Band Upright Row: A Simple And Effective Shoulder Exercise

Are you tired of experiencing pain in your shoulders and wrists when performing traditional upright rows? Have you found yourself questioning if this exercise is worth the discomfort? If you answered yes, then you’re not alone. Many fitness enthusiasts struggle with the same problem when performing upright rows with weights. The common cause of this discomfort is due to the stress placed on the joints during the movement. But fear not, there is a solution – the band upright row. In this blog post, I will share with you how this alternative exercise can help alleviate your joint pain while still providing an effective workout for your shoulders and upper back.

Band Upright Row Summary

Graphic image of a fit man performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Band Upright Row Instructions

  • Get going by grabbing the band handles with each hand and stepping on the center of the band.
  • With your arms hanging in front of you pull the handles up to your chest, allow your elbows to go out to the side.
  • After a brief pause at the top, lower the back to the starting position.
  • Continue to execute these rows for a full set.

Video Tutorial

How To: Resistance Band Upright-Row

Band Upright Row Muscles

Target (Agonist)


Dynamic Stabilizers

  • None


Antagonist Stabilizers

  • None
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the band upright row exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Band Upright Row

The band upright row is a great exercise for strengthening the deltoid – lateral muscle. It helps to improve posture, stabilizes the shoulder joint, and increases shoulder strength. This exercise also helps to improve shoulder mobility, which is important for performing other upper-body movements like presses, pull-ups, and rows. Additionally, the band upright row targets the deltoid – lateral muscle, which is essential for providing stability in the shoulder joint and allowing the arms to move through a range of motion. It can also be used to build strength and muscle size in the shoulders.

Tips for Performing Band Upright Row

The upright row is an effective exercise for gaining strength and building muscle in your shoulders, traps, and upper back. It can also be used to help improve posture, as it strengthens the muscles that support your spine. To get the most out of this exercise, make sure to follow these tips. Doing so will help ensure that you get the maximum benefit from your upright row workout.

  • Standing with your back against the wall will make you more stable and prevent any cheating.
  • Make sure that you have the same tension in each hand throughout the exercise.
  • If you feel yourself needing to bend over, then you should reduce the resistance.

Benefits and Tips Video

Upright Rows Are NOT Bad/Dangerous (Myths Busted | Shoulder Impingement Explained)

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

When performing a band upright row, it’s important to be mindful of your form and technique. Doing the exercise incorrectly can not only lead to a poor workout, but it can also put you at risk of injury. To ensure that you’re getting the most out of your workout and protecting yourself from harm, take a look at the list of mistakes to avoid when doing the band upright row.

  • Try Not To employ improper form. Improper form is definitely the fast path to surely having a physical injury.
  • Don’t relax your abs. Flexing your core protects your back by maintaining your internal pressure.
  • It Is Best If You Don’t Make It Too Easy. Your only way to get stronger will be to challenge yourself.

Find More Resistance Band Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

Here are some variations, complementary, or alternative exercises for the exercise Band Upright Row. If you find yourself struggling with the upright row, or if you just want to change up your routine, try these exercises to give your upper body a good workout.

Barbell Front Raise

Graphic image of Barbell Front Raise.

The Barbell Front Raise is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the Band Upright Row. This exercise focuses on the anterior deltoid and other muscles in the front of the shoulder. It is performed by standing with a barbell in both hands, with arms extended in front of you at shoulder width. Then, keeping your elbows slightly bent and your torso still, slowly lift the barbell up to shoulder height, then lower it back down. The Barbell Front Raise helps to improve shoulder stability and mobility and can be used to target different muscles than the Band Upright Row. This exercise can be incorporated into any shoulder workout for increased strength and mobility.

Barbell Standing Front Raise Over Head

Graphic image of Barbell Standing Front Raise Over Head.

The Barbell Standing Front Raise Over Head is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Band Upright Row. This exercise works the same muscles as the Band Upright Row, but in a slightly different way. With this exercise, the barbell is held in both hands and lifted to shoulder height and then above the head. This engages the shoulders, upper back, and arms for a full-body workout. The Barbell Standing Front Raise Over Head targets the same muscle groups as the Band Upright Row, but with different emphasis, making it an ideal alternative or complementary exercise.

Barbell Standing Upright Row

Graphic image of Barbell Standing Upright Row.

