Dumbbell Rows – How to do the exercise

The dumbbell row is a simple exercise, which strengthens the muscles of the upper back, the muscles of the forearm and the grip. Still, many people do it wrong and as a result they do not get the full benefits out of it and risk injury at the same time. However, today it is very easy to understand how to do it properly since there is so much information available. Our goal is to show you the correct technique of this exercise in order for you to be able to train more safely and effectively.
If you are wondering if you should choose barbell row or dumbbell rows, remember that the barbell row places more stress on the lower part of your back.

How to perform it

If doing it on an Olympic bench:

  • Take the dumbbell and put it right next to the bench.
  • Put your knee and your outstretched hand on the bench. Then bend forward till your back reaches a parallel to the ground position.
  • Straighten your back and keep it flat during the exercise.
  • Reach down, pick up the dumbbell and go back to a flat back position.
  • Squeeze the lat muscles and lift your elbow straight up, retract your scapula towards the spine. The elbow should go to the height of your back and the dumbbell should touch thelower part of your chest.
  • Then lower your elbow down and repeat with your opposite arm.

If you do not have a bench on which to do the exercise:

  • Use a steady surface on which to put your outstretched arm. Your feet should be in line with respect to each other and separated at a shoulder width.
  • The rest of the exercise is done as described above.

Mistakes to avoid

Some people use too much momentum while performing the dumbbell row. If you rotate your back too much or need to rely mostly on momentum to start the movement, then you are going too heavy and should reduce the weight.

Do not round your back because this endangers your spine and increases the chance of injury.
Keep a neutral spine position.
The position of the neck is also important. It should be in line with the back. Keep your eyes
looking down.

A common mistake is not using the full range of motion. At the start of each per your arms should be extended fully below the torso. At the end your shoulder blades should be squeezed together and the barbell should be up against the torso.

Also, do not look forward. This leads to improper neck position and places more stress on the spine, thus, increasing the chance of you being injured. Always maintain your neck in a straight line with your back.

More advices

Your neck should be neutral – to ensure this, look down. While lifting up the dumbbell do not rotate your torso excessively. Breathe out while pulling the dumbbell up and breathe out while bringing it back to starting position.

Moreover, check out this video on how to do dumbbell rows:

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