dumbbell upright row

Dumbbell Upright Row

dumbbell upright rowThe dumbbell upright row is a very effective and even functional exercise. Upright row exercises tend to have a risk of shoulder injury (impingement), but I teach a variation that helps. See below.


Strengthens and develops the upper body pulling muscles, especially the back of the shoulder and the trapezoids. Because it’s done standing and with free weights, it uses a lot of muscle including the core. Also helps balance.


Body Parts Used

Main focus is on the deltoid (shoulder) muscles, primarily on the front deltoid.

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  • Stand with knees slightly bent for cushion of the spine.
  • With palms facing you, hold dumbbells down if front of you just inside shoulder width.
  • inhale as you raise the weights up toward shoulder height, gradually allowing them to move apart to about shoulder width.
  • Inhale as you return to the starting position.
  • Discontinue if there is any discomfort in your shoulder joint.

Similar Exercises


  • Dumbbell shoulder press


Note: One exercise alone is not sufficient for any goal. All exercises should be part of a comprehensive exercise program. Also, see my list of exercises for more.

Mike Caton