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Single Arm Upright Row Exercise (Step-by-Step)

Updated: Jul 22, 2021

The single arm upright row is a great overall shoulder exercise, however it mainly targets the side and rear deltoid muscle fibres.

Not only this, but it is a pretty simple shoulder exercise, meaning you don't need an advanced skillset or special equipment.

All you need is access to a dumbbell, or a cable machine or resistance bands. Even a weighted plate would work fine for this exercise.

You can view more shoulder exercise guides here.

single arm upright row

(Dumbbell) Single-Arm Upright Row Exercise Instructions:

Target Muscle: Shoulders

Exercise Type: Strength

These instructions below are specifically designed for the dumbbell single arm upright row, however the same exercise principle applies even with the cable machine variant or resistance bands.

  1. To begin, hold a dumbbell and stand straight up with your arm extended in front of you with a slight bend at your elbows, make sure to keep your back straight. This will be your starting position.

  2. Keep your other hand fully extended to the side, by your waist or you can grab a fixed surface or object, such as a machine.

  3. Focus on the side of your shoulders as you lift the dumbbell. The dumbbell should be fairly close to your body as you move it up.

  4. Continue to lift the dumbbell until is almost in line with your chin. Also, keep your torso in one position and pause for 1-2 seconds at the top of the rep.

  5. Lower the dumbbell back down slowly to it's starting position.

  6. Repeat this for your desired amount of reps with each arm.

Additional Variations: You can do this same exercise using weighted plates, a cable machine or you can use resistance bands.

Caution: Be sure to not use too much weight as this leads to bad form and a possibility of injury.

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