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Upright Row: Best Hand Position to Maximize Mass

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The upright row is commonly used to develop the deltoid and upper back musculature.

Upright Row: Best Hand Position to Maximize Mass

Looking to pack on more muscle in your shoulders and traps, then you may want to change your hand grip position. Changing your hand grip can make a big difference in the muscle being activated. For example, the wide-grip pulldown will elicit greater activity of the latissimus dorsi in comparison with a narrow grip. The upright row is one of the best deltoid exercises a lifter can perform to get menacing shoulders. The upright row is commonly used to develop the deltoid and upper back musculature. Most bodybuilders seen in the gym will use a narrow grip upright row, but this is a mistake. According to research, the wide grip upright row is a superior grip movement for activating the traps and shoulders.

Sixteen weight-trained men completed the upright row with three grip conditions:

-narrow grip, hands closer than shoulder width apart

-shoulder width apart grip, hands directly over the shoulders

-slightly wider than shoulder width apart,

The load was the same for all grip conditions and was equal to 85% of the 1RM. Researchers hooked up electrodes all subject’s shoulders, placing electrodes on the anterior deltoid, lateral deltoid, posterior deltoid, upper trapezius, middle trapezius, and biceps brachii during the 3 grip widths for eccentric and concentric actions.

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At the end of the study, the main findings of this investigation are increased deltoid and trapezius activity with increasing grip width, and correspondingly less biceps activity.

At the end of the study, the main findings of this investigation are increased deltoid and trapezius activity with increasing grip width, and correspondingly less biceps activity. Narrower grips emphasize more biceps and less deltoids. Therefore, those who seek to maximize the involvement of the deltoid and trapezius muscles during the upright row should use a wide grip. Showed that increasing the grip width increases the involvement of the lateral deltoid and decreases the involvement of the biceps.

McAllister MJ, Schilling BK, Hammond KG, Weiss LW, Farney TM. Effect of grip width on electromyographic activity during the upright row. J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Jan;27(1):181-7.

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