Barbell Upright Rows
Best Trapezius Exercises

Barbell Upright Rows are a good trapezius exercise and also a shoulder exercise.

Many bodybuilders love the upright row, but some physical therapists hate it. Bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts love the deep muscle burn in the shoulders and traps and the resultant muscle development from this exercise.

But some therapists put it lower on their list of shoulder exercises because of the compressive nature of the exercise.

Pressure on the Shoulder and Rotator Cuff

Good posture is important for the health of all of our joints. When your posture is exaggerated in any direction, more pressure is placed on the joints, ligaments, and muscles. When the shoulders are turned in, there is more pressure on the shoulder joint and the rotator cuff tendons.

During the upright barbell row, the shoulder is placed in a relatively compressed position, so some people may feel shoulder pain with this exercise.

Catch 22 about every Exercise

There is a catch 22 with every exercise. In order to strengthen your body in certain positions you must do certain exercises, but every exercise puts pressure on the area that you are strengthening. Take the knee for example, every exercise that strengthens the knee also puts pressure on the knee.

So in regards to the upright row, you'll have to use discretion or seek the counsel of a licensed health professional or certified personal trainer.

If you feel pain during or after this exercise, discontinue it and seek help. If you feel good during and after, and you like this exercise keep it in your routine.

Here are the pictures below.

Upright Barbell Row

Starting Position: Begin my grabbing the barbell with your palms facing your body. Place your hands fairly close together-- closer than shoulder width.

Form: Exhale and raise your elbows and shoulders up to about 90 degrees. Hold just for a brief second and then slowly lower to the starting position.

best trapezius exercisesbest trapezius exercises

Personal Trainer Tips: Move in a controlled manner, so that momentum does not take over. If you are trying this exercise for the first time, choose a light weight and progress slowly.

This exercise works the trapezius and the deltoids. You can work the same muscles with barbell shrugs and lateral raises with dumbbells.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT

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