Dumbbell Upright Row

Dumbbell Upright Row

The dumbbell upright row is a popular resistance training exercise that targets the muscles in the shoulders, particularly the deltoids. It is typically performed using a pair of dumbbells, but it can also be done with a barbell or other forms of resistance. This exercise is great for developing strong, defined shoulders and improving overall upper body strength. To perform the dumbbell upright row, you stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your palms facing your body. Keeping your back straight and core stable, you raise the dumbbells vertically towards your chin, leading with your elbows. Throughout the movement, it's important to keep your elbows higher than your forearms, focusing on contracting your shoulder muscles. The dumbbell upright row primarily targets the lateral deltoids, which are responsible for shoulder abduction. Additionally, this exercise also engages the trapezius muscles, biceps, and forearms as secondary muscles. As with any resistance training exercise, it's crucial to use proper form and start with lighter weights before progressing to heavier loads to avoid injury and maximize results. When incorporating the dumbbell upright row into your workout routine, it's recommended to perform 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions, with proper rest intervals in between sets. It can be done as part of a shoulder-focused workout or as a compound exercise in a full body or upper body workout routine. Don't forget to warm up adequately before starting your workout and cool down afterward to prevent injuries and aid in recovery. Remember, if you experience any discomfort or pain during the exercise, it's essential to listen to your body and make adjustments as needed.


  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip.
  • Let your arms hang straight down in front of your thighs, palms facing your body.
  • Keeping your back straight and core engaged, exhale and lift the dumbbells straight up towards your chin.
  • Lead with your elbows and keep them higher than your forearms throughout the movement.
  • Pause at the top of the movement, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and hold for a second.
  • Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position, fully extending your arms.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips & Tricks

  • Keep your back straight and core engaged throughout the exercise.
  • Start with lighter weights and gradually increase as you become more comfortable and confident.
  • Focus on pulling upwards with your shoulders, not your hands or arms.
  • Avoid using momentum, and instead, control the movement with slow and controlled repetitions.
  • Keep your wrists straight and avoid excessive bending or twisting.
  • Ensure proper breathing by exhaling as you lift the dumbbells and inhaling as you lower them.
  • Do not shrug your shoulders at the top of the movement; instead, maintain a relaxed and neutral position.
  • If using a barbell, make sure your grip is slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Always warm up your shoulders and upper body before performing the exercise to prevent injury.
  • Consult with a fitness professional to ensure you are using proper form and technique.


Turn Sweat into Strength and Success

Achieve more with Fitwill: explore over 5000 exercises with images and videos, access built-in and custom workouts, perfect for both gym and home sessions, and see real results.

Start your journey. Download today!

Fitwill: App Screenshot
Fitwill stands in solidarity with Ukraine