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One Arm Dumbbell Row - Muscles Worked & Benefits

Exercise Type: Multi-joint
Primary Muscles Worked: Middle Back
Secondary Muscles: Lats, Biceps and Shoulders

By performing the One Arm Dumbbell Row you can work one side of the body at a time isolating your lats and lifting the weight higher as you are not restricted by a barbell bar, allowing your lats to fully contract. The One Arm Dumbell Row also works the shoulders and biceps. It is important while doing the exercise to focus on getting maximum range in each movement rather than simply lifting heavy weights. Another benefit of the One Arm Dumbbell Row is reduced stress on the spine thanks to support from the bench. Greater activation of the muscles is also achievable as you are not spending so much concentration trying to maintain the difficult posture of a standing row.

One Arm Dumbbell Row - Exercise Workout & Technique

  • Grab a dumbbell and place beside the bench on the side you are working on.
  • Place the non training hand on the front of the bench with the same sided knee also on the bench.
  • Your torso should be parallel to the floor. Grab the dumbbell with your training hand, palms facing in having the same sided foot firmly planted on the floor.
  • Allow the weight to extend straight down by your side. This is the starting position.
  • Exhale and bring the dumbbell up keeping the bar of the dumbbell parallel to your torso. Pause.
  • As you inhale, allow gravity to pull the weight down, although don’t let it drop, ensuring that you are tensing all the way down.
  • Repeat for the specified repetition range for that arm, then perform this exercise for the other side.

One Arm Dumbbell Row - Tips & Safety

  • Use a full range of movement with this exercise.
  • Ensure that you steady yourself correctly when completing your reps and let your back do the work, by retracting your scapula and maintaing the elbows close to your side.
  • A neutral grip with the dumbbell parallel to the torso works best for this exercise.
  • Pulling the dumbbell towards the chest works the upper lats and lower traps while raising the dumbbell towards the abdomen targets the lower lats.

One Arm Dumbbell Row - Alternatives

  • This exercise can also be performed using a cable machine.
  • Try One Arm Seated Cable Rows to allow your elbows to be pulled back farther and, in turn, maximising muscle contraction in your lats.
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