Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Upright Rows.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Houston, Tx
    Posts
    80
    Rep Power
    18

    Default Upright Rows.

    So I now have to avoid these after having them burn me twice. When I do them i get this wierd tingle kinda pain on the right side of my back. Its almost like something is ripping but of course I would be in much more pain if it was. Later I end up with back pain on that side. I have had this happen twice over the years. I can do just about anything else without issue accpet for these. Anyone else have issues with these?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Age
    50
    Posts
    1,331
    Rep Power
    167

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LilBG View Post
    So I now have to avoid these after having them burn me twice. When I do them i get this wierd tingle kinda pain on the right side of my back. Its almost like something is ripping but of course I would be in much more pain if it was. Later I end up with back pain on that side. I have had this happen twice over the years. I can do just about anything else without issue accpet for these. Anyone else have issues with these?
    I stay light with them for a different reason:

    http://www.enhancedfp.com/node/454

    I’ll be blunt: in my experience, of all the potentially harmful exercises for the shoulder girdle, this one warrants the most apprehension. Remember how I spoke earlier about using a neutral grip to "open up" the subacromial space when overhead pressing? Well, the theory behind this recommendation is that supinating the forearm to the neutral position corresponds to externally rotating the humerus and, in turn, adjusting the alignment of the humeral head in the glenoid fossa to mechanically make room for the tendons of the rotator cuff to do their thing.

    A barbell upright row does the exact opposite of this; the maximally internally rotated position of the humerus that corresponds to the pronated grip isn’t an ideal position—especially if you’re going to be abducting/flexing the humerus (as in an upright row).
    You may be someone who has seen fantastic results with upright rows, but personally, I don’t write them into any of my programs. If I want to overload the delts, I can do so via more effective means (benching, overhead pressing, rows, pull-ups and lateral raises). If I want to overload the upper traps, I’ll stick with deadlifts, Olympic lifts, and shrugs; all allow for greater loading and a more systemic effect. If you feel like you really need to include some sort of upright rowing variation, I’d encourage you to use dumbbells, which allow you to adjust the plane of motion and grip to some extent, and thus reduce the aforementioned risks.

    Now, you may be wondering why barbell upright rows aren’t on my list of favorites, yet I don’t advocate against Olympic lifts. Good question! Here’s my rationale….

    For proper functioning of the glenohumeral joint beyond 50 degrees of abduction or flexion, you need some external rotation to occur.(12) Obviously, dumbbells are very practical and safe in this regard, but you might be surprised to discover that barbells are in fact just as safe when the Olympic lifts and their variations are executed correctly. There are several subtle, yet significant differences between (for example) the high pull and the upright row.

    First and foremost, the upper body aspect of the high pull is assisted by the hip and knee extensors and ankle plantarflexors; this triple extension lessens the burden on the shoulder girdle. In essence, the lifter is executing a lower body exercise, but integrating a violent shrugging motion while maintaining the extended elbow position for as long as possible. Effectively, this teaches the lifter to pull with the lower body and upper traps — not with the deltoids and biceps.

    If O-lifting makes you sorer in your shoulders and arms than in your upper back and posterior chain, I suggest you find a good USA Weightlifting coach before your next session. Overdeveloped deltoids (relative to the depressors of the humerus) are a common culprit when it comes to subacromial impingement; by lessening their involvement, there is less "encouragement" to humeral abduction than that which is generated simply from momentum from other muscles.

    Second, the explosive manner in which the Olympic lifts are executed corresponds to partial temporary deloading at the portion of the movement where the rotator cuff is most at risk of impingement, whereas the resistance is constant in a slow-paced movement like the upright row. This effect is even more pronounced in clean and snatch variations where the lifter attempts to get under the bar as quickly as possible; in experienced weightlifters, the bar doesn’t even reach the 50-degree mark.

    Even if it does pass the 50-degree point, you’re still externally rotating the humerus to complete the clean or snatch, so you’re in the clear. In ACSM Recap: Part I, I quoted accomplished weightlifter and coach Gary Valentine recalling that the late Joe Mills used to say, "Any weight that you can get past your belly button with some momentum, you can clean."(13) No delts needed; my apologies to the bodybuilders in the crowd.

    Third, the movement of the torso is markedly different between the Olympic lifts and the upright row. In the former, the lifter is extending the torso as the bar is pulled upward, so while the upper trapezius is primarily active as a scapular elevator, it’s also active (along with the middle and lower trapezius and rhomboids) as a scapular retractor in an attempt to keep the bar close to the body.

    Watch anyone do an upright row, and you’ll see that they don’t really care about bar path unless they’re trying to make the movement easier by bringing the barbell closer to them. This movement is accomplished by positioning of the deltoids—not active contraction of crucial scapular stabilizers. Because the trapezius complex works synergistically with the serratus anterior in posteriorly tilting the scapula (which mechanically increases the subacromial space with overhead activities), activating the whole trap shebang helps to keep the shoulders healthy.

    Fourth, typical volume schemes for upright rows and Olympic lifts are completely different. O-lifters rarely (and shouldn’t) exceed sets of 5-6 reps, as the Olympic lifts and their variations are highly technical movements that should be performed rapidly. Conversely, upright rows are performed at bodybuilding tempos (read: slower than molasses going uphill on a cold winter day) with as many as 15-20 reps per set in some programs. Over time, this volume adds up, especially when it’s accompanied by loads of pressing lateral raises, and pull-up variations.

    Fifth, you need a significant amount of upper body flexibility to execute the Olympic lifts properly. Any schmuck can walk into a gym and try an upright row. As such, the former carries much less risk; think of this flexibility as the ID you need to get into the Olympic lifting nightclub. If you have it, you’re on the inside with fancy martinis and gorgeous women. If you don’t, you’re stuck in the alley with a "40" in a paper bag, some homely old skank, and a bum shoulder to boot…or something like that. Just use your imagination.
    So my suggestion would just be to drop the exercise altogether.
    kane@controlledlabs.com
    Sponsored Controlled Labs Athlete
    Looks for the ads, coming soon!
    www.controlledlabs.com
    www.controlledlabsforum.com

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Bodybuilding Program