How to do a Dumbbell Row

Authored by Fitbod

About Dumbbell Row

Sets Logged
8,136,068
Popularity Rank
5th
Difficulty
Beginner
Back Strength
99 mSCORE 2nd
Equipment Required
Primary Muscles
Secondary Muscles

Instructions: How To

This compound movement primarily targets the back, but also hits the shoulders and biceps, as well as requiring some core activation for stability. By bracing yourself on the flat bench, you can position your torso parallel to the ground, without needing specific equipment. This is a great exercise with or without limited equipment, and a staple in many back workouts.

  1. Place a dumbbell on each side of a flat bench.
  2. Place your right knee on top of the bench and right hand on the other side of the bench. Your torso should be parallel to the floor.
  3. Grasp a dumbbell with your left hand while keeping your back straight. The palm of your hand should face your torso.
  4. Pull the dumbbell straight up to the side of your torso. Engage the muscles in your back and breathe out as you perform this step. The torso should remain stationary as your arm moves.
  5. After a brief pause at the top of the movement, reverse this movement by lowering the dumbbell back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

  • Resisting Rotation

    Your core is responsible for stabilizing your upper body during this exercise. Because the resistance isn’t balanced between both sides, you’ll naturally engage your core to resist this rotation. Ensure that you’re only resisting the rotation, and keeping your upper body stable. Don’t use your core to assist in performing the exercise.

  • Over Recruiting Biceps

    While your biceps should be involved, you should be feeling a majority of the tension in your back. Try focusing on driving your elbow back instead of bringing the weight towards your chest. This mindset shift will help you recruit the proper muscle groups for this exercise.

  • Don’t Use Momentum

    Extending your lower back can help you move more weight by recruiting additional muscle groups to help you build momentum. Keep your torso stable by engaging your core, and limit your movement to the desired exercise. You may need to reduce your weight to maintain proper form.

Sets & Reps: How many to do

Use this calculator to see Fitbod's possible first recommendations for you. This would be your starting line, based on more than 4.5 billion logged sets from 1.1 million users.

  • beginner
    8
    reps
    30
    lbs
    1 Rep Max
    40
    lbs
  • intermediate
    8
    reps
    35
    lbs
    45
    lbs
  • advanced
    8
    reps
    40
    lbs
    50
    lbs

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