Smith Upright Row

Smith Upright Row

The Smith Upright Row is an effective compound exercise that primarily targets the muscles in the upper body, particularly the shoulders, traps, and biceps. This exercise is traditionally performed using a Smith machine, which provides stability and controlled movement. The Smith Upright Row is a great choice for individuals looking to build strength and muscle in the upper body. When properly executed, the Smith Upright Row can help improve shoulder stability and enhance overall posture. It involves grasping the barbell with an overhand grip, hands slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart. The starting position begins with the barbell resting on the thighs, knees slightly bent, and core engaged. From here, the movement involves lifting the barbell straight upward, leading with the elbows until it reaches just below the chin. The movement is then reversed to return to the starting position. It's important to note that proper form and technique are key to maximizing the benefits and minimizing the risk of injury during the Smith Upright Row. It's advisable to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the load as you become more comfortable with the movement. As with any exercise, listening to your body and avoiding any pain or discomfort is crucial. Incorporating the Smith Upright Row into your workout routine can help strengthen your upper body, improve posture, and enhance overall shoulder and arm aesthetics. Remember to consult with a fitness professional or trainer to ensure you're executing this exercise correctly and to tailor it to your individual goals and fitness level.


  • Stand in front of a Smith machine with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Start with the barbell resting on your thighs, arms fully extended.
  • Engage your core and maintain a straight back throughout the exercise.
  • Exhale and lift the barbell straight up by raising your elbows, keeping it close to your body.
  • Continue the movement until the barbell reaches your chest or slightly below it.
  • Hold the contracted position for a brief pause, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Inhale and slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips & Tricks

  • Focus on maintaining proper form throughout the exercise to avoid straining your shoulders.
  • Incorporate a variety of grip widths to target different areas of your shoulders.
  • Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the intensity as you become more comfortable with the exercise.
  • Engage your core muscles to stabilize your body and prevent excessive swaying or leaning.
  • Do not use your legs or hips to generate momentum; rely solely on your shoulders to perform the movement.
  • Avoid lifting the weights too high, as this can put unnecessary stress on your shoulder joints.
  • Perform the exercise in a controlled and deliberate manner to maximize muscle activation.
  • Consider incorporating other shoulder exercises into your routine to ensure overall shoulder development.
  • Consult with a fitness professional to ensure you are performing the exercise correctly and safely.
  • Ensure you warm up your shoulders with dynamic stretches before performing the Smith Upright Row.


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