T Nation

upright rows

Need some advice. When I do upright rows, on the downward movement I get a real sharp pain between my shoulders. It is almost like an electric shock. 1-Should I stop using upright rows? 2-What can I subsitute them with?
Thanks for any help.
Jah Warrior

if it hurts, you shouldn’t be doing it.

High pulls work the same muscles.

I have the same problem … no matter what I do, upright rows send a sharp pain through my shoulders when I use any weight of consequence. So I stopped doing em and instead I do some rear delt raises w/ dumbbells and tons and tons of shoulder shrugs (using tons of weight). In fact once I focused just on shrugs, my traps grew at an increased rate over when I was trying to use upright rows as well. I have also on occasion used a seated cable row pulled high (ie. sternum level) and held it for a few seconds on each rep to help the ole traps out.

Upright Rows aren’t for everyone and if you’re getting pain like that from anything, you likely shouldn’t be doing them.

Personally, I can do them until I’m blue in the face, but not everyone can.

It may be worth persuing with a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist as long as they don’t just take the stance of ‘don’t do it if it hurts’. You can get that from anyone… me, for instance.

But it could be a sign of something that needs attention.

Upright Rows are one of the worst exercises that you can perform! They move the shoulders and the wrists in positions that are not natural, and should be avoided!

Instead I like Cleans or Deadlifts for Trap development.

[quote]ZEB wrote:
Upright Rows are one of the worst exercises that you can perform! They move the shoulders and the wrists in positions that are not natural, and should be avoided!

Instead I like Cleans or Deadlifts for Trap development.

[/quote]

I concur with ZEB, maybe to a lesser degree :slight_smile: If they hurt you, do something else. What muscle are you targetting with this exercise. If it’s traps, you can try some variation of power shrugs, high pulls etc

For delts, just focus on military press, DB press and raises.

G

NO PAIN NO GAIN. Just kidding, try doing deads with the bar starting right above the knee. Do these HEAVY and watch your trap development explode. Also the seated row to the neck using a rope always beat up my traps pretty well. Give it a shot. Also, I’m not sure if it’s the same pain but I used to get crazy pain in the spot you described, I believe there’s a Don Alesi article on scapular winging accompanied by a training program that helped me out considerably. Good luck

[quote]jahwarrior wrote:
Need some advice. When I do upright rows, on the downward movement I get a real sharp pain between my shoulders. It is almost like an electric shock. 1-Should I stop using upright rows? 2-What can I subsitute them with?
Thanks for any help.
Jah Warrior[/quote]

If you’re feeling an “electric shock” this could be a serious symptom of some sort of nerve pinching in your cervical spine. I’d stop the rows immediatly (like Zeb said theres better alternatives). You might want to keep in mind that there’s a problem with this area and see an ART specialist if this develops.

Good luck man hopefully it’s not a nerve issue.

Thanks for the suggestions guys.
Jah Warrior

Do you do them narrow like most bodybuilers? I would use a straight bar and go out shoulder width.

Have you ever tried them off the low pulley in the universal machine? I have pain with free weight upright rows, but pulling from the low pulley feels fine. Just a thought

I have a similar problem. Try using dumbells. It’ll let the weight move through a more “natural” range of motion and don’t let the wrists go above the elbows the top.

Lee