To train wide shoulders, you need to strengthen the middle deltoid muscle bundle, and usually choose to do dumbbell lateral raise. From the beginning of the fixed set to incremental sets, you can also choose to train with a single handheld dumbbell, which can achieve a pumping effect at the end.

But dumbbell lateral raise are easy to shrug, and the use of weight will be limited, at this time a new movement is created, it is the "EZ bar upright row".

This movement is very controversial: some people think it is a very good movement, while others think it is a movement that hurts the shoulders.

What should the average trainer choose?

How to do EZ bar upright row?

EZ bar upright row


Choose an EZ bar, stand naturally with your body, and hold the barbell squarely in the middle of the bent position with both hands.

Tighten your abdomen, straighten your back, lift the barbell upward until both shoulders are fully elevated, then lower it back down and repeat.

Note: The entire movement shows a straight up-and-down trajectory, using a narrow grip distance can easily lift the barbell.

The top position strengthens the upper deltoid mid-bundle, while the traditional lateral raise stop when lifted to the horizontal position, filling the shoulder recess position and making the whole shoulder fuller. It can also lift larger weights, even with borrowed force.

Disadvantages of upright row

When doing the barbell upright row, you need to lift the barbell up along the front side of your body to complete shoulder abduction at the top.

Since many people have limited shoulder mobility, shoulder popping already occurs when doing dumbbell lateral planks, and if you choose to do upright rowing with a barbell, it is more likely to cause shoulder impingement and shoulder joint wear.

Also when training with a narrower grip, the forearm inversion increases and the wrist becomes uncomfortable. Also, there is the action of internal rotation of the shoulder joint, if the body is kept in an upright position, just lifting the barbell will easily produce shoulder soreness.

According to conventional practice, the greater the weight used, the higher the risk of shoulder joint injury will be, and many people also mistake this for a shoulder pumping sensation effect. Once the shoulder is injured, it will directly affect the upper limb activities, like bench presses, pull-ups, high pull-down, double bar arm flexion, and other movements that can't be completed.

3 EZ bar Upright Row Variations

Wide Grip Straight Bar upright row


The original EZ bar is changed to a straight bar, while the narrow grip is changed to a wide grip, and the short barbell can be held directly at the very edge of the position.

During training, you need to lean slightly forward and lift the barbell upward along your body, pulling it to the lower pectoral muscles at the bottom.

Note: Both upper arms present a straight line, elbows and shoulders aligned, elbows not excessively backward, using the shoulders to drive the barbell upwards.

The wide grip method allows the shoulders to open fully upwards and reduces shoulder joint stress when leaning forward, just choose a medium training.

Dumbbell Upright Row


Change the barbell directly to a dumbbell, place both hands squarely on the front of the thighs, and lift the dumbbell directly upward to a high position.

Note: At the bottom of the movement the dumbbells do not come close to fitting, upward when the two dumbbells naturally separate and stop at the pectoral position, when just the shoulders are aligned with the elbows.

Since the dumbbells are used, even though the grip is still narrow, it is more of a mid-deltoid force, so the degree of impact on the shoulder joint is less.

Cable Upright Row


Adjust the power cage slide to the lowest position, replace it with a wide handle, hold it with both hands in the bent position, and pull it from the bottom up to the high position.

Note: By choosing rack rope training, the trajectory of the movement changes, pulling the handles upward from the bottom of the incline, so that after the arms are slightly bent at the elbows, the shoulder abduction movement is easier and closer to the dumbbell lateral raise.

This method will also incidentally train to the anterior deltoid muscle bundle, as long as the arm flexion elbow amplitude is not too large.

You can try each of the three variations separately to see which method is more suitable for you, don't train at the same time, just choose to do fixed sets, 4 sets * 15 reps will do.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.