Upright rows are a classic exercise for building strength and adding definition in your shoulders and upper back muscles.
The row is a compound exercise that uses multiple muscle groups at the same time. The concept behind these types of exercises is that by working different muscles simultaneously, you will burn more calories than you would by working just one muscle...like a bicep curl.
Besides having a sexier looking upper body, the added strength from this routine can be helpful for other physical activities.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and a pair of dumbbells resting near the top of your thighs. Your arms should have a very slight bend and your back should be straight.
Raise the dumbbells up to your chest area (as pictured) by leading with your elbows, keep the dumbbells close to your body and make sure your elbows are always higher up than your hands and forearms.
With the frame of your body stationary, pause at the top of the exercises for a count and then return to your starting position. Try not to let the dumbbells drop too fast, it will diminish the effectiveness of the exercise.
Kim Demonstrating the Upright Row
Try not to lean back as you raise the dumbbells, this will put added strain on your back.
Do not raise the dumbbells higher than your chest. A common thought is that the higher you go the better. That is not true, going higher will put too much strain on your shoulders.
Note: This exercise can put a lot of stress on the shoulders. If you have any shoulder issues you should look at other exercises to work your upper body.
Doing rows with dumbbells will give you more freedom of movement. This is useful because the dumbbells will put less stress on your shoulder joints, and will allow you to exercise more of the smaller muscle groups.
Strengthening the muscles throughout the shoulder area will help you to keep improved posture for aesthetic appeal and to alleviate the constant back pain that too many of us go through.
Upper body exercises depend on a strong core to provide good balance so that you keep proper form when doing an exercise. The core muscles will continue to add strength when you are doing these types of standing exercises.
I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.