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The Upright Row | A Great Shoulder & Trap Exercise

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

The Upright Row Exercise:

If you want to increase your traps strength, power and size, the upright row is a potentially good exercise for you to use.

Similarly to the other primary traps exercises, the upright row will improve the overall strength and size of the neck and its surrounding muscles, as well as the Trapezius muscle and its surrounding muscles.

Not only this, but the upright row is a great shoulders builder too, as it targets the rear and side delts.

To see more shoulder exercises click here: #shoulders

To see more traps exercises click here: #traps


(Smith Machine) Upright Row Exercise Instructions:

Target Muscle: Trapezius (Traps) & Shoulders (Deltoid)

Exercise Type: Strength

Follow these instructions below for an effective and popular rear delt, side delt and trap workout.

  1. To start with, set the bar on the smith machine to around the middle of your thigh. Once the height is chosen and the bar is loaded with your chosen weight, grasp the bar using a pronated (palms forward) grip that is about shoulder width apart. You may need some wrist wraps if you use a significant amount of weight.

  2. Lift the barbell up as you fully extend your arms with your back straight. You should have a slight bend at your elbows. This is your starting position.

  3. Use the side of your shoulders to lift the bar. The bar should be close to your body as you move it up. Continue to lift the bar until it nearly touches your chin. Tip: Your elbows should drive the motion. As you lift the bar, your elbows should always be higher than your forearms. Also, keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement.

  4. Lower the bar back down slowly to your starting position. You should inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.

  5. Repeat for your desired amount of repetitions.

Additional Variations: This exercise can also be performed using a standalone barbell, EZ bar, cables and it can even be performed using dumbbells and kettlebells, though this exercise should be reserved by the more advanced fitness enthusiasts that are well familiarised with correct form and technique. This exercise can also be performed with bands instead of other equipment.

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Caution: Be careful with how much weight you use in the upright row exercise. Too much weight could cause shoulder injury. If you suffer from shoulder issues, you should stay away from upright rows.


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