Plate Upright Row: Muscles Worked, How To Do With Proper Form

The plate upright row is a compound exercise that builds stronger and bigger traps, and rear deltoids (Shoulder). 

It’s a simple exercise to perform. You hold a plate with both hands and lift them vertically until they’re level with your collarbone before lowering them back down.

You shouldn’t be afraid to integrate the upright row with plate into your routine.

There are several ways you’ll need to look out to improve the technique.

You must read this blog to perform the plate upright row exercises safely and effectively.

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Muscle Worked During Plate Upright Row

The upright row with plate exercise targets the following muscle groups.

  • Shoulders: Work on the deltoids, rhomboids, and trapezius muscles. It is perfect for building strength, muscle, and stability in the shoulder and upper back region.
  • Rhomboids: Upper back muscles that connect the shoulder blades and offer great support. Working on your rhomboids will improve your posture.
  • Biceps: Build your biceps.  This will make your arm stronger and more resilient overall.

How To Do Upright Row With Plate

The standing plate upright row is an excellent exercise to build huge trapezius muscles.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Grab a plate with both hands (close grip), at arm’s length down by your thighs, with your palms facing towards you.
  3. Lift the plate to around chest level or until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
  4. Pause briefly at the top of the movement.
  5. Now, lower the plate under controlled motion until it returns to its starting position.
  6. Do 8-12 reps and 3-4 sets.


  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements.
  • Avoid bending your wrists during the lift.
  • Don’t allow your back to arch as you pull the weight up.
  • Keep the weight close to the body.
  • Perform the lift in a slow, controlled manner to maximize muscle engagement.
  • Exhale as you lift the plate and inhale as you lower it.
  • Start light until you build shoulder and trap strength to progress over time.
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Plate Upright Row Variations

It is a great exercise for beginners but also very effective for more advanced weight-lifters.

You should learn proper form and lifting technique to strengthen the back of the shoulder. You can modify the exercise for your specific needs by learning some variations.

Take a look below at some of the more popular plate exercise variations to increase unilateral strength and fitness!

One-Arm Plate Upright Row

One arm plate upright row is the unilateral variation on the plate upright row. The single-arm plate upright row is popular for building stronger and bigger traps and shoulders.

The single-arm plate power snatch does incorporate significantly more muscle groups than the upright row.

One-Arm Plate Upright Row

Muscles Worked

Primary: Lateral deltoid, Trapezius.

Secondary: Anterior deltoid, Brachioradialis, Biceps Brachii, Infraspinatus, Teres minor.

How To Do One-Arm Plate Upright Row

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a plate in your left hand at your side.
  2. Slowly shrug your left shoulder up toward your ear.
  3. At the top, pause for a moment and contract the muscles.
  4. Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
  5. After completing all reps on the left side, repeat on the right side
  6. Repeat 8-10 repetitions.


  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements.
  • Keep your back straight and core tight.
  • Pause and squeeze the traps at the top of the movement, and then lower the plate really slowly if you want to add a bit of intensity to the exercise.

Reps and Sets

Do sets of 10 to 15 reps with moderate weight. If you can perform more than 20 reps with ease, the weight is too light.

For best results, try to perform perfect reps to complete failure, with no more than 15 reps per set.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Upright Rows Better With plate?

Yes, it is better to do an upright row with the plate. The plate requires more balance than barbells or machines, which can lead to greater muscle fiber recruitment. 

The plate row workout also allows for unilateral training (training one limb at a time), increases core stability, and improves muscular imbalances.

What Do Plate Upright Rows Work?

If you want to strengthen your shoulders and upper back, you should consider doing plate upright rows. This exercise targets the traps, which span the upper to mid-back, and the deltoids, which wrap around your shoulder.

Is plate Upright Row Good?

Plate upright rows are a good upper-body exercise designed to work for muscle groups throughout your arms, shoulders, and upper back. One of the main things about these exercises is that they are shoulder-friendly.


An upright plate can strengthen the posterior chain muscles, including the shoulders and upper back.

With great attention to form, you’ll reap all the benefits.

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Thanks for reading.


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