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Upright Rows

May 16, 2023 | Joel Runyon

Upright Rows are an excellent movement that strengthens the front and middle heads of the deltoid muscles (your shoulders), as well as your upper back. You’ll find the Upright Row a challenge to your core and posture as well.

How to do Upright Rows

Start with two dumbbells held out at the front of your thighs with your palms facing in towards your body. Your torso, neck, and head should be upright and your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.

Brace your core, and in a controlled movement, raise the two weights up to your chest while flaring your elbows outwards. Keep the dumbbells as close to your front section as possible.

Stop the motion when your hands and elbows are all parallel with your shoulders- do not raise them higher than this. Exhale to finish the motion.

Pause for a moment, and then lower the weights back down along the same path until your arms are extended and your hands are back in front of your legs. This counts as one rep.

Tips for Upright Rows

Again, do not bring the weights higher than your collarbone. This can lead to injury in the tendons of your shoulders. Do not swing or jerk the dumbbells upwards either. If you find your arms doing this, lower the weight until the exercise can be performed in a 100% controlled manner.

Upright Rows Video Demonstration


Joel Runyon

Joel Runyon