2 Effective Types Of One-Arm Dumbbell Rows And Their Benefits May 20, 2015

A beginner level exercise that targets your entire back sounds like music to your ears, right? One-arm dumbbell row, also known as single-arm back row, is an easy and effective exercise to get a sexy, svelte back.

Traditional dumbbell rows work only on your upper back and shoulders. But, one-arm dumbbell rows work on your entire back ─ your upper back, middle back as well as your lower back. It also strengthens the chest muscles and triceps. Since one-arm dumbbell rows are a bent-over move, it engages the core stabilizers. It works on the lats, lower traps, rhomboids and erector spinae. It involves scapular retraction and depression. The movement needs stabilization from the rotator cuffs, working on those shoulders as well.

How To Do One Arm Dumbbell Rows:

You can do one-arm dumbbell rows by using an exercise bench or a stability ball. But, using a bench lowers the risk of injury since the move needs proper balancing. Therefore, you use the bench to do this exercise. Another equipment you require for this exercise is, of course, a pair of dumbbells of your preferred height. You can use your heavy dumbbells for this exercise too.

Here’s a simple guide on how to this back strengthening exercise:

The Starting Position:

Once you are warmed up, you can start with the one arm dumbbell rows.

  • Stand beside the exercise bench and place your left knee on the bench.
  • Bend over and place your left hand on the bench too.
  • Grip your dumbbell in your right hand.
  • Keep your right hand straight, palm inwards.

[ Read: Biceps Exercises And Their Benefits ]

The Movement:

Now comes the actual movement. You have to get it right for it to really work for you.

  • Pull the dumbbell towards your chest by bending your arm at the elbow.
  • Keep your arm near your flank and the elbow pointing backward.
  • Lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.
  • This was one rep.
  • Do 2 sets of 12 reps each side.

Different Ways To Do One-Arm Dumbbell Row:

The one-arm dumbbell row can be done with some variations too! You can use these variations to suit your overall workout regimen.

1. Dumbbell Row+ Extension:

Image: Shutterstock pin_image_share

Image: Shutterstock

Dumbbell Row + Extension is a combination move, which combines one-arm dumbbell rows with triceps extensions. Therefore, the move involves two movements in one rep.

  1. To do this repetition, get into the starting position for the dumbbell row.
  2. Pull your dumbbell up towards your chest in a row and then kick it back from there in an extension by straightening your arm behind you.
  3. Get it back into the row position and lower down to the starting position.
  4. This was your one rep, do 15 each side.
  5. This move is intense and really effective since it involves many muscles at the same time.

2. Plank with Row:

Image: Shutterstock pin_image_share

Image: Shutterstock

Doing the Dumbbell rows in the plank position further engages the core, and the balancing intensifies the move.

  1. Place two dumbbells beside your arms and get into the plank position.
  2. Move one dumbbell in your right hand, keeping your back straight and belly button sucked in.
  3. Lift the dumbbell towards your chest by bending your elbow.
  4. Your arm should be near your side and elbow pointing backwards.
  5. Now lower down the dumbbell.
  6. Do 12 reps each side while holding the plank throughout.

[ Read: Dumbbell Exercises And Their Benefits ]

Tips To Do One-Arm Dumbbell Row:

Follow these tips while doing one-arm dumbbell row exercise:

  • Make sure to keep your spine straight and your head at a neutral level. Doing one-arm dumbbell row with a rounded back ignores the lats and is not much effective for the lower back also.
  • Make sure your grip is neutral while lifting up the dumbbell. You are not supposed to bend or turn your wrist inwards while doing the row.
  • Another important thing to keep in mind is that your elbow should not go wide while doing the row. Keep your elbow pointing backwards and your arm should be almost touching your flanks.
  • Do not twist your torso while doing the row, it just nullifies the effectiveness of your back muscles.

[ Read: Bench Exercises To Strengthen Your Back ]

Apart from how great and effective this move is for your upper body, it also helps with back pain. It makes your back genuinely strong and reduces the risk of injury and pain in the lower back.

If you want to work your back muscles, include the one arm dumbbell rows in your workout regimen. You’ll soon experience the difference!

What exercise do to do to work your back muscles? Share with us in the comments section below.

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