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Upright Row

This is an excerpt from Exercise Technique Manual for Resistance Training 3rd Edition eBook With Online Video by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association.

Starting Position

  • Grasp the bar evenly with a closed and pronated grip, approximately shoulder-width or slightly wider apart.
  • Follow the preparatory body position and lifting guidelines to lift the bar off the floor to a position at the front of the thighs.
  • Place the feet shoulder- or hip-width apart with the knees slightly flexed, torso erect, shoulders held back, and eyes focused ahead.
  • Allow the bar to hang at full elbow extension. All repetitions begin from this position.


Upward Movement

  • Begin the exercise by pulling the bar up along the abdomen and chest by abducting the shoulders and flexing the elbows.
  • Keep the elbows pointed out to the sides as the bar brushes against the body; do not curl the bar upward.
  • Maintain the same stationary body position; do not shrug the shoulders, swing the body (i.e., hyperextend the spine), hyperextend the neck, extend the knees, or rise up on the toes to help raise the bar upward.
  • Continue pulling the bar up until it reaches the area between the bottom of the sternum and the chin (depending on arm length and shoulder flexibility). At the highest bar position, the elbows should be level with or slightly higher than the shoulders and wrists.


Downward Movement

  • Lower the bar slowly and under control to the starting position; do not flex the torso forward, bounce the bar on the thighs at the bottom position, or allow the body's weight to shift toward the toes.
  • Maintain the same stationary body position with the feet flat on the floor.
  • The elbows should be fully extended at the end of the downward movement.
  • At the completion of the set, slowly flex the hips and knees at the same rate (to keep an erect torso position) to squat down and return the bar to the floor in a controlled manner.


Starting position
Starting position


Upward and downward movements
Upward and downward movements

Learn more about Exercise Technique Manual for Resistance Training-3rd Edition With Online Video.