Barbell Upright Row

Barbell Upright Row

The Barbell Upright Row is a classic compound exercise that primarily targets the muscles of the upper back and shoulders. It is a fantastic choice for those looking to build strength and add definition to their deltoids and trapezius muscles. Performing the Upright Row with a barbell adds an extra challenge, as it requires stability and coordination to execute the movement effectively. During the Barbell Upright Row, you stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell in front of you with an overhand grip. From there, you lift the barbell by smoothly pulling it up towards your chin, elbows pointing outwards. The key to this exercise is to control the movement and ensure your shoulders stay engaged throughout, avoiding excessive swinging or shrugging. By incorporating the Barbell Upright Row into your workout routine, you can strengthen the muscles responsible for proper posture and upper body stability. This exercise helps to improve shoulder mobility, which is essential for everyday movements like reaching overhead or pulling objects towards your body. Additionally, a well-developed upper back and shoulder muscles can help prevent injuries and improve overall athletic performance in activities such as swimming, tennis, or weightlifting. Remember to start with a weight that challenges you but allows you to maintain proper form. Keep your movements slow, steady, and controlled, focusing on squeezing the targeted muscles throughout the exercise. Adding the Barbell Upright Row to your workout routine is an excellent way to enhance upper body strength and sculpt a well-rounded physique.


  • Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold a barbell in front of your thighs with an overhand grip, approximately shoulder-width apart.
  • While keeping your core engaged and maintaining a slight bend in your knees, exhale and lift the barbell towards your chin, leading with your elbows.
  • Keep your elbows higher than your forearms and ensure that the barbell remains close to your body throughout the movement.
  • Pause for a moment at the top of the movement, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Inhale and slowly lower the barbell back down to the starting position, fully extending your arms.
  • Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips & Tricks

  • Focus on proper form and technique to avoid injury and optimize muscle engagement.
  • Engage your core throughout the movement to maintain stability and support your back.
  • Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the load as you become more comfortable with the exercise.
  • Control the movement by keeping a slow and controlled tempo, avoiding swinging or using momentum.
  • Maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise, avoiding excessive rounding or arching.
  • Ensure that your wrists are aligned with your forearms to minimize strain and potential discomfort.
  • Perform the exercise in front of a mirror or have a spotter to help maintain proper form and alignment.
  • Incorporate a variety of shoulder exercises into your routine to target all aspects of the shoulder muscles.
  • Include exercises that improve posture and strengthen the upper back to enhance the overall effectiveness of the upright rows.
  • Listen to your body and avoid pushing through pain or discomfort. If necessary, consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider.


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