How to Do Wide Grip Upright Row Properly

The wide grip is a strength training workout that primarily targets the arm and shoulder muscles. The wide grip upright row is not as common as the close grip upright row, and it focuses heavily on the mid- delts since you will be moving your arms outwards. It is shoulder-friendly for individuals who find it hard to execute the close grip variation.

The ideal grip for a wide grip upright row is about shoulder-width apart. Be sure to watch the direction in which you move your upper arms. If they’re not moving directly outwards, correct your hand placement and focus on working out using the correct technique to train your middle delts effectively.

Targeted Muscle Group: Middle deltoids, Arms, Traps

Secondary Muscles Targeted: Lats

Required Equipment: Barbell

Exercise Type: Strength

Exercise Mechanics: Compound

Force Type: Pull

Utility: Auxiliary

STEPS:

  • Load a barbell with the appropriate weight.
  • Assume a hip-width stance while facing the barbell.
  • Using an overhand grip, hold the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart. Lift the barbell with your knees slightly bent. Ensure you keep your back straight.
  • While keeping your gaze forward and back straight, lift the bar, keeping it as close to your torso as possible. Ensure you pull the barbell up close to your chest height; close to your chin.
  • Take a slight pause at the top of the rep, then gently lower the bar to resume the starting position.
  • Repeat the motion until you attain the desired sets of reps.

TIPS:

  • Position your elbows higher than your forearms and drive the motion using your elbows only.
  • Keep your body stationary throughout the motion. Avoid the urge to lean forward when lowering the bar and lean back when raising the bar. The position of the body is essential for this exercise. To get the best results, assume the correct body position.
  • Pause and contract your traps at the top of the rep, then lower the bar in a slow and controlled manner to add challenge/intensity to the drill.

MUSCLES WORKED BY THE WIDE GRIP UPRIGHT ROW

The wide grip upright row trains the upper body laboriously. The main muscles worked: Middle deltoids, rear deltoids, and upper traps.

This exercise’s secondary muscles are the Anterior deltoids, Biceps Brachioradialis, Biceps Brachii, the Middle and lower traps, Teres Minor, and Serratus Anterior.

The synergist muscles involved include Rectus Abdominis, Wrist flexors, and obliques.

BENEFITS OF THE UPRIGHT BARBELL ROW

MUSCLE STRENGTH AND HYPERTROPHY

The wide grip upright row involves a lot of pulling motion. The main upper body muscles are targeted as you execute this exercise; therefore, performing this exercise consistently guarantees accelerated muscle growth and back strength.

Likewise, the biceps and shoulders get proper strength training with this workout.

STABILITY AND CONDITIONING

The wide grip upright row recruits the upper, lower and lateral deltoids, making it ideal for stability and conditioning of the upper body.

You will improve your overall body posture by performing constant upright rows while alleviating possible workout injuries.

BUILDS THE TRAPS

The trap muscles can be hard to build. There are only a few exercises that target the traps. The wide grip upright row trains your traps to the same degree it works your shoulders.

ARM POWER

The wide grip upright row is ideal for strengthening the biceps, consequently making your arms more powerful.

With more muscular arms, you are in a better position to execute other advanced strength training workouts like lateral raises, overhead press, and bench press.

ALTERNATIVES TO WIDE GRIP UPRIGHT ROW

BARBELL HIGH PULL

The Barbell high pull is an excellent alternative for the wide grip upright row. It mimics the wide grip upright row technique and targets the same musculature.

Requirements: Barbell

STEPS:

  • Pick a dumbbell and hold the bar with a regular underhand grip.
  • Move your hips behind and let the bar slide down your thighs.
  • When the bar reaches the area just above your knees, drive your hips forward and forcefully push back up.
  • As the bar moves towards your hips, move your elbows up and back.
  • Return the bar to the initial position in a slow and controlled manner.
  • Repeat until you achieve the desired sets of reps.

TIP:

Avoid drifting the barbell too far frontwards since it might throw you off balance and challenge your stability, and will not train your traps to their full potential.

MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN PERFORMING THE WIDE GRIP UPRIGHT ROW

If you’re considering including the wide grip upright row in your routine, there are several workout mistakes that you should note, including:

LIFTING TOO HEAVY

People tend to load too much weight than they can handle on the barbell in an attempt to pack the muscle. The gradual addition of the weight is crucial for increasing stimulus and facilitating muscle growth. However, it would be best to be cautious when loading the weight- concentrating mainly on stimulating the muscles in question without excessively straining the surrounding muscles.

Correct this by increasing the reps instead of loading too much weight and reducing the rest time between the reps.

ROUNDING THE LOWER BACK AND ROLLING THE SHOULDERS FORWARD

When lowering the barbell, you want to ensure you train your chest and retract your scapulae. Scapular retraction sets the shoulders in a solid position to lift the barbell and will enable you to focus more on the delts.

Letting the shoulders roll forward puts more tension on the traps, which is not the targeted muscle in this exercise.

CONCLUSION

The wide grip upright row works almost the entire upper body, targeting your arms, shoulders, traps, and biceps. You can change the motion by switching to dumbbells or isolating your medial delts.

If you have experienced shoulder or back pain before, consider passing this exercise.

Remember to begin light and increase the weight as you perfect your technique.

Do not perform this exercise if:

  • You have shoulder pain or have any shoulder joint inflammation
  • There is existing back pain
  • You recently underwent surgery
  • If your doctor advised you to rest.
  • You sustained an arm fracture recently.

Give it a try!

 

 

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