For a long, long time, the upright row was the darling of bodybuilders looking to build serious mass onto the traps. For years, bodybuilder after bodybuilder would be hitting the exercise hard and heavy, and boy, did it work – and boy, did they look great…
Then the pain started. And in many cases, never went away.
The problem with upright rows – performed in the traditional way – is that they eventually became known for the huge amount of damage they did to the delicate rotator cuff in the shoulder. The awkward angle the weight was being lifted at, along with the great amount of weight the eager trap-builders were using eventually damaged them permanently – and has put an end to, or severely hampered, many a trainee’s aspirations.
Now, to those in the know, upright rows are a no-no, and tarred forever.
But, to those in the know even more, there is another way to do them without causing damage to the rotator cuff. It’s not going to be as effective for the traps because the bar isn’t lifted so high, but its one heck of an exercise for building the lateral deltoids.
As you may already know, the deltoids (shoulder muscles) are made up of 3 heads: the anterior (front), medial / lateral (side), and posterior (rear). Superior lateral deltoid development is what gives you impressive shoulder width.
The new upright row method is simple: use a wider grip (wider than shoulder), lean forward slightly at the hip, and, pull the bar up to the chest, around the nipple area, and slowly lower.