Upright Rowing – Shoulder Impingement – Rotator Cuff Injury

By |October 20th, 2015|media|Comments Off on Upright Rowing – Shoulder Impingement – Rotator Cuff Injury

Upright Rowing
Upright rows (a high pull with a narrow grip) are tightly correlated with shoulder impingement. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
April 2014 – Volume 28 – Issue 4 – p 1081–1089
The barbell upright row is an exercise done to develop strength in the front and side shoulder muscles (deltoids) and trapezius as well as biceps, rotator cuff muscles.

Holding a barbell or dumbells in front of you with a close, overhand grip, you pull the weight up to your chest, keeping it close to your body, leading with your elbows. On every repetition, you’ll notice that the humerus, the upper-arm bone, has to be internally rotated before the weight is elevated, so the thumb faces the torso.  When the weight is elevated, your shoulder is placed in an impingement zone. Shoulder impingement occurs when the tendon of the supraspinatus (a rotator cuff muscle) gets inflamed as a result of being repeatedly pressed against the bony acromion above it. This may not hurt immediately; it may not even hurt for a long, long time. The problem is the tendon will gradually become worn down and damaged.

This motion places an enormous amount of stress upon and inside the joint itself, most notably, the risk of impingement of the biceps tendon, supraspinatus, (the top rotator cuff muscle), and bursae, (fluid filled sacks that assist smooth gliding of the joint). Stress is also placed upon the wrists as they are forced to adjust or deviate out of natural positioning having to accommodate holding a straight bar.

Excessive resistance lifted doing this exercise only compounds it’s detrimental effects as well as incorporating bad posture, momentum, and compensatory patterns. All of this can create setbacks for the gym person or athlete.

When testing for […]