Barbell Upright Row

Learn how to perform a barbell upright row perfectly with instructions and video by SHOCK Fitness Trainer, Ashley Steele.

How to Barbell Upright Row

Primary Muscles: Upper Body,  Shoulders

Equipment: Barbell

Trainer: Ashley Steele


  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a barbell firmly with both hands. Position your hands on the barbell so that they shoulder-width, the palm of your hand should be wrapped around the bar, facing your hips.

  2. Keeping the shoulder blades back and chest up, raise the bar vertically by lifting your elbows to the ceiling. Pause briefly when your elbows reach shoulder-height.

  3. Slowly lower the barbell to the starting position, and repeat the movement for the specified amount of time or repetitions. Be sure to keep your shoulder blades pulled together and chest up.

  4. You should feel this exercise challenging your shoulders and upper back.

  5. If upright rows cause shoulder discomfort, consider replacing this exercise with a shoulder press, shoulder shrugs, side raises, front raises, or band rotation.

Alternative Exercises:

Dumbbell Upright Row  Side Raise

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