Barbell Upright Row Fitness Exercise

March 31, 2012 by  
Filed under Bicep Exercises

The barbell upright row is an exercise which stimulates the muscles of the shoulders and the upper back. To perform the exercise, the trainer stands erect whilst grasping a barbell with an over-hand grip to the front of the thighs. The bar is then brought upwards, parallel to the body, until the elbows are flared up in line with the ears. The movement is then reversed to the starting position in a controlled manner.

The up-right row can also be performed used dumbbells, as well as on a cable system. Those who are conscious of their form during the exercise can ensure sound form by performing the exercise with a low cable pulley whilst laying flat on the floor. This variation forces the torso to remain stationary during the execution of the exercise, therefore ensuring maximum stress to the target muscle groups. The dumbbell variation of the upright row may be preferred by those who suffer from muscle imbalances.

The dumbbells result in unilateral training, with each side of the body working independently to life equal resistance, therefore stressing each muscle equally.

The width of the grip taken when performing the exercise will impact the stimulus to the various muscle groups. Those who are focused on stressing the shoulders and the trapezius will want to take a relatively narrow grip. Taking a wider grip, however, will result in much greater isolation of the middle deltoid head (the muscle head to the middle of the shoulder). The barbell will only be able to be brought up to chest height if a wider grip is taken, and the recruitment of the trapezius is therefore limited.

Those with injurious rotator cuffs may wish to avoid this exercise. The grip may also be uncomfortable for those with inflexible and injurious wrists, although this can be reduced somewhat by using an EZ bar, or a rope attachment on a low cable pulley.

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