Cable wide-grip upright row

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Lateral Deltoid
  • Synergists: Anterior Deltoid, Supraspinatus, Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Biceps Brachii, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Serratus Anterior, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Attach a straight bar to a low cable pulley.
  2. Grasp the bar using a shoulder-width or wider overhand grip.
  3. Stand close to the pulley with your body upright, your shoulders pulled back, and your chest pushed out.


  1. Exhale as you pull the bar up the front of your body until it reaches the level of your lower or middle chest. Do not pull the bar up any higher.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you lower the bar to the starting position.
  4. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Keep the bar close to your body.
  • Keep your shoulders back, chest out, and body upright.
  • Pull with your elbows, not with your biceps.
  • The upright row is a controversial exercise. The reason is that in some people it can lead to shoulder impingement. More specifically, the tendon of the supraspinatus muscle can repeatedly get pinched (impinged) between the shoulder joint, leading to damage. The risk varies from person to person depending on how they are built. The risk of shoulder impingement can be reduced by doing as recommended above and using a shoulder-width or wider grip instead of a narrow grip, standing upright, keeping the bar close to your body, keeping your shoulders back, pushing your chest out, and pulling the bar no higher than the level of your lower or middle chest. Even so, if you ever feel pain when performing the cable wide grip upright row, stop using it. To target your lateral deltoid, use the lateral raise, y-raise, or armpit row instead.

Cable wide grip upright row video



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