How to One Arm Dumbbell Row

About the One Arm Dumbbell Row

The one arm dumbbell row has long been one of the most popular exercises for targeting the muscles of the back, simply because it works and easy to perform by athletes across the experience spectrum.

Like its cousin, the bent over barbell row, the exercise primarily stimulates the large latissimus dorsi muscle of the upper back. Additional upper back muscles, such as the rear deltoid head (back of the shoulder), rhomboids and teres major are also targeted. Strengthening and stimulating these upper back muscles is not only beneficial to athletes and bodybuilders, but also the general public for improving posture.

It is important to perform the exercise with a weight you can manage. It should be the target muscles which are responsible for bringing the weight up towards the abdomen, not the driving of the hips or the rotation of the torso.

Within the instructions we discuss how to perform the dumbbell row supported on a bench, but it also possible to perform the dumbbell row standing without a bench in a similar fashion to how you would perform a barbell bent over row. Many athletes also choose to perform a prone dumbbell row on an incline bench, allowing them to work both sides of the body at the same time as the body is supported by the bench.

How to perform


  1. Find a dumbbell of a suitable weight
  2. Place on knee on a flat weight bench, with the arm closest to the bench supporting your body as you lean forward
  3. Your torso should be at ninety degrees to the ground, and supported by your none working arm
  4. Grasp the dumbbell with your other arm


  1. Pull the dumbbell towards your abdomen whilst maintaining good posture
  2. Once the elbow is brought up past the body and peak contraction is made, slowly reverse the movement back to the starting position
  3. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions

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