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Trapezius Exercises - Barbell Upright Rows


Exercise Name: Barbell Upright Rows

Purpose: Develop and strengthen the trapezius and shoulder muscles. 

Target Muscle Group(s): The primary muscle group being targeted are the:

1. Trapezius (upper, middle and lower trapezius), and
2. Shoulders (front, side and rear deltoids).

Secondary muscles targeted are:

1. Biceps (biceps brachii, and brachialis),
2. Part of the forearm (brachioradialis),
3. Lower back (aponeurosis insertion of latissimus dorsi - the thoracolumbar fascia section),
4. Abs (rectus abdominis and external obliques), and
5. Buttocks (gluteus maximus).

barbell upright rows

Instructions: Proper Barbell Upright Row Technique:

1. Grip the barbell closer than shoulder width. Use an overhand grip.
2. Stand with your feet hip to shoulder width apart.
3. Look straight ahead and keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
4. Raise the barbell up along the front of the body to the chin. Make sure your elbows are always above the bar throughout the movement.
5. Lower the weight back down the same path back to the starting position.
6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Additional Comments And Tips:

1. Exhale as you pull the barbell up towards your chin, and inhale on the way down.
2. This is a bit of a tricky exercise. The main thing to remember is to keep your elbows up and back straight at all times.
3. Don't go to heavy in this exercise, keep the weights light and your form strict.
4. The upright row is a great compound exercise. Many people are a bit surprised to learn of all the muscles worked in the barbell upright row.

Also Known As: Upright Rows, Standing Upright Rows, Shoulder Upright Rows.
Exercise Type: Bodybuilding, Strength Training, Sports Training
Force: Pull
Exercise Level: Intermediate
Mechanics Type: Compound Exercise

Upright Row Variations:

1. Use dumbbells instead of the barbell. 
2. Use a low pulley cable instead of the bar.
3. Perform this exercise on the Smith Machine.

Safety Precautions:

1. To prevent back, shoulder and neck injuries do NOT rock your back, swing the weight or use momentum. As mentioned earlier, it very important that you use light weights and strict form.
2. This exercise is not recommended for those with wrist problems.

Alternatives/Substitutions: List of Trapezius Exercises


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