Combining Upright Row With Shoulder Press

Combine two shoulder exercises for muscle and strength.
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As your strength improves, you are ready to change your workout from single exercises to combination movements. Two shoulder exercises -- the upright row and the shoulder press -- are easily combined to increase the challenge of your strength-training session. Together, the row and press are a time-saving routine, since the exercises strengthen all three parts of your shoulders: the front, middle and rear. Use this pairing when you are short on time or need variety in your training.

Upright Row to Shoulder Press

    Stand straight with your feet underneath your hips and your toes facing forward. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms along the front of your body until the dumbbells are in front of your thighs. Allow for a slight bend in your elbows. Face your palms toward your body.

    Exhale and raise the dumbbells to your chest. Keep the weights close to your body. Position your elbows higher than your hands throughout the movement.

    Inhale and turn your elbows lower than your hands as your rotate your palms to face outward. Place the dumbbells slightly higher than your shoulders.

    Exhale and straighten your arms overhead. Position your wrists in a neutral position without a forward or backward bend. Lift the dumbbells until you have only slight bends in your elbows.

Shoulder Press to Upright Row

    Starting with your arms in an overhead position, inhale, bend your elbows and lower the weights to your shoulders with your palms facing forward.

    Exhale, flip your hands beneath your elbows and face your palms toward your body. Position the weights at chest level.

    Inhale and lower your hands to your legs as you return to the starting position.


    • Practice each exercise separately before you combine the two. Aim to complete between eight and 12 repetitions. Choose your dumbbell weight for the combination exercise based on the lowest amount of weight for the single exercises. For example, if you are able to perform 12 presses with 15-pound dumbbells but use 10-pound dumbbells for 12 repetitions of upright rows, use the 10-pound dumbbells for your row-to-press exercise.


    • Speak to your doctor before strength training, especially if you have a shoulder injury.

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