By Paige Waehner, About.com Guide
Updated September 16, 2009
About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board
The upright row is a compound movement targeting the shoulders, the upper back and also involving the biceps. You can do this move with dumbbells (as shown), which will work each arm independently, or with a barbell which may allow you to handle more weight. You can also change your hand position to target the muscles differently - if your hands are closer together, you'll focus more on the upper back. If your hands are further apart, you'll focus more on the shoulders. If you have any shoulder problems, you may want to avoid this exercise or use a shorter range of motion.
- Stand holding a barbell (or dumbbells), hands close together and palms facing you.
- Bend the elbows and pull the weights up until they're at about chest level or higher, if you have the flexibility.
- Your elbows should be slightly above the shoulders and the wrists straight.
- Try not to shrug as you pull the weights up.
- Lower the weight and repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 12-16 repetitions, with a 20-30 second rest between sets.