Barbell Upright Rows

barbell-upright-rows-2 Info

Barbell Upright Rows

This Variation of the Upright Row, a Staple Shoulder Exercise, Targets your Trapezius and Deltoid Shoulder Muscles using a Barbell

Welcome to our Barbell Upright Rows Exercise Instruction Guide!

On this page you’ll learn how to do this variation of the Upright Row using the correct technique. Below you’ll find pictures, exercise instructions, and tips on how to get the most out of this and other Shoulder Exercises so you can immediately add to your next Shoulder Workout Routine and other Weight Training Programs.

Have you seen our Best Shoulder Exercises page yet? See if this version of the Upright Row made the list!

Exercise Summary

Exercise Name: Barbell Upright Rows
Main Muscle: Deltoid
Secondary Muscle(s): Trapezius
Exercise Type: Compound, Pull
Equipment Required: Barbell

Exercise Description and Instruction:

This shoulder exercise is an Upright Row variation, and targets your deltoid and trapezius shoulder muscles using a barbell.

The Upright Row can also be performed with dumbbells, on a smith machine, or on a cable pulley. Check out the following variations:

  • One Arm Upright Row
  • Dumbbell Upright Row
  • Cable Upright Row
  • Smith Machine Upright Row


To Perform This Exercise:

  1. Grasp a barbell with an overhand (palms facing towards your body) grip slightly less than shoulder width apart. Your arms should be fully extended with the bar resting against your thighs. This will be your starting position.
  2. Next, while moving along a path close to your body, exhale and lift the bar to your collar bone. During this raise, concentrate on contracting from your shoulders and traps and allow your elbows to move up and out.
  3. Pause for a moment, then inhale and slowly lower the weight to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


  1. Keep your elbows higher than your forearms throughout the lift. This will keep the emphasis on your traps and deltoids.
  2. Remember to keep your back straight and your abs drawn in throughout each repetition. Your feet should remain firmly planted on the floor.

Now that you’ve seen Barbell Upright Rows, which primarily target your shoulder muscles, check out all of our different Shoulder Exercises.

There are a few basic movements that comprise most Shoulder Exercises. Barbell Upright Rows are a variation of one of these movements, the Upright Row. View the pages below for links to all our variations of the other popular shoulder exercise movements.

  • Upright Row
  • Lateral Raises
  • Military Press
    • Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Most Popular)
  • Front Raise
  • Best Shoulder Exercises
  • Shoulder Workout Routine List
  • Weight Training Exercises Main Page
  • Barbell Exercises
  • Compound Exercises
  • Muscle Building Workouts and Strength Training Exercises
  • Fat Loss Workouts and Fat Burning Exercises

  • You’ve seen the Shoulder Exercises. Check out our Workout Routines!
    Start at our Home Page.

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