The cable upright row hit various muscles. Primarily, it works the deltoids muscles; the middle and the front head. As you do the exercise, you also work the rhomboids, trapezius as well as biceps muscles. Interestingly, there are a lot of variations that you can do as well as alternative exercises.
The following content gives you the proper cable upright row form. To hit the shoulder muscles, you have to do the exercise in proper form.
There are different exercises that will help you to build and strengthen your shoulder muscles. Some exercises that are listed below include the Band lateral raise, dumbbell YTW, seated muscle snatch, and more. These are alternative exercises to cable upright row.
Cable Upright Row With Rope
This is a strength exercise that targets your shoulder muscles. The exercise is a bit intense and you should execute it properly to lower injury risks. Follow the steps below to do the exercise;
- Firstly, make sure that the cable is set at the bottom. Then grasp the rope handle with an overhand grip.
- Start driving your elbows up and out and make sure that those elbows are higher than your hands. You can go as far as you can as long as you are not feeling any pain.
- Then lower weight and squeeze your back muscles.
- Repeat the moves as much as you can.
Cable Upright Row Muscles Worked
This exercise is ideal for strengthening the shoulder muscles. However, there are a lot of muscles that you can hit by doing the cable upright row
Trapezius – As you do the cable upright row exercise, the trapezius works in raising and lowering your shoulders. Therefore, the trapezius muscles also get trained
Rhomboids – the rhomboids also get strengthened as you do the upright row exercise.
Biceps – the biceps muscles work you by being responsible for bending the elbow muscles. The use of dumbbells has a great impact on your biceps.
Cable Upright Row Dumbbell
The cable upright row can also be done using weights such as dumbbells. It is good for training all the three heads of deltoids. More so, it works the biceps and trapezius. As much as it has a lot of benefits, you might injure yourself when you don’t know how to do the exercise properly. This is how you can do the exercise;
- Stand upright with a pair of dumbbells in your hands. Make sure that your palms are facing your body with hands lying on the hips.
- Lift the dumbbell up through your elbows and make sure that the dumbbells are closer to your body.
- Pause when the elbows are at the level of your shoulders.
- Lower the dumbbells down to the starting position.
- Repeat the movement as much as you can.
Cable Upright Row Alternative
The cable upright row exercise is good for strengthening the shoulder muscles. However, there are a lot of exercises that you can do in place of the cable upright row to work your shoulder muscles. Remember the deltoids have three heads; lateral, anterior, and posterior. Therefore, not all the exercises are good at hitting those muscles equally. Below are the exercises that you can do;
Band Lateral Raise
This exercise is good at working the deltoids. In addition to that, it also works the trapezius and abs muscles. It makes those muscles stronger and thus lowering injury risks when you are doing day to day activities. This is how you do the lateral raise exercise;
- Hold the ends of the resistance band and step onto it with both your feet.
- You can rest your hands onto your laps closer to each other.
- Then raise the arms up and sideways until they are parallel to the floor. Pause for a second at the top of the movement.
- Reverse the movement to return your hands to the starting position.
This is another alternative that is good for working your shoulder muscles. In addition to that, the exercise works the upper back muscles. The dumbbell YTW also strengthens the rotator cuff; thereby improving your posture. This is how you do the exercise;
- Stand with your feet at shoulder-width apart and carry a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip. Keep your feet at shoulder-width apart.
- Hinge and bend your body so that your torso is parallel to the ground.
- Then raise the dumbbells up until your arms are in line with your ears to form a ‘Y’ shape.
- Then lower the arms to the starting position.
- Raise your arms sideways to the shoulder position to form a T shape.
- Reverse the movement to the starting position
Seated Muscle Snatch
This is another exercise that you can do in place of the cable upright row. This exercise works the shoulder muscles. Additionally, other muscles that you can work when doing the seated muscle snatch include traps, abs, triceps, and middle back muscles. Follow the instructions below to do the exercise,
- Place the barbell on the ground and stand with your feet under the bar at hip-width apart.
- Squat to grab the barbell with an overhand grip and make sure that your hands are a bit wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Raise the barbell with power and drive up above your head until your arms are fully extended. Pause for a second before lowering the bar.
- Lower the barbell to the floor and repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.
Cable Front Raise
This is another exercise that is good for building shoulder muscles. Additionally, the cable front raise exercise also makes your shoulder muscles stable and promotes muscle growth. As you do the exercise using the cable machine, it allows you to maintain resistance on your shoulders throughout the movement. This is how you do the exercise,
- Firstly, select weight on the low pulley machine. Then grasp the single hand cable attachment and let it be in between the legs.
- Make sure that you are facing away from the machine.
- Then raise the attachment up until your arms are at shoulder level.
- Reverse the motion and lower the cable attachment to the starting position.
Seated Cable Upright Row
The seated cable upright row is ideal for working your back and forearms muscles. However, it also works the traps and rhomboids but to a lesser extent. Avoid doing this exercise if you have a shoulder or back injury. Follow the instructions to do the exercise;
- Sit on the platform and position yourself in such a way that you can reach the cable machine attachment handle without bending your back.
- Make sure that your feet are properly planted on the floor.
- Grasp the attachment and pull it towards your torso.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades as the attachment reaches the ribcage.
- Reverse the movement and keep your back straight.
- Repeat the movement to reach the number of desired reps.
Cable Face Pulls
The cable face pulls are good for targeting the posterior deltoids. This is an interesting exercise because the posterior deltoids are not often trained than the other heads of deltoids. You will need a cable pulley machine to perform this exercise. Follow the instructions below;
- Firstly, set up the cable machine and make sure that the pulley system is above your head. You can use a rope attachment. Make sure that you choose the weight that you are comfortable with.
- Grasp the attachment and make sure that your hands are facing in. Step back until your arms are fully stretched.
- Then pull the rope attachment towards your forehead. Pause for a second after reaching the forehead with your rope attachment.
- Return the attachment to the starting position. Make sure that you maintain a good posture throughout the exercise.
- Repeat the movement as much as you can.
Wide Grip Cable Upright Row
This exercise is good for working the lateral deltoids. In addition to that, other muscles that you engage include the teres minor, trapezius, serratus anterior as well as your arms. The wide grip is good for preventing the elbows from going too high. As such, it becomes safe as it lowers rotator cuff injuries. Below are the steps that you can follow to do the exercise;
- Firstly, attach a long bar to the cable machine pulley. Then grasp the attachment with your hands being outer than the shoulder-width distance.
- Stand upright and make sure that your body is closer to the attachment.
- Pull the attachment to your mid-chest position. Pause at the top of the movement for a second.
- Return the bar to the starting position.
- Repeat the movements.
Doing the cable row upright exercise is not complicated. But you should do it properly to avoid injury risks. The exercise is good for working the middle and the front head of the deltoid muscle. It builds and makes the muscles stronger.
However, if you are not comfortable with this exercise, there are variations such as wide grip cable upright row, seated cable upright row, and many other exercises. The above content also gives you different exercises that you can do in place of the upright row. Some alternative exercises include dumbbell YTW, seated muscle snatch, and many others.
Apart from the above exercises, you can also do other upper body exercises such as cable row straight bar, high cable row, cable back row, low cable row, and more.
Have you tried the cable upright row exercise? Share your experiences below.
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