The Upright Row – How To Do It Properly & Avoid Injury


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In this video, we’re going to be looking at how to do upright rows properly. Because while this a great shoulder and back exercise, it can be a little dangerous if you don’t do it properly. So we’re going to go over the proper form along with the best routine recommendations, sets, and reps to make this exercise both safe and effective.

So when it comes to the upright dumbbell row, there are really two variations utilizing dumbbells and a barbell. And as you’ll discover, there are certain benefits to using one over the other, and we’ll cover all that as well.

How To Do The Upright Row Properly – The Basics (0:49)

Like most exercises, when it comes to doing the upright row properly, your stance and technique is an incredibly important factor. But this is especially true for this exercise because we want to avoid impingement in our shoulders.

How To Avoid Shoulder Injury & Impingement (1:08)

To understand what’s dangerous about not doing the upright row correctly, we need to look at shoulder impingement. Because when it comes to avoiding shoulder injury, its one of the most common ways it happens. And preventing it comes down to using the proper technique you’ll discover in this video.

The Barbell Upright Row – Form Tutorial (2:30)

Compared to dumbbells, the barbell upright row can be a little more likely to result in shoulder injuries. Because whenever we use barbells, we’re on more of a fixed path, so making sure that your starting and ending positions are correct is very important.

– Slightly inside shoulder width hand position
– Hinge at the hips slightly
– Flare your elbows and drag the bar up your torso.
– Always keep your back straight

PRO TIP: To make the barbell upright row a little safer for your shoulders widen your hand position.

The Dumbbell Upright Row – Form Tutorial (3:15)

This is definitely the safer option when it comes to upright rows. Because dumbbells allow you to externally rotate your shoulders at the top of the exercise, which is the best way to avoid impingement. In the form tutorial here, you’ll discover exactly how to do it properly.

– Bend forward more than the barbell upright row
– Keep a strong, straight back
– Raise the dumbbells in a straight line up
– Stay slow & controlled

Should You Use Dumbbells Or A Barbell? (4:30)

The barbell upright row might be a little more effective, but if you experience any pain or impingement with it, the dumbbell upright row is the better option.

Routine Recommendations – Sets, Reps & Weight

#1 Use lighter weights
#2 2-3 Sets 12-15 Reps
#3 End of your workout

This is an accessory exercise to your core shoulder exercises like shoulder presses, military presses, face pulls, etc… Hope this guide helps you!

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Your friends here at the FFP,

-Dr. Balduzzi + The Men’s Health Experts @ The Fit Father Project

**Disclaimer: This information is for reference purposes ONLY and cannot replace personal information you can and should discuss with your Doctor. If you have any concerns about your health, you should see your Doctor immediately. Results vary by individual, so we do not guarantee you will get the same results as any shown here or on our website.

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