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The 7 Best Exercise Alternatives To Upright Rows

Upright rows are a popular exercise that targets the shoulders, upper back, and traps. However, some individuals may experience discomfort or pain while performing this exercise due to the stress it places on the shoulders and rotator cuff. Fortunately, there are numerous alternatives to upright rows that provide similar benefits without the risk of injury.

Here are the seven best exercise alternatives to upright rows:

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

A Man Doing One Of The Best Alternatives To Upright Rows
BPI SPORTS on YouTube

Dumbbell lateral raises are one of the best alternatives to an upright row. This exercise effectively targets the same muscle groups, including the shoulders and upper back, without the added strain on the shoulder joint. By holding a dumbbell in each hand and lifting them laterally, you can improve shoulder strength and stability while minimizing the risk of injury.

Dumbbell lateral raises offer several benefits over the upright row. They allow for a greater range of motion, making it easier to engage the shoulder muscles throughout the movement. This exercise also reduces the risk of shoulder impingement, a common issue associated with upright rows. By incorporating dumbbell lateral raises into your workout routine, you can improve shoulder strength and stability while minimizing the risk of injury and discomfort.

Face Pulls

A Man Doing Face Pulls
KAGED on YouTube

Face pulls are a great alternative to the upright row. This exercise targets the upper back and shoulders while also working the rotator cuff muscles, which can help improve shoulder stability and reduce the risk of injury. By using a cable machine or resistance band, you can perform this exercise while seated or standing, making it a versatile addition to any workout routine.

Face pulls offer several benefits over the upright row. They place less stress on the shoulder joint, making them a safer alternative for individuals with shoulder issues. They also improve posture by targeting the upper back muscles responsible for keeping the shoulders in the correct position. By incorporating face pulls into your workout routine, you can improve upper body strength and stability while reducing the risk of injury and discomfort associated with upright rows.

See Also: How to Do Upright Rows Without Wrecking Your Shoulders

Overhead Press

A Man Doing Overhead Press
Jeremy Ethier on YouTube

The overhead press is another excellent alternative to the upright row. This compound exercise targets the shoulders, upper back, and triceps, making it a great option for building overall upper body strength. Unlike upright rows, which can place undue stress on the shoulders, the overhead press allows for a natural range of motion, making it a safer alternative for individuals with shoulder issues.

In addition to building upper body strength, the overhead press offers several other benefits. It can improve posture by targeting the upper back muscles responsible for keeping the shoulders in the correct position. It also engages the core muscles, providing a great full-body workout. By incorporating the overhead press into your workout routine, you can improve upper body strength and stability while minimizing the risk of injury and discomfort associated with upright rows.

Pull-Ups

A Man Doing Pull-Ups
Calisthenimovement on YouTube

Pull-ups are one of the great alternative exercises to the upright row. This exercise targets the shoulders, upper back, and arms, making it a great option for building overall upper body strength. Unlike upright rows, which can place undue stress on the shoulders, pull-ups allow for a natural range of motion, making them a safer alternative for individuals with shoulder issues.

In addition to building upper body strength, pull-ups offer several other benefits. They engage the core muscles, providing a great full-body workout. They can also improve grip strength, which can have a positive impact on other exercises such as deadlifts and rows. By incorporating pull-ups into your workout routine, you can improve upper body strength and stability while minimizing the risk of injury and discomfort associated with upright rows.

See Also: The Surprising Benefits Of Face Pulls For Shoulders

Seated Cable Rows

A Man Doing Seated Cable Rows
Max Euceda on YouTube

Seated cable rows are a great alternative to the upright row. This exercise targets the upper back and shoulders while also working the biceps and forearms. By using a cable machine or resistance band, you can perform this exercise while seated, making it a safer alternative for individuals with shoulder issues.

In addition to building upper body strength, seated cable rows offer several other benefits. They can improve posture by targeting the upper back muscles responsible for keeping the shoulders in the correct position. They also engage the core muscles, providing a great full-body workout. By incorporating seated cable rows into your workout routine, you can improve upper body strength and stability while minimizing the risk of injury and discomfort associated with upright rows.

Bent-Over Lateral Raises

A Man Doing Bent-Over Lateral Raises
Testosterone Nation on YouTube

Bent-over lateral raises are another excellent alternative to the upright row. This exercise targets the upper back and shoulders while also working the rear delts, making it a great option for building overall upper body strength. By bending over and lifting dumbbells laterally, you can engage the shoulder muscles in a natural range of motion, making it a safer alternative for individuals with shoulder issues.

In addition to building upper body strength, bent-over lateral raises offer several other benefits. They can improve posture by targeting the upper back muscles responsible for keeping the shoulders in the correct position. They also engage the core muscles, providing a great full-body workout. By incorporating bent-over lateral raises into your workout routine, you can improve upper body strength and stability while minimizing the risk of injury and discomfort associated with upright rows.

See Also: 8 Highly Effective Upright Row Alternatives

Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows

A Man Doing Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows
Max Euceda on YouTube

Single-arm dumbbell rows are an effective alternative to the upright row that targets the upper back and biceps. This exercise allows you to work on each side of the body independently, allowing for better muscle activation and development. It also allows for a natural range of motion, making it a safer alternative for individuals with shoulder issues.

In addition to building upper body strength, single-arm dumbbell rows offer several other benefits. They can improve posture by targeting the upper back muscles responsible for keeping the shoulders in the correct position. They also engage the core muscles, providing a great full-body workout. By incorporating single-arm dumbbell rows into your workout routine, you can improve upper body strength and stability while minimizing the risk of injury and discomfort associated with upright rows.

Conclusion

One of the best alternatives to upright rows is the dumbbell lateral raise. This exercise targets the same muscle groups as upright rows while placing less stress on the shoulders. Another alternative is the face pull, which targets the upper back and shoulders while also working the rotator cuff muscles. Incorporating these alternatives into your workout routine can help you achieve your fitness goals while minimizing the risk of injury and discomfort.

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