standing). The many reasons why:
    1. I usually suffer from front delt pain, so could never upright row. Last night in the gym I did 6 sets of incline bench press (strong front delt involvement), then 4 sets of this upright row. Zero front delt pain. Nothing! Unbelievable.

    2. I have posture issues (hence the shoulder impingement), and I happen to find your version of the cable standing upright row better than a face-pull for fixing this. After I was done with the 4 sets, I couldn’t round my shoulders even if I tried! (That only lasted a few hours, but hey, practice makes perfect!). I find that face pulls are so technique-intensive to be performed well that every time I do them, I feel bad about myself because I know for each set, a couple of reps were sub-par. Call me nitpicky or a perfectionist, but that’s just who I am. However, this cable upright row forces you into correct posture, I love it!
    3. I have a minimalist approach to lifting and am trying to fill my routine with only compound movements for the next few months. The only muscles I couldn’t find compound movements for were the side delts, and now the hamstrings (apart from deadlifting, which I also did last night).
    4. Before anyone tries to educate me on how isolation and accessory movements are essential, I agree. However, I also do boxing, and will add Judo in June to my routine, so I need my lifting sessions to be as short as humanly possible.
    5. This channel and Athlean-X have changed my life forever. I love both Jeffs so much #nohomo #amnotastalker XD!!!!

  • I personally would never do an upright row (barbell or otherwise) because I think the internal rotation is harmful to the shoulders. You do suggest trying different widths and so on to see what feels comfortable. The problem I have with that is that upright rows don’t have to hurt in order to cause damage. Such rows can feel perfectly fine for months or even years until one day that supraspinatus tendon gets inflamed enough to hurt. You may not get any advance warning that anything is going wrong, but you’ll find out eventually. Now, in another video you had a guy doing what you called dumbbell upright rows, which seemed to be shoulder friendly. The reason these were shoulder friendly is that, by some people’s thinking, these are actually not upright rows at all but are more properly characterized as high pulls, because the hands come up ahead of the elbows, as opposed to the elbows leading, so that instead of getting internal rotation, you get (shoulder friendly) external rotation. Semantics, maybe. But whatever you call those (and the somewhat similar “Urlachers”), they seem much safer than any of the internally-rotated moves you showed here. People, of course, can do whatever they want. But I can attest that an inflamed shoulder tendon is a really horrible and debilitating condition that you never want to have. (It can be very persistent and hard to get rid of.) If you’ve ever suffered from it, you might not want to risk getting it again by doing upright rows. Stick with the external rotation moves like the high pulls (your “dumbbell upright rows”) or just do lateral raises (without the internally rotating “pouring the water”). My humble opinion.

  • How to fix the upright row:

    well, you don’t do it in the first place.
    Biomechanically it is and always will be a piss poor exercise no matter how you do it. Even with “good form and technique” you can wind up with a serious injury. Jeff, I love you man but their’s better alternatives out there.

  • Upright rows are simply a toned-down version of the plyometric exercise otherwise known as a “hang clean”.

    So they’re rather pointless even as a “strength” exercise i.e., a real strength exercise never has you do something “plyometrically” because the weight is too high. You don’t squat, deadlift, press, dip, pullup, etc… etc… etc… plyometrically when the weight is high. But a barbell too heavy to upright row is basically a hang-clean.

  • If you’re elbow is higher that your wrist then you are still internally rotated, thus causing risk for impingement just how you are executing in this video. You should do more research and not just get from one source that goes with your own personal bias. Look at Jeff cavaliers channel since he’s an actual physical therapist and in a profession of sports medicine.

  • The single arm kneeling upright dumbbell row is another alternative to the single arm dumbbell row, except it involves more core stability and activation, as well as internal/external obliques. Hope this helps guys!

  • I have a pinched nerve, so I can’t do shoulder presses, or my arm will go numb, and ill feel an intense burning in my neck. So I have to deconstruct my shoulder training and isolate each head. Lateral raises and now this exercise will help me build my side delts. Thanks, Jeff.

