Barbell Upright Row

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Shoulders
Secondary Muscle(s) Traps
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Pull

Barbell Upright Row Instructions

  • Assume a strong lifting position: core and glutes activated, shoulders braced, chest up, knees slightly bent and eyes fixed ahead.
  • With an overhand grip, grab the barbell just inside shoulder-width. Rest the bar on the upper part of your thighs with arms lengthened and elbows slightly flexed.
  • Raise the bar by focusing on activating your delts. The bar should remain close to your body at all times and finish around your collarbone.
  • Lower the weight back down to starting stance.


  • Ignore the notion of bringing the barbell past your collarbone. 
  • Focus on keeping the tension on your delts throughout the range-of-motion.
  • Maintain a strong posture, not letting your shoulders slump forward. If your shoulders slump forward and you are trying to raise the barbell vertically, this can place your shoulder in a compromised position, potentially leading to injury down the road.
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