The Barbell Standing Upright Row is an excellent complementary or alternative exercise to the Band Upright Row. It is a compound, full-body exercise which targets the deltoids, traps, and triceps muscles. The barbell version allows for heavier weight to be used and a greater range of motion compared to the band version. This exercise is performed by standing with the feet shoulder width apart, holding the barbell in an overhand grip, and raising it up to shoulder height. With a slight bend in the elbows, the barbell should be pulled up towards the chin and then lowered back down. This exercise should be completed with a slow and controlled motion for maximum benefit.

Check Out These Top Resistance Band Exercises

Barbell Wide Grip Upright Row

Graphic image of Barbell Wide Grip Upright Row.

The Barbell Wide Grip Upright Row is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Band Upright Row. This exercise helps to develop shoulder strength and increases shoulder mobility. It targets the deltoids, trapezius, and rhomboids muscles. To perform the Barbell Wide Grip Upright Row, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell with an overhand grip, wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight and your core engaged as you lift the barbell towards your chin, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement. Slowly lower the barbell back down to the starting position. This exercise is an effective way to target your shoulder muscles, and is a great alternative for those who are unable to perform the Band Upright Row.

Cable Front Raises

Graphic image of Cable Front Raises.

Cable Front Raises are an excellent alternative or complementary exercise to Band Upright Rows. This exercise works the deltoids and other shoulder muscles in a similar way, but with a different range of motion. The cable machine allows for a much larger range of motion than the band, allowing you to really target the deltoids and other shoulder muscles. You can also use the cable machine to adjust the weight, allowing you to make the exercise more challenging as your strength increases. Cable Front Raises are an effective way to work the same muscles as Band Upright Rows, while also allowing you to vary the intensity of the exercise.

Cable Seated Rear Lateral Raise

Graphic image of Cable Seated Rear Lateral Raise.

The Cable Seated Rear Lateral Raise is an excellent complementary or alternative exercise to the Band Upright Row. This exercise targets the rear deltoids, which are often underutilized in exercises that focus on the front and side deltoids. The Cable Seated Rear Lateral Raise can be done with a low weight and a high repetition range, making it a great choice for those looking to build muscle and strength. The exercise can also be done seated, which makes it a great option for those with lower back issues. This exercise is a great way to add variety and challenge to your shoulder training and will help to build balanced and strong shoulders.

Find More Shoulders Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

In order to maximize the benefits of the exercise Band Upright Row, it is important to complement it with exercises that target the opposing muscle groups. By doing this, you will create balance and stability in your body and achieve optimal results. The following exercises are great for strengthening the opposing muscles of the Band Upright Row.

Chest Dip

Graphic image of Chest Dip.

The chest dip is a great complement to the band upright row, as it works the opposite muscle group. The chest dip primarily works the chest and triceps muscles, while the band upright row primarily works the shoulder and biceps muscles. This means that when you perform both exercises together, you are targeting all of the muscles in your upper body. This helps to create an even and balanced workout. By working opposing muscle groups, you are helping to reduce the risk of overtraining and allowing each muscle group to recover more quickly.

Assisted Wide Grip Chest Dip

Graphic image of Assisted Wide Grip Chest Dip.

The Assisted Wide Grip Chest Dip is a great complement to the Band Upright Row exercise as it targets the opposite muscle group. This exercise involves gripping a bar with your hands placed wider than shoulder-width apart and dipping down until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. By pushing your body back up against the resistance of the bar, this exercise works the chest, shoulder, and triceps muscles. The Band Upright Row exercise works the back, shoulder, and biceps muscles, so doing this combination of exercises will help to balance out the strength in both the front and back of the upper body.

Smith Machine Reverse Grip Press

Graphic image of Smith Machine Reverse Grip Press.

The Smith Machine Reverse Grip Press is a great complimentary exercise to the Band Upright Row. This exercise primarily works the triceps, by having the user press the barbell up from a reverse grip position. This exercise works the opposing muscle group to the Band Upright Row, which works the biceps. Doing both exercises in a workout will help to create a balanced strength and muscular development in the upper arms. Additionally, this exercise can also help to improve stability, balance and core strength.

Get That Shoulders Pumping!

Shoulder workouts can be tough, but with the band upright row, you can get that pump you’re looking for. This exercise targets your shoulders, delts, and upper back muscles. The band upright row is perfect for those who want to build shoulder strength without using heavy weights. By performing this exercise regularly as part of your workout routine, you can achieve toned, defined shoulders and improve your posture. Plus, with the resistance band, you can easily adjust the intensity to suit your fitness level and gradually increase difficulty over time.

References: Wikipedia | | | Comprehensive List of Shoulders Resistance Band Exercises

Pin image for band upright row post. With an image of a man performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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