  • The evolution and character development of Bro Jeff is one of my favorite parts of these technique videos. reminds of Brady Brosef on Omar Isuf’s channel back in the day

  • Unrelated to the video (sorry), but I have been pondering a question you might find interesting and may be able to answer to some extent. In the fitness community we always hear about these legendary newby gains when one starts lifting, but what if you’ve solely done calisthenics to a decent level for say two years, then adopt a serious lifting routine. Would you still get these newby gains? Would be interested in your thoughts. Maybe a video topic? I’m sure with a good title you could rope in a bunch of calisthenics guys to your channel. Thanks a lot for the awesome content.

  • Great video Jeff… can you do a video on unilateral vs bilateral training, and the benefits/drawbacks (if any)? Your insight would be very interesting

  • Hey Jeff for the SA Dumbbell upright row, I still feel the impingement. I’m leaning slightly forward though and pulling out to the side.

    Any other cues I might be missing?

  • I have never felt upright rows being an important exercise at all. Kinda waist of time if you do barbell overhead press, incline bench press, dips, pullups and face pulls.

  • wkd again imsure, It amazes me to still see these things go on in the gym, Im not exactly at the forefront physique wise, so I cant speak out, but I was thinking why are these techniques not working all the time, you need more experts to adapt these techniques into every day training.

  • I never had pain in my shoulder doing upright rows. Granted, I always did them like this, but I always felt a clicking and pain in my wrists.
    The pain went away when I started using wrist straps (grip wasn’t an issue but I thought it might help amd it did) but I can’t get rid of that clicking. I am genuinely confused.

  • You could mirror pose after every Bro-Jeff set to make the character more realistic. Also, is there no Rear delt involvement in this lift? At all? I usually get shoulder pain with this but I’ll try it tonight at the gym with your instructions.

  • Hey, Jeff. Thoughts on bringing the hands and forearms above the elbows (still at shoulder level), and externally rotating at the top? Probably a good way of avoiding impingement, and the bonus of extra rear delt.

  • Hey Jeff, I’ve been working out since November and haven’t noticed any outstanding growth. Just curious if this is normal, or is there something I could change?
    I hit the gym 5-6 days a week, going chest and tris, then the next back and bi’s, then legs, then back to chest and tris and back and bi’s to end my week.
    Thanks for any enlightening information you may have!

  • thank goodness, I got to this video, before trying this workout….
    I would of totally wrecked myself..LOL
    Thanks Doctor Balduzzi �������� ��

  • Jeff just want to take this moment and truly say thank you for all your hard efforts that you put into your work. You and Steph are my true inspiration in life. Congrats on your 1 mil sub and plaque ����

  • Glad I found this video because I’ve been doing upright rows all wrong. I’m now on going to do it just like you did in the video. Thanks so much for teaching me how to do it properly.

  • High reps at the end of the workout, change the form and it’s not a mass builder. These are the main points for safety that I got from this video.

  • First time doing this I felt awkward and I immediately came here to see if Jeff had a video on it and I tried showing it to my friend but he’s stubborn and says “it’s not hurting”

  • there are a lot of channels advising against upright rows citing shoulder impingement for ex athlean X… the same time hodgetwins say URs are ok as long as u do it upto chest level…… whats your take on that? 

  • I’m glad I found this video. I just tried them for the first time today and they felt very awkward so I decided to look them up. I can do without them.

  • Why is Jeff talking about internal rotation in Upright Rows? My Shoulders are always at a normal position when i do Upright Rows. I don’t feel any pain or anything fishy while doing it. I’m Confused now. Is Jeff looking for “Views” or is he really talking science.???

  • So glad you made this video, a few weeks ago I was working out with a friend who told me about upright rows. I tried them and really hurt my shoulder, couldn’t work out for a week. After seeing you do them I know I was definitely doing them wrong, thanks for showing the proper technique. Gonna give them another shot because it definitely looks like a good workout.

