T Nation

Upright Rows?


What's the normal hand spacing on these? I did them for the first time two weeks ago, and am noticing some wrist pain, but have my hands wider than shoulder width. What's the norm/works best?


Upright Rows suck. Look up high pulls, much easier on the wrists and the explosiveness allows more weight to be used.


Does anybody else find upright rows murder on the shoulders?


I find hand spacing is secondary to posture in this movement. I usually take a grip width that is in-line with where the pec meets the deltoid. I have never had any trouble with this position before and have found it to be the most comfortable.
More importantly, you have to be standing tall, push your chest out and keep it there. If you have done hang cleans before the position is very similar to the first phase of the pull, before you drop under for the catch.
One more thing... pull the elbows high. As if you are pulling them to the ceiling. I cringe every time I see people externally rotate their shoulders whilst doing these. Remember...chest up, elbows high.


Ditto. ^^^^
I do it the same way. Upright Row is actually one of my favorite exercises..so bah to you sire.


Hate em. Every time I go heavy, I strain my shoulder somehow.

I avoid them, or stay very light. Ok, i just avoid them.


I hate them too. My shoulders can't handle the combination of internal rotation & abduction.

I much prefer the dumbbell version with a neutral grip.


I love them. If they hurt your shoulders I would look at external rotator ROM. If they hurt the wrists just switch to dumbbells.



Also grip strength can be an issue. With a weak grip there is more pressure taken by the wrist. 'Crush' the bar as much as you can. Also stretching the bar, as if you are trying to tear it apart, helps.


Eric Cressey mentioned as to why he does not ever incorporate these into his programs. I could tell you all the exact reasons right now (with every freaking detail you need), but I just had a grip workout and can barely type on the damn keyboard.


I dont see how this will help, as the finishing position for a high pull is more or less the same as that of an upright row anyway, with respect to wrist angle.

I agree with Gregatron (A fellow kiwi!) - keeping the elbows high will reduce the bend in the wrists and hence the stress exerted upoin the joint.

If all else fails, use an EZ curl bar.


Thanks, much appreciated.


No, which is odd, cause I've had past shoulder problems and noticed them hurting the other day from something as simple as hanging leg raises. Just the wrists with me.


What muscles to these hit. What are some good alternatives?


I never liked upright rows as they always hurt my wrists. I think there are better ways to train the same muscle groups.


Upright rows are the worst creation man ever introduced...right after Non-free porn and Dr. Phil.


Amen...and Oprah the magazine


Oprah anything!


Care to elaborate, and yes, I would like the technical details... lay it on me.


I used to find them painful in the shoulders and wrists but less so now that I have done more work to balance the shoulder muscles and internal and external rotators. However, I still limit its use. I find the EZ-curl bar (as mentioned above) helps and if I want to go heavy I widen my grip and will even resort to straps.

If you want to hit the same muscles without wrist strain try cable rowing with a triceps rope pulling to the neck. Vary the grip on the rope and the angle till you feel the same muscle groups at work. Grip and wrist exersizes and stretches would probably you help as well.