How To Do Ez Bar Upright Row Properly

The EZ bar upright row is an extremely effective compound exercise known for its building capabilities.

It involves the use of an EZ bar to bulk up the shoulders and back. However, its an extremely sensitive exercise and thus requires perfect form to avoid injuries.

It’s a high impact exercise mostly done by experienced fitness buffs as it requires elite fitness levels.


  • Grasp an EZ-bar with an overhand grip. Hands should be placed on the first grip position so that they are only a few inches apart.
  • While keeping the bar close to your body, raise the bar straight up until it almost touches your chin and your elbows are flared out to the sides.
  • Slowly lower the weight back down the starting position
  • This completes one rep.



The traps are the largest back muscles extending from the upper to mid back. Working the traps increases upper back strength and concurrently stabilises the shoulder.

The EZ bar upright row’s movements engage the trap by raising the bar to chest level. Raising the bar to chest level isolates the traps forcing it to carry the distributed weight.

Therefore, the more reps you do, the stronger the traps get because they are forced to adapt to handling the bar’s weight.


The EZ bar upright row is a pull exercise. As such, it is an exercise that strengthens the shoulder.

This is primarily because the shoulder is heavily utilised to pull the bar from a low point upwards.

As a result it acts against gravity, which requires additional effort. However the more you do the exercise the easier it should get to lift said bar.

This is as a result of adaptation and increase in strength in the shoulder region which results in bulkier stronger shoulders.


Although the pectorals aren’t the main target muscle they in fact do play an important role in lifting the EZ bar.

As mentioned above, doing the EZ bar upright row involves lifting the EZ bar to chest level. When you do this you largely depend on the traps to handle the weight.

However in such instances, the trap works together with a number of muscles including the pectorals.

The pectorals largely are engaged in a balancing role as they help you keep the EZ bar midair in such an awkward position.

In order to balance these weights, the pectorals are forced to hold some of the distributed weight.

As a result, these series of movements engage and strengthen the pectorals.



The EZ bar upright row is an exercise that deals in detail and coordination. As such, it conditions a number of areas that are crucial in conducting day-to-day physical activities.

Some of these areas include the deltoids, trap muscles, rhomboids and the biceps.  By forcing them to carry immense amounts of weight against gravity, you end up improving muscle coordination and increasing the muscles strength.

This therefore makes daily tasks such as lifting heavy objects or similar movements easier.


The EZ bar upright row is an exercise that involves a lot of coordination in order for certain movements to be successful.

Continuously encouraging these muscles to work together especially in a pressure environment fast tracks better muscle coordination.

Muscle coordination is important especially if you engage in athletic activities. This is because often, your muscles are forced to work together in pressure situations.

Therefore the better your coordination is, the more effective you’re likely to be in athletic activities i.e., thrusting or throwing.


  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the barbell just in front of your shins.
  • Your grip placement should fall about a hand’s width outside of each leg.
  • Keeping your glutes and abs engaged, pull the bar upwards in one controlled movement, keeping it close to your body.
  • As the bar rises, shrug your shoulders to pull the bar as high as possible. Slowly lower back to the start position.


  • Place your left foot onto the middle of a resistance band. Step forward with the right. Tighten your abdominals and straighten your back.
  • Maintaining a slight bend in the elbows at all times, slowly raise your arms up from the sides of your body.
  • Once your arms reach parallel with the floor, pause, allow yourself to feel the strain, and slowly lower the band back down.


  • Stand in front of a cable station with a rope attached to the high pulley
  • Grab the rope so that your palms are facing inward toward each other and your thumbs are in line with your chin.
  • Take a few steps back so that your arms are straight out in front of you and you feel tension in your arms.
  • Next, begin exercise by flaring elbows out and bending your arms while pulling the rope back toward your eyes with each hand on either side of your head.
  • The ending position should look like you are flexing your biceps with your knuckles facing your ears. Reverse movement and repeat as necessary.


  • Stand in front of a barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab the bar and ensure your hands are set far wider than shoulder-width.
  • Lower your hips until your shins touch the bar
  • Now, explosively stand up and deadlift the bar to your hip with as much force as possible, and do not kill that momentum once the bar hits your hips.
  • As the bar ascends your torso, quickly jump your feet inward an inch or two and drop into a squat position.
  • As you drop into a squat, you want to extend your arms fully overhead
  • Stabilise the load overhead. Once your elbows are locked out, and you feel balanced, stand up.



While raising the EZ bar it is prudent that you keep your back straight. The high impact nature of this exercise makes it just as dangerous as it is beneficial.

This is especially so when it comes to the primary target muscle – the back. In order to avoid this, ensure that your back doesn’t arch.

An arched back is harmful because it directs all that strain to your spine. This in turn could lead to back pains or spinal injuries.


When doing the EZ bar upright row you have to raise your elbows high. This is an instantly problematic position for your shoulders.

This is because the bar pulls your shoulder joint causing “internal rotation.”

The upper arm bone therefore  closes the space between other bones in the area causing your shoulder to become prone to rubbing against rotator cuff tendons and soft tissue.

As such, this can lead to painful shoulder injuries


The EZ bar upright row is a dangerous exercise mostly done by bodybuilders with years of experience in weight lifting.

Therefore before you do this exercise make sure that you’ve done enough reflection to understand your level of fitness and that you know how much weight you can handle.

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