Upright Rows Exercise Guide & Video

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Watch Upright Rows

For over 50 pre-designed workouts you can bring straight to the gym, view EMG’s Workout Routines.


Step 1. Grip an EZ bar with your hands about shoulder-width apart and your elbows facing outward. Hold the bar just below your waist.

Step 2. Pull the weight upward, keeping your back straight. Bend your elbows as you pull up.

Step 3. Stop the weight at collarbone height. Hold for a moment.

Step 4. Lower to the starting position, keeping your back straight.


Upright rows are a size and strength building exercise for the traps. This exercise most commonly performed with an EZ bar, but can be performed with a barbell. The EZ bar should be gripped just within shoulder-width. The curvature of the bar provides an ergonomic grip position that is either on the wrists and forearms. The grip position on a barbell is the same as with an EZ bar. It is important to get a full stretch when performing upright rows, regardless of the amount of weight being used. Normally, a shoulder-width foot position is used, but for those doing heavier weight or those with a back injury, a wider foot position can be used. This will not affect how the exercise works the traps but will provide the user with a sturdier base for balance.

Upright Row 4
Upright Row 3

Updated: March 30th, 2015