Cable Upright Row

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

Cable Upright Row Instructions

  • Set the pulley to the lowest notch.
  • Be facing the cable machine and assume a strong lifting position:
    • Core and glutes activated
    • Chest up and shoulders back
    • Knees slightly bent
    • Eyes fixed ahead.
  • With an overhand grip, grab the attachment just inside shoulder-width.
  • Rest the attachment on the upper part of your thighs with arms relaxed and elbows slightly flexed.
  • Vertically pull the attachment by focusing on activating your delts.
    • Your arms are a lever for your delts. Don't use momentum or other musculature to complete the exercise.
    • Don't shrug your shoulders, keep your strong posture. 
  • Raise the weight to your collarbone. 
  • Lower the weight to the starting stance.
  • Don't drop the weight from the top, control the descent.
    • You want tension on the cable at all times.


  • Ignore the notion of bringing the attachment 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 attachment vertically, this can place your shoulder in a compromised position, potentially leading to injury down the road.
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