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Lying Barbell Upright Row

The lying barbell upright row is an excellent exercise for rowers, as it targets the muscles used during the final phase of the upper body pull.

Lie face down on a high bench, with your head at one end. You may simply need to raise a normal bench with two secure step boxes in order to commence the exercise with your arms straight, weight off the floor. Always check to make sure that the bench has a good clearance.

aim to keep the weight off the floor throughout the movement focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together


A number of hand positions can be used, close – normal – wide, however having a wide grip will maximize exercise benefit for your back muscles.

Exhale and smoothly pull the bar up towards the underside of the bench at chest level, aiming to squeeze your shoulder blades together, this will work your middle back Rhomboid muscles.

To help work the lateral muscles, you should aim to lift the bar up towards your belly button, always keeping your forehead in contact with the bench.

Inhale as you return back under control towards the floor until your arms are straight. Aim to keep the weight off the floor during your reps, as this will keep your muscles under contraction.

You may want to place a mat under your lifting area to protect the floor when you finish your lift - if the weight needs to be dropped more than a few inches you should ask for two spotters to take the weight back to the ground in order to protect both the gym floor and the weights.

Look in the STRENGTH TRAINING for advice on how to train your body for your own specific goals.

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