Barbell upright row

The barbell upright row is a barbell exercise that builds stronger and bigger traps. Many lifters combine this move with either their back or shoulder workout since it involves both body parts.


  1. Builds the traps and rear and medial deltoids
  2. Can adjust grip width for comfort and to avoid shoulder pain
  3. Can help improve cleans and snatches

Barbell upright row Images


Barbell upright row Instructions

Barbell upright row muscle diagram
  1. Grasp a barbell with an overhand grip that is slightly less than shoulder width. The bar should be resting on the top of your thighs with your arms extended and a slight bend in your elbows. Your back should also be straight. This will be your starting position.
  2. Now exhale and use the sides of your shoulders to lift the bar, raising your elbows up and to the side. Keep the bar close to your body as you raise it. Continue to lift the bar until it nearly touches your chin. Tip: Your elbows should drive the motion, and should always be higher than your forearms. Remember to keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement.
  3. Lower the bar back down slowly to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations: This exercise can also be performed using a straight bar attached to a low pulley and it can also be performed using dumbbells, though this later exercise should be reserved by people that are well familiarized with correct execution.