One Arm Dumbbell Row

Quote: "When working out, length is not a substitute for intensity." - Bill Loguidice

The One Arm Dumbbell Row is a great exercise for developing strength and muscle mass in the back, shoulders and biceps.

One Arm Dumbbell Row

This exercise is also great for improving and correcting your posture and muscle imbalances.  These imbalances are caused by training one group of muscles more often than the opposing group of muscles.  For example training the chest more often than the back will lead to the back and shoulders developing a rounded look that will lead to poor posture and more stress on the neck.

If you want an exercise that will strengthen the whole back and rear shoulders and give your upper body a more aesthetic look, then the One Arm Dumbbell Row is for you.

If you get bored with this exercise, you can vary it by performing seated cable rows, bent over barbell rows or a plank with dumbbell rows.

Benefits of the One Arm Dumbbell Row

There are many benefits to doing the One Arm Dumbbell Row.  These are health related benefits and performance related benefits.

Health Related Benefits:

  • Improvement in posture.
  • Corrects muscle imbalances caused by training the chest more often than the back.
  • Reduces pain caused in the neck being pulled forward due to poor posture and muscle imbalances.
  • Helps to stabilize the core.
  • Gives the upper body a more balanced and aesthetic look.

Performance Related Benefits:

  • Improves performance in any activity that requires pulling strength and a strong core.
  • Unilateral training allows you to train both sides one at a time to correct weaknesses caused by favouring one side.

How to Perform the One Arm Dumbbell Row

  • Hold a dumbbell in one hand.
  • Support your body on a bench with the other hand.
  • Place your back and neck in a straight and neutral position.
  • Engage your core.
  • Breathe in before you start the movement.
  • Pull the dumbbell to your ribs by retracting the shoulder blades, lats and engaging the rhomboids.
  • Breathe out on the first half of the movement.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell with control back to the starting position.
  • Perform another repetition.

One Arm Dumbbell Row Dos

  • Ensure your body is in the correct position before starting the movement.
  • Make sure it is the rhomboids, lats and scapula that is powering the movement.
  • Keep your core engaged during the whole movement.
  • Keep the dumbbell close to the body during the movement.
  • Minimise the amount of momentum in the movement, this is a strength exercise, not a momentum based exercise.
  • Hold the dumbbell with a form grip.

One Arm Dumbbell Row Don’ts

  • Rounding your back, this will lead to injuries.
  • Slouching of the back.
  • Do not twist the torso, this minimises the effect on the back muscles.
  • Using just the arms and shoulders to perform the movement.
  • Performing the movement using excess momentum.
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