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Upright Row….How About No?

So, today we are going to talk about one of my least like exercises and the reasons why i don’t believe this is a valuable or great exercise for you.

The Upright Row (High Pull).

The reason this is my most disliked exercise is because of the POTENTIAL for injury from this movement, especially when load is placed on the body in performing the exercise. Now, potential is the word I want you to focus on. By no means am I saying that you are guaranteed to pick up an injury from this, but that the potential for that to occur is far greater with the upright row than with other exercises that will target the same muscles without putting unnecessary load in a compromising position on the body.

So lets get into the technical stuff shall we?  

The shoulder joint is fragile, its mobile and it is very easily placed into dangerous positions. Having a shoulder issue can easily spread into other nearby areas that are having to pick up the slack. In your shoulder you have the rotator cuff which is fairly sensitive itself. Repetitive motions can be bad for these…especially when the motions are in a bad position to start with, as in an upright row. The shoulder is internally rotated with the load placed under the shoulder, essentially pulling down on the joint. What happens here is that the Glenoid Cavity is out of sync with the movement (In this position for example), the head of the Humerus (Upper arm bone) can move. What happens here is that it can cause an impingement. These impingements cause inflammation in the rotator cuff and the more you do it, the more the inflammation. The way that the tendons of the rotator cuff are laid out, they pass between the Glenoid Cavity and the head of the Humerus, making it super easy for the bone and the Glenoid Cavity to ‘Pinch’ these tendons. 

For some anatomy of the shoulder…

The Glenoid Cavity that I have been talking about is made up of a few things. The Acromion, the Acromioclavicular joint, the Coracoid Process and the Coracoacromial Ligament. The rotator cuff has 5 muscles within it. The Supraspinatus, the Infraspinatus, the Teres Minor, the Subscapularis and the long head of the bicep. 

So as you can see….there is quite a lot going on there. 

Under all these muscles there are tendons and ligaments that can so so easily be damaged by an exercise such as this. 

So what actually happens during the Upright Row?

Im glad you asked….

A rubbing or shearing type motion occurs within these muscles, tendons, ligaments and the bone or bursa sacs, potentially leading to a small, minor or even complete tear of a ligament or tendon. During the Upright Row, the impingement that occurs is the Subacromial Impingement.

Hopefully this is enough information and detail about why i never recommend the exercise…to anyone. There are so many other exercises that can do the same thing for you without all of the stress and potential for injury involved.

Now let me ask do you think its worth doing this exercise?

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