  • Thanks for making this Jeff! My autistic brother kept doing these wrong and we eventually had to put him down. Wish he could’ve been around to see this! Oh well, we have a new one now! Much love from Australia!

  • Stop fucking doing upright rows (aka upwrong rows), if you think it’s a smart exercise to do, you have no idea how the anatomy in the shoulder looks like. You can’t say (It doesn’t hurt, so it’s okay). You slowly fuck it up by pinching stuff in your shoulder. STOP DOING THEM, if you think I’m stupid, please keep doing them and then I can laugh at you when you can’t train anymore 5 years from now

  • My forearm muscles/grip isn’t a limiting factor but my wrists feel fucked up by the motion reguardless of grip width. Would Versa grips help with this?

  • Been doing upright rows for about forty something years now and I will continue to do them. I, thank God have had no pains whatsoever from doing them. I do not do them for a whole bunch of reps. Five reps, five sets. And not slow. My traps are very thick and very solid and I just do them about two to three days a week. I don’t even have to lift very much weight at all. Usually, not even fifty pounds. It doesn’t matter how much weight you lift but how you lift them. But I do thank you so very much for your concern. Just like I see guys with skinny chicken legs that. not only do they weigh a little under two hundred pounds and can deadlift almost five hundred to six hundred pounds and some big guys just about half the size that cannot lift but half the weight that the little guys can. Anyway, like I said before, thanks.

  • My doc loves this exercise, he makes me do this when looking for impingement in my shoulder. But without the weight. And barbell. And it still hurts.

    Seriously, don’t do this. There are better alternatives.

  • I think the deadlift is far worse than this exercise could ever be..dead lifts could spell trouble for your lower back. Arnold won what five or six mr. Olympia’s doing the upright row exercise. It seems to work for me..I get a tremendous pump in my shoulders and even my forearms

  • Stop listening to people saying to not perform this exercise it’s great!
    The only reason Jeff slandered it was because the amount of guys who still ego lift with weights way too heavy for their well being…


  • Hi! How about doing it while pushing from the legs? It might not be a good exercise if you want to specifically train the shoulders, however the movement seem to be included in a normal clean, which I believe all in all is a great exercise.

  • I have been experiencing a vascular tingling sensation that feels like little jolts of electricity through my forearm every time I do upright barbell rows. I’m a fit 28-year-old and this wasn’t making sense. This just changed a huge component of my German Volume Training 3-day split. Thank you.

  • Man Arnold really had me enjoy my upright rows for a bit. Thanks for saving my shoulders tho Jeff I can always count on you for the truth!

  • I think if anyone has problems with this exercise it is because their shoulder joint doesnt sit where it should. due to an almost locked in bad posture caused by tight chest, shoulder rounding and unbalanced upper body training.

  • Many people say that this exercise is bad for the shoulder-joints. Especially the narrow-grip-version. Is it bad?
    Especially Jeff Cavaliere says that:

  • Hey Mike where is the lift that f*&cK!ng, weight now and that’s bu11$h1t like you did with the guy with chest and triceps on the other video?

  • Appreciate the video Mike!
    1. Low ROM
    2. Too much ROM
    3. Uncontrolled Descent
    4. Bar too far forward
    5. Searching for an ideal grip
    6. No standard ROM in reps
    7. Swinging with body / going too heavy
    8. Form is too strict / rigid
    9. Weak Grip
    10. Poor Stimulus
    11. Going too heavy

  • Hi Dr. Mike, at the end of the video, on your wrap up, you mention the objective of stimulating the target muscle and avoiding joint damage. I’ve got a pretty bad right shoulder from swiming as a youngster and would it be safe to say that higher reps with lower load can work for me best because I can still hit/stress the target muscle, and joints can handle this better? I guess that I’d like to gain knowledge on how to strengthen my joints as well as the desired target muscles at the same time. If that is possible ofcourse.

