The upright row is a weight training exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the upper back. The exercise has many benefits, but it has the most effect on one’s traps. It is a great exercise for those who are looking to increase their strength, size, or definition in their upper back.
The upright row is performed by grasping a barbell at arm’s length with an overhand grip and pulling upward until the trunk is nearly vertical. The elbows should be close to (but not touching) the torso or belt, and the shoulders should be stretched downward and backward during the movement.
In this article, I will go through a list of muscles that are worked when performing an upright row and describe what each muscle does in the body. Of course, this is not all of them and there are a few that are not listed but these are the ones that you should be most familiar with for now.
Upright Row Muscles Used
The upright row is a compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups at the same time. It is one of the best exercises to workout your traps, core and shoulder muscles as well as some back muscles.
The main muscles that are worked during the upright row are: deltoids, lats, latissimus dorsi (the lat), traps, biceps and brachialis.
Here are the muscles worked during an Upright Row
Deltoids are the shoulder muscles. They work to rotate your arms and raise them above your head. During the upright row, these muscles work to raise the arms so that you can pull the weights upward.
The lat is a broad, thick muscle that covers most of your torso and connects in the shoulders and lower back. It is one of the largest muscles in the body. It plays an important role in shoulder extension, adduction, and also aids in hip extension. During and upright row , the lat works to raise your arms up so that you may lift the weights.
Both trapezius muscles—the upper traps and lower traps—contribute to shoulder adduction (pulling your shoulders together) as well as scapular retraction (pulling your shoulders back). Trap muscles are very important for body posture and stability. They help to support your shoulder joints, head, and neck. During an upright row , these muscles work to control the positions of your arms and shoulder joint.
Biceps contribute to elbow flexion (bringing your arms down) and shoulder flexion (bringing your arm across your body). During an upright row, they work to flex the elbows so that you can pull the weights upward.
The brachialis is a small muscle located on the lateral side of your upper arm. It helps rotate your forearm in order to pull the bar down. During an upright row, it works to flex the elbow so that you can pull the weights upward.
Wrapping It Up
Upright rows have been commonly used in weight training for hundreds of years due to their benefit in strengthening the back. This exercise is a great way to add muscle size to your shoulders and upper back, and isn’t too difficult to learn how to do effectively.
Adding the upright row to your workout routine has many benefits. You will feel the strength of your traps which are very important for building muscle and definition. The upright row is also a great way to increase the range of motion in your shoulders and back and develop a stable shoulder joint.
If you do not already perform the upright row, start with learning the technique and once you master this exercise, move on to learn the different variations that help you achieve a stronger and leaner upper back.