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Barbell upright row

This is an excerpt from Strength Training, Second Edition edited by National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and Lee Brown.

Medial deltoid, upper trapezius

Starting Position

  1. Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart, maintaining upright posture with the knees slightly bent.
  2. Grip the bar with the hands approximately shoulder-width apart or slightly wider and the palms facing the thighs.


  1. Initiate the movement by bending at the elbows while simultaneously shrugging the shoulders. Raise the hands to shoulder level.
  2. Keep the barbell close to the body and the elbows pointed outward.
  3. Do not jerk the body or use momentum to swing the barbell upward.
  4. Briefly pause with the hands fully raised while squeezing the shoulders. Begin the descent to the starting position. (At the highest position, the elbows should be level with or slightly higher than the shoulders and wrists.)
  5. Lower the shoulders while simultaneously extending at the elbows to return to the starting position before beginning the next repetition.



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