  • Last time upright raw was my most favourite exercise, always!
    Then, one day 1 man call AtleanX share a video and said that it is not good. So I stop it.
    But now, i watched this, and upright row become 1 of my best favourite exercise again.


    0:00 Intro
    0:30 Mistake #1 – Not enough range of motion (ROM)
    1:24 Mistake #2 – Too much ROM
    2:27 Mistake #3 – No eccentric control
    3:20 Mistake #4 – Bar is too far forward
    4:07 Mistake #5 – Looking for a single optimized grip
    5:40 Mistake #6 – No standardized ROM
    7:08 Mistake #7 – Body English
    8:07 Mistake #8 – Technique being too strict
    9:24 Mistake #9 – Grip being the limiting factor
    10:33 Mistake #10 – Poor stimulus
    12:04 Mistake #11 – Going too heavy
    13:36 Summary and outro

  • Fix? Should be encouraging people to not do them, exercise is contraindicated, causes shoulder internal rotation and in 90% of people leads to shoulder impingement and rotator injuries. A better idea would be to teach power Shrugs which takes pressure off shoulders and rotator muscles by using Legs in movement. This guy must be up there with V Shredd for dangerous information.

  • The Cable upright row version with a rope is great when having the thumbs up and pushing the elbows back toward the end (in the “up position”). No possible impingement problem and getting great “contact” with the delts.

  • This guy comes as the most legitimate and nicest person I’ve come across on YouTube for top drawer fitness information. Needs a million times more exposure than some of the silly content that I’ve seen all over the place.

  • You know, Jeff, I stopped doing these b/c of this video & I really disagree with that decision. I’d done it for years and years with no issues when I was younger. Go a little wider than you’d expect & row up to the nipples & stop the ROM there. My shoulder and neck health has really suffered by removing this exercise. I did enjoy using DBs as an alternative in the time after seeing this video but the stability that comes with a bar is just too valuable to omit. I’m glad you’d mentioned that it’s more of a risk than an guarantee, but in the end this fear mongering ended up being harmful for me instead of beneficial. Don’t worry, I still love you man, I just think I should have ignored your intensity in this video.

  • so many people cant do “dips” aka upright have the right technique..ive been hitting them for 20 years with no pain,they feel good and provide a monster pump…many people cant do them and i believe its a wrist/grip weakness issue

  • I was hoping that Mike would refute the internal rotation and impingement concerns described by Jeff Cavaliere:

  • I have found the banded versions of the upright row to be really awesome. Especially pulling apart at the very top with an isohold gives a deep burn in my whole shoulder girdle and Traps!

  • Does this apply to say barbell snatch high pulls? All Olympic weightlifters do variations of barbell high pulls. I guess I could practise with dumbbells high pulls but it won’t really be the same.

  • Thank you so much for this information. You have put my mind at ease about doing this “controversial” exercise. You guys rock!!!!!

  • Too fun reading all these comments about Jeff Cavalier and Athlean-X after the fake weights scandal which has exposed him as a clown

  • Of course you shlubs would be doing this exercise. I just feel bad for your 13 year old fans. who make up the majority of your fanbase

  • I will have to do this worthless fucking bullshit exercise during a military fitness test next tuesday. My right rotator cuff is already injured, and I will have to injure myself even more to pass it. They messure your power output during the left, and you have to pull as explosively as possible, which makes it even worse.

  • You could make a career out of discussing all the exercises that are bad because of unnatural shoulder rotation. Unlock your hands, and let the shoulders rotate naturally.

  • I managed to strain my lower back by doing strict upright rows with 20kg the other day. Squats and deadlifts with +200kg, no problem. But then a measly upright row killed me.

  • One thing I’ve noticed is that in all the Buff Dudes shoulder workouts they have small delts compared to the rest of their body. Through analyzing all of their workout videos on shoulder exercises I see that they strictly rely on MOMENTUM to lift on shoulder days. #BuffDudes I think you would benefit GREATLY from lowering your weight and slowing this movement WAY down at the top of the movement, holding for 0.5 seconds, and then drop the weight SLOWLY near the top down to the bottom of the movement. Try this on your next shoulder exercise and if you agree please post an updated video.

  • Yeah that’s cool and I appreciate the offer but… it’s hard for me to take shoulder advice from somebody who has poor shoulder definition to begin with. Besides what’s with raising the bar so high? Are you deaf to all the info about injuries associated with this exercise?

  • Your wife’s impression of bad reps is hilarious �� I like these guides you should do more if it’s not already planned (or filmed ��?)!

  • I love you guys but I don’t think this is a good exercise. That might be one of the reasons why Hudson has/had a shoulder issue.

    Think about it. When bench-pressing, you should have your elbows in a 45 degree angle. When you flare your elbows and keep them in a line with the bar, there is too much pressure on your shoulders and it destroys them. If you flare your elbows even more and let them internally rotate, it is even worse. That’s how many people destroy their shoulders when bench-pressing. And that is exactly the same position you get your shoulders into when performing upright rows!!!

    In about 1:30 you say “If you experience any shoulder discomfort of any kind…” I’ve heard so many people say that. Doesn’t the fact that many people experience discomfort during this exercise signify that it simply does harm to your shoulders?

  • I think overthinking really hurt me on this one.. I used to do this exercise perfectly. IDK if it was listening to others or myself. I used to have bigger traps too cause of this.. after my injuries I haven’t been working out. Started working out again and I forgot. The motion that came so easily to me before now hates me. I think my shoulder injuries have something to do with it 2…..

  • I’ve done narrow grip versions of these for years they just never hurt me… I’m 45 not 25. 28 years of using this exercise. I generally never go heavier than 135 just do more and more reps. I don’t have many options on the road besides barbell work…dumbells take up way to much room for what they offer.

  • Not worth the risk to me. I have enough problems with my shoulders. You probably will too when you get older. Like any machine that is used hard, it wears out and breaks eventually.

  • Bros..This guy knows his stuff. I always wondered about upright rows and if it contributes to my popping in my right shoulder. Thank U brotha for this great info’.��

  • Warning for you all. don’t do this workout. one you do not need this for good shoulders. use the side raise dumbbell. this will tear your shoulders a part. it puts you in impingement at the top. even if you do not feel it now it could catch up to you if that be two months or ten years. BC this will saw the supraspinatus tendon (a rotator tendon) and could lead to damage. so just do one thing. research the workout and the tendon and how to keep it safe. God bless and lift safe.

  • I like how this exercise is always lands in the top 5 NOT TO DO list of every reputable weightlifting/bodybuilding channel… according to you it’s a great exercise.

    What does that make you?

  • I am one of the guys that ditched this one due to it hurting.

    I found a great replacement though. I use the EZ curl with the cable attachment and do them a step back from the low pulley. Due to the angle it hits the rear delts harder which is a bonus in my book.

  • I laugh when people send this to the “Iron Graveyard.” Love this exercise. Too many people do it wrong and say it’s a bad exercise.

  • I saw that vid where you debunk the myth that upright rows are dangerous,I have a friend that does stronglifts 5/5 and he has been experiencing triceps overtraining due to frequent bench resses and OVH presses,I will tell him to do upright rows instead.Hell I can upright row 225lbs for 12 reps(12 th rep of the last set is a bit ugly) of 3 sets with 2 minute breaks in between,and I have a 270 lbs ovh press.

  • wow I really love how you guys created a complete workout profile for everyone on the net out of your time for free. Thanks guys for being there for the small guys and setting things straight with your fun vids:D

  • Last time I went I injured my arm doing too much too fast. I don’t want to injure myself again doing something improperly. This is very helpful to me. More of these types of videos will give me more confidence to try again. Good stuff!

  • This upright row demo looks like a how-to for developing shoulder impingement syndrome. See here for alternatives: