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Thread: Back/Shoulder Pain from Upright Rows!

  1. #1
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    Back/Shoulder Pain from Upright Rows!

    Hey everyone,

    On my last few bicep/back days, I've noticed some pretty significant pain in my left shoulder/upper back while doing upright rows. It usually comes in the early-middle part of my workout (about 1/4th of the way in) and I usually do a set of 60, 70, 80 (and last time) 90 pounds. On each of these sets, even the first...especially the first, there was some pretty bad pain up there.

    I really like the workout that this exercise gives me..the day after I did upright rows the first time ago (a few weeks ago), I knew it was muscles I was not hitting good enough anywehre else.

    Are there any substitutes I can do for this exercise, or does anyone know why I might have this sort of pain. I don't think it is necessarily a "form" issue because I don't know of how bad of "form" you can have on upright rows. I do have scoliosis that makes my right-lower back too strong and makes me often stand with my left shoulder raised higher than the right.

    Anyways, any help on this topic would really be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    Upright rows suck for a lot of people because of this. They're more of a shoulder exercise than a back exercise anyway - I'd ditch them entirely.

    Try hang cleans if you like - those are awesome!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built
    Upright rows suck for a lot of people because of this. They're more of a shoulder exercise than a back exercise anyway - I'd ditch them entirely.

    Try hang cleans if you like - those are awesome!

    Well, I've never been a fan of Cleans, but I may have to switch if this continues to be a major problem. Anyone else have any input/advice.

    Thanks.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built
    Why are you doing upright rows anyway? What part do you aim to develop with them?
    Upper Back...so, delts and traps.

    Also, the pain is only on that left side...but I don't know if that makes any difference in what I should do to work these muscles and not be in pain. The pain is only while doing the exercises...not before or after. And strangly enough (though i don't know if it's related), I often experience some left shoulder popping while doing lat pulldowns...so it's also something I'm concerned about.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by BalancedMan; 08-29-2006 at 09:26 PM.

  6. #6
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    Well, deadlifts will do a better job of this anyway - and upright rows are really more of a delt workout, so use millies and Arnies for this.

    Are you doing your pulldowns with a wide grip? If so, don't - use a shoulder or narrower grip and this problem should go away.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built
    Well, deadlifts will do a better job of this anyway - and upright rows are really more of a delt workout, so use millies and Arnies for this.

    Are you doing your pulldowns with a wide grip? If so, don't - use a shoulder or narrower grip and this problem should go away.
    What are millies and arnies. As for the lat pulls, the bar has rubber only at the ends, so that's where I've been grabbing. I can probably latch on a different type of bar onto the machine, so I can see how that goes as well.

    As far as deadlifts, I've done them a few times but always am unsure of my form and don't want to hurt myself in any way. I also do the "deadlift machine" type of thing...essentially it's deadlift but it's anchored to the floor as part of a machine...on leg days.

    Anyone know at what weight on the deadlift that I should be wearing a leather belt. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    Do rack pulls if you're not comfortable with off the floor deads. Don't use a machine. I do rack deads from just above the knee with 275 lbs (more than double my weight), and I don't use a belt. Dunno if this helps you.

    Do chins instead of lat pulldowns - they work better.

    Millies = military press.

    Arnies = Arnold press. www.exrx.net is your friend.


  9. #9
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalancedMan
    Anyone know at what weight on the deadlift that I should be wearing a leather belt. Thanks.
    600lbs. At least, that's when I'll start to think about using one.

    Until then, deadlift with a weight you are comfortable with.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built
    Do chins instead of lat pulldowns - they work better.
    I'm fortunate that right now the gym I'm at has an assisted chin-up machine. I can do a few on my own, but man are they tough. I definately couldn't do 3x10 at my weight without assistance. Guess my lats are pretty weak.

    Regardless, I like doing these chins better than lats anyways (I'm probably overworking my muscles during each workout session) and I only hope that the gym at school has a chinup assisting machine because I don't remember seeing one there before .


  11. #11
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    Better than assisted chins: self-assisted chins.

    The problem with assisted chins is you can't turn off the negatives.

    So ... go to the Smith or the power cage, set the bar at eye level, a low platform behind you, get to "up" anyway you can, then bend your knees, put your toes on the platform behind you, and lower to a count of five. Push yourself back to UP, repeat ...

    Work up to five sets of five. WAY better than gravitron. Try it!

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