I am looking for some information regarding the controversy in doing the upright row. Could you send us some pros and cons to doing this exercise?
First, my questions to you are: WHAT IS YOUR GOAL, WHY HAS THIS EXERCISE BEEN SELECTED, WHAT PHASE OF TRAINING WAS AN "UPRIGHT ROW" DEEMED NECESSARY?
There certainly are some concerns here. Take a look at the diagram. Essentially, the individual begins in internal rotation and possibly protraction depending upon grip width. Care should always be taken when loading the shoulder is this position since protraction of the shoulder girdle is already common enough in our seated, automated, sedentary society (otherwise known as "upper crossed" posture, characterized by a forward head and rounded shoulders). In the diagram you will notice that in the finished position the load remains anterior. What this creates is a situation where the load is pulling toward internal rotation forcing the posterior cuff (external rotators), to pull a substantial load due to the "closed chain" properties of this exercise. If performed with chronic regularity, this exercise may indeed precipitate problems in the shoulder joint. There are better options. Again we must remember that in this day and age, with all the information that is available to fitness/performance professionals, IT MUST BE UNIVERSALLY UNDERSTOOD THAT TRADITIONAL HYPERTROPHIC GOALS MAKE UP ONLY A SMALL SEGMENT OF A WELL BALANCED FITNESS/PERFORMANCE PERIODIZATION PLAN, AND BY NO MEANS QUALIFY "FITNESS," (hence the old phrase: "perceivably fit, but unhealthy").
Referenced from "The Physiology of Movement," pp. 67, by Dr. Mark Slavin, and was slightly modified for the sake of this article.