The Deadlift to Upright Row is a compound exercise, which focuses on improving the synergy of the neuro-muscular system, enhancing the explosiveness of the hip extensor musculature while transitioning into shoulder shrug, improving body control & coordination and flexibility as well as improving skill & balance foundation for complex movements.

Note: If the athlete has flexibility issues and/ or for teaching purposes, a stance wider than shoulder-width is warranted.


  1. Position barbell hip level on the rack; add resistance (plates) and attach safety clips
  2. Use a pronated grip (palms facing down) and place hands shoulder-width apart on the bar
  3. Lift barbell off the rack; take a few steps back and position barbell on the floor
  4. Take an athletic stance; stand straight, feet are shoulder-width apart; knees slightly flexed; toes point slightly outward (10˚-20˚)
  5. Assume deadlift starting position; flex the transverse abdominis (abs) before moving the barbell; maintain neutral spine and head position; look forward
  6. 1st Pulling Phase: Extend hips and knees in controlled fashion; keep neutral spine position (push chest out and scapulae [shoulder blades] together); maintain neutral head position (look forward)
  7. 2nd Pulling Phase: In athletic stance, adduct scapulae (push shoulder blades together) first, then abduct shoulders to 90˚ and pull barbell upwards to xiphoid process of sternum (~ nipple level); barbell remains close to the body; elbows are flexed and on shoulder level; maintain neutral pelvis and spine position; look forward
  8. Slowly adduct shoulder and extend elbows thereby returning barbell to starting position

Targeted Musculature

  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Rhomboids
  • Trapezius
  • Deltoid