Symmetry is a hallmark of smart training. Known as “Mr. Symmetry” Frank Zane once said, “Understanding symmetry will help you achieve it and maximize your body’s potential.” Mr. Z is correct, however yes, there are times when we get into the cycle of training what we want to – all the time. No bueno. Before you go straight into “Sun’s-Out, Guns-Out” bicep day take a moment to assess what muscle groups will really help fill out the bro tank and give you a defined and well rounded out look.

Upright Cable Rows


“The desire for symmetry, for balance, for rhythm in form as well as in sound, is one of the most inveterate of human instincts.” – Edith Wharton


Unlike a barbell or pair of dumbbells which hang directly below you, the cable is in front of you adding an angle to the motion. This will activate certain muscle groups differently, specifically, the teres minor and lateral deltoid. (Think Boulder Shoulders)

Raising the bar

#1 Standing in the starting position with the feet slightly shoulder width apart and firmly planted, grasp the attachment bar with knuckles facing forward.

Side note: Be sure to focus on two thingsa firm stance and a tight core.

#2 With a steady and controlled movement raise the bar until your hands are chin level and your elbows are raised slightly above the shoulders. Hold for 1 count, then lower to the starting position.

There is no need for whackadoodle modifications or variations here, it is a pretty straigthforward exercise. If you are a beginner, or even an intermediate lifter, start with a conventional routine and tailor it to help achieve your overall goal. For example, someone looking to build more size may use a higher weight/lower rep range, say, 8 – 10, while someone looking to build leaner muscle would focus on a lower weight/higher rep range, say 12 – 15.


If you are a beginner, start with a weight you can comfortably perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions while still executing very good form, and go from there.

Not exactly your everyday, garden variety exercise, upright rows are an excellent move to incorporate into any upper body strength building routine.

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“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle