The bent-over dumbbell row is one of the best movements for complete back development. If you want to develop the most mass and strength in your upper posterior muscles then performing this compound movement is extremely effective. You can still lift heavy weight using dumbbells (free weights) and really develop those stabilizer muscles, while also bringing up a lagging part of a muscle group from isolating it with a dumbbell.
Another great benefit to this movement is that you also heavily work the biceps, brachialis and brachioradialis muscles which improve arm size and strength as a result.
In This Exercise
- Target muscles worked: All pulling muscles (Latissimus Dorsi, Middle and Lower Trapezii, Rhomboids, Teres Major, Posterior Deltoid, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Pectoralis Major)
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Compound
- Equipment: Bench, Dumbbells
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Begin with the dumbbell in your hand or on the floor.
- Place your lower leg on the end of the bench and keep your back straight while in a bent over position. Keep your core tight before picking up a dumbbell.
- Then grip one dumbbell with one arm and lift it off the ground.
- Pull the dumbbell up towards and past your lats and contract the back muscles while inhaling.
- Exhale and lower dumbbell to starting position.
- Repeat with your other arm.
Variations & Tips
- You can perform this movement standing up without a bench.
- Only use your hands as hooks as you should be pulling with your back muscles and arms.
- Make sure your back is straight and keep core tight while remaining in a fixed position.
- Use a neutral grip to keep the motion fluid and simple.
- Start light and move up in weight to prevent injuries and discomfort.