Proper form for upright rows

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    Proper form for upright rows


    Hey guys.

    So traditionally, I learnt the upright row as a trap and upper back builder, not as something that had ANYTHING to do with deltoids (let alone the front and lateral delts).

    So before I abandon the upright row as such, I was wondering if anyone had any good links to people doing an upright row with good form as a shoulder movement. I would ask for an explanation, but I've read them hundreds of times, and when I try to implement them I still go back to my old habits, and they come out feeling more like an upper back movement than a delt movement. I read the exrx description and saw the .gif, but no help there. But maybe, if you think you know what I'm not doing that I could do to actually bring out the delts' involvement in the movement, feel free to chime in.

    Thanks

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    IMO upright row is a good compound movement that stimulates a lot of upper body musculature and I wouldn't advise scrapping it because your not isolating your delts. There are other moves that will isolate your delts if you really want to bring them up. Until then my opinion would be to just take the upright row for what it is, a good compound lift. One tip that may help you feel it more in the delts is to use a wider than traditional grip (try a grip as wide as your chest) and make sure to bring your elbows up to shoulder level.
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    Taking the upright row beyond mid/lower chest level is results in RC tendon impingement. Sadly, many of the methods used to "increase" delt recruitment result in far more impingement and harm than good.

    Br
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    Thanks for the replies, guys. Re impingement, that's what I've heard about the upright row, too. And I am aware of the benefits of the movement since it's a compound lift, and in a way can be used dynamically. I was really curious why people said they used the upright on a shoulder day as a delt movement is all. Thanks
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    Grip width determines the emphasis. Wider grip hits medial delts more while a more narrow grip hits the traps more. Just for reference, a clean is a distant cousin of the upright row and you'll always see impressive delt and trap development on Olympic lifters.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torobestia View Post
    Thanks for the replies, guys. Re impingement, that's what I've heard about the upright row, too. And I am aware of the benefits of the movement since it's a compound lift, and in a way can be used dynamically. I was really curious why people said they used the upright on a shoulder day as a delt movement is all. Thanks
    Look into a clean high pull, or hang clean high pull if the goal is a dynamic movement to build power.

    These are used in the progression of teaching the power clean, and you'll see how an upright row relates to the clean.

    Br
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    I love high pulls. They're a great way to overload the traps/delts and to increase the power of the first portion of the clean.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys
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    Hey all. Looks like we missed something here. I thought I'd share a finding with you guys.

    As it turns out, you can do upright rows to isolate shoulders. It's done a little differently - you use a very wide grip (wider than shoulder width), and starting with your arms down you pull the bar (read: not fling it up) with your shoulders before the point where you squeeze your shoulders to get your traps to start pulling. At this point, your upper arms should be parallel to your shoulders and to the floor with your forearms dangling down at an angle. The range of motion is limited; the bar only goes up to about the bottom of you sternum, if that. You lean your body a little forward as if you're doing dumbbell lateral raises. In fact the movement is very much like a lateral raise, and the main muscle hit with this upright row variation is also the lateral delt. Looks very safe.

    Here's a vid of this: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/glasscut1.htm

    EDIT: WOOPS! Looks like swan (the first reply of the thread) actually said this, haha.
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    There's still trap involvement in it. Part of the action of the traps is to stabilize the shoulders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    There's still trap involvement in it. Part of the action of the traps is to stabilize the shoulders.
    Yeah, but here it's not a trap dominant movement like the other one.
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    Yes, but it was already mentioned in the thread.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys
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