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Barbell Upright Row

This Variation of the Upright Row, a Staple Shoulder Exercise, Targets your Trapezius and Deltoid Muscles using a Barbell

Welcome to our Barbell Upright Row Exercise Instruction Guide! 

On this page you'll learn how to do this shoulders exercise using the correct technique. Below you'll find pictures, exercise instructions, and tips on how to get the most out of this and other Shoulder Exercises so you can immediately add to your next Shoulder Workout Routine and other Weight Training Routines.

Have you seen our Best Shoulder Exercises page yet? See if this deltoid and trapezius exercise made the list!

Exercise Summary

Exercise Name:Barbell Upright Row
Main Muscle:Deltoid
Secondary Muscle(s):Traps
Exercise Type:Compound, Pull
Equipment Required:Barbell

Exercise Description and Instruction:

This shoulder exercise is a variation of the upright row movement, and targets your deltoid and trapezius muscles - or "traps" and "delts" using a barbell. 

The upright row can also be performed with dumbbells, on a smith machine, or on a cable pulley. Check out the following variations:

barbell upright row
barbell upright row

To Perform This Exercise:

  1. Grasp a barbell with an overhand (palms facing towards your body) grip slightly less than shoulder width apart. Your arms should be fully extended with the bar resting against your thighs. This will be your starting position.
  2. Next, while moving along a path close to your body, exhale and lift the bar to your collar bone. During this raise, concentrate on contracting from your shoulders and traps and allow your elbows to move up and out.
  3. Pause for a moment, then inhale and slowly lower the weight to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


  1. Keep your elbows higher than your forearms throughout the lift. This will keep the emphasis on your traps and deltoids.
  2. Remember to keep your back straight and your abs drawn in throughout each repetition. Your feet should remain firmly planted on the floor.

Now that you've seen the Barbell Upright Row, check out all of our different Shoulder Exercises. Or, check out some of our most popular shoulder exercises and other related pages below.


Most Popular Deltoid and Trapezius Exercises:

Check out some of our other popular Shoulder Exercises and Variations:


Final Related Pages

You've seen the Shoulder Exercises. Check out our Workout Routines!
Start at our Home Page.

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