Want to work your upper back muscles? Consider doing the dumbbell row. A dumbbell row uses a pulling movement to activate the upper back, shoulder, core and arm muscles. It is also referred to as bent over dumbbell row as it is performed by hinging the hips with the back straight. Lift a pair of dumbbells and make sure that you handle it with a neutral grip.

Benefits Of Doing Dumbbell Rows

The five significant benefits of performing dumbbell rows are:

  • First, it helps strengthen the back by emphasizing the latissimus dorsi, teres major, rhomboids, trapezius, and posterior deltoids.
  • A dumbbell row exercise will help to improve the posture as it builds the upper body strength effectively.
  • It is one of the best exercises to increase grip strength. If you are a novice lifter, it will help you tremendously. Practice a dumbbell row to warm up before your intense workout with heavyweights.
  • A dumbbell workout strengthens muscles in the upper body and tones the core, chest, glutes, triceps, lower back muscles.
  • It increases shoulder and elbow mobility than any other equipment.

How To Perform A Dumbbell Row in Proper Form?

The step-wise method to perform a proper dumbbell row to have your dumbbell row muscles worked is elaborated below. Always choose the number of sets and repetitions based on your ability to complete it in good form throughout the entire workout. However, you can start by doing 2 to 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions and gradually increase as you master the move.

  • Start performing a db row by grabbing a pair of dumbbells and standing with the feet far apart as your hips.
  • Maintain your posture tall with the knees bent slightly. Your shoulders must be neutral, with the head and neck straight.
  • Place your chin in a tucked position throughout the exercise as if you are holding something under it.
  • Distribute your weight evenly during the dumbbell row workout and maintain a stable position as you grip your feet to the floor.
  • Place your arms along the sides with the elbows slightly bent.
  • Maintain a neutral spine with your hips hinged backward.
  • The shins must be vertical, with the upper body at an angle of 30 to 45 degrees. As you do this, you must feel your legs supporting your posture.
  • Now start rotating your shoulders in the outward direction to engage the lats. Keep in mind to begin your repetitions from this position.
  • Initiate an upward movement as you squeeze your lats which are at the sides of your back.
  • Make use of your arms to pull the dumbbells up towards the hips. Keep the elbows at a 45-degree angle but ensure that it is away from the body.
  • The next step in your dumbbell row workout will be to retract your shoulder blades as you pull the dumbbell towards your upper leg. Then your upper arms and upper body should be in line with each other. The arms must form a 90-degree angle with the elbows.
  • Straighten your elbows as you maintain this move and travel back to the starting position with the dumbbells. Ensure that the shoulder blades protect your elbows as you straighten them by moving away from the body.

Dumbbell Row Variations

A dumbbell row exercise has several variations, and you can attempt doing any one of the below.

Incline Dumbbell Row ‚Äď Start performing this variation by lying flat on the stomach on an incline bench. Therefore, this is called a chest supported dumbbell row. Your body has to be at 45 degrees with a pair of dumbbells in your hands. An incline dumbbell row does not require core stability or glute activation throughout the exercise. Begin the rowing movement and keep going until you can do it in good form.

One Arm Dumbbell Row ‚Äď This is a unilateral variation of a db row. Do this by resting one knee and one hand on the flat bench. As you lift the dumbbell with the other hand, perform a lunge position. A one arm dumbbell row is always easier to achieve than a chest supported dumbbell row as it gains more support with one hand and leg on the ground.

Two Arm Dumbbell Row ‚Äď Lift one leg off the ground in this variation and hover it behind you. It is an advanced move that involves lifting a pair of dumbbells with a single leg bent over. A two arm dumbbell row activates and stabilizes the muscles and offers a good balance.

How To Avoid Injury While Performing A Dumbbell Row?

You have to perform a db row exercise in a proper form to ensure safety and effectiveness. But you will have to modify the move based on the individual needs of the performer. If you have any other health issues, always consult your doctor and then start with the workout. Make sure that you select the weight that suits your body condition. Pay close attention to the signals your body produces and stop performing the moment you experience any discomfort or pain.

However, to get dumbbell muscles worked and see continuous progress start with warm-ups, take sufficient breaks between workouts, and have a good diet plan. Most importantly, the results will be based on the ability of your body to recover from the session. Therefore, make sure to rest for at least 24 to 48 hours before training the same muscle group again. It will ensure that they get sufficient recovery time.

Final Words dumbbell workout

Each db row exercise works different muscle groups in the body. Therefore, you have to build strength by switching between the dumbbell row variations to effectively tone the upper back and arms. If you want a more challenging move, change the grip such that the palms face the floor. You can also hold the weight for a few seconds near the chest or the topmost position to increase the intensity. One more simple hack is to go slow with the move, which forces the muscles to engage entirely and gain better control. No pain! No gain! Have this in mind and perform effectively.


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December 30, 2021

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