T Nation

Vertical Rows - Serious Loss

I get stuck in a rut with my upright vertical rows. (from waist to chin, standing w/barbell) I make increases 1-2kg at a time and my progress is slow.

I hit 5-5 (2 sets, 5 reps each) the last two times. Today, I hit 3-1!!! Usually, my first rep, warm up or not, causes a pain (not drop the bar intense, but sometimes stop the row intense) along the underside of my forearm halfway up. I cannot isolate the muscle(s) suffice to say that they hurt close to the bone facing away from my body.

Lastly, I find that the only way I can get rows done, is to grip the bar so that it is not tucked up into my upper palm, rather more on the fingers - otherwise the pain can be too much.

What can I do? (Today the same pain was mimicked doing curls with the S-bar, enough to make me quit after the first set…
Thanks

[quote]fmc wrote:
I get stuck in a rut with my upright vertical rows. (from waist to chin, standing w/barbell) I make increases 1-2kg at a time and my progress is slow.

I hit 5-5 (2 sets, 5 reps each) the last two times. Today, I hit 3-1!!! Usually, my first rep, warm up or not, causes a pain (not drop the bar intense, but sometimes stop the row intense) along the underside of my forearm halfway up. I cannot isolate the muscle(s) suffice to say that they hurt close to the bone facing away from my body.

Lastly, I find that the only way I can get rows done, is to grip the bar so that it is not tucked up into my upper palm, rather more on the fingers - otherwise the pain can be too much.

What can I do? (Today the same pain was mimicked doing curls with the S-bar, enough to make me quit after the first set…
Thanks[/quote]

Sorry, I can’t address why you are having a strength plateau with the upright row. Maybe you need a periodized program or to take a break from shoulder work, as they get work from nearly every exercise.

I’ll also submit that I believe upright rows are a poor shoulder builder and can lead to injury. There are much safer, more effective ways to build great shoulders. For instance the barbell military press, dumbbell shoulder press, pulls to the next, lateral raise, and rev flyes just to name a few.

TS

search on shoulders or upright rows using the T-Search feature. I just read a good article about them–one of those roundtable articles. I can’t remember which expert it was, but if you do them right I don’t believe they’re all that dangerous.
Thumbs should be able to almost touch if extended out. Try an EZ Curl bar.

I experience that same pain when I do up-rows with a BB I switched to using the EZ curl bar and that really seemed to help.

I agree with TS that there are better lifts for the shoulders though.

[quote]TopSirloin wrote:
I’ll also submit that I believe upright rows are a poor shoulder builder and can lead to injury. There are much safer, more effective ways to build great shoulders. For instance the barbell military press, dumbbell shoulder press, pulls to the next, lateral raise, and rev flyes just to name a few.[/quote]

Affirmative. All they ever did for me was bother my shoulders and damage my wrists.

If it hurts, don’t do it.

I sometimes do slow, light vertical rows as when I go heavy it’s so easy to hurt myself that it’s not worth it.

These day’s I’m sticking with power cleans and shrugs for safety’s sake.