Is the upright row bad for you?
An upright row is a form of exercise that mainly targets the shoulder and elbow. It is one of the best muscle builders for the elbow and shoulders. However, it may present with shoulder pain and wrist problems when this exercise is included in the training routine.
You must ensure caution while performing upright row because there is a high risk of injury. The problem with the exercise lies in the position of your arms and posture. The arms must be in a particular position (internal rotation) to perform the movement. Some of the issues associated with upright row include
- Shoulder pain and injury (shoulder impingement)
- Causes injury to wrists
What is an upright row?
The upright row is a popular exercise amongst athletes and bodybuilders. It is a multi-joint exercise with movements targeting the shoulder and elbow joints. The best thing about an upright row is that you can complete it anywhere you wish. You need a barbell or dumbbell to perform this exercise.
To get started
- Stand with your feet parallel to your shoulders. This means the distance between your legs must be wide enough.
- Tuck in your tummy and arch your back.
- Grab the barbell and allow it to hang in front of you with your arms straight. Your grip should be shoulder-width apart for wrist and shoulder safety. Also, ensure that your palm is facing your body.
- Breathe in and look ahead.
- Slowly, lift the barbell, leading with the elbows and keeping the weight close to your body as you lift. Breathe out during the lifts.
- Ensure your elbows don’t go above your shoulder level and the barbell is at chest level. Keep your torso erect throughout the movement.
- Pause at the top, then return to start.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
What are the most common mistakes while you perform upright row?
There are several errors committed that might increase the risk of injury, which include
- Lifting elbows too high: While lifting, make sure to keep your elbows above the level of your forearms. Avoid rising higher than parallel to the ground can cause shoulder injury.
- Lifting too heavy weights: Do not lift heavier weights unless you are experienced and have sufficient shoulder joint strength.
- Keeping the wrong posture: It is vital to keep your torso steady throughout the lift. Also, ensure to keep your back straight, with chest up and eyes focused ahead.
- Wrong wrist position: This exercise can strain the wrists, so be sure to use only a wide grip (shoulder-width).
What are the alternative workouts for an upright row?
There are some alternative exercises that target the same muscle groups as an upright row.
- Dumbbell shoulder press: It is the most trending exercise for building muscle and strength in the shoulders. Unlike upright row, these exercises are shoulder friendly because they use dumbbells. Moreover, it also allows natural wrist and arm rotation.
- Standing military press: It is a complete shoulder building exercise and primarily aims to build the deltoid muscle. These exercises encourage healthy shoulder mobility.
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The American Council on Exercise