One Arm Dumbbell Row
The one arm dumbbell row is a great isolation exercise for the back, and often used as a ‘finisher’, the last exercise performed on your back workout to burn out the muscle (the one arm dumbbell row is often the exercise of choice for this as it’s quick and easy to superset or dropset unlike heavy barbell based exercises).
Required: Dumbbell, Flat Bench
Optional: Wrist Straps
One Arm Dumbbell Row Form:
Place one leg on top of your flat bench before bending your torso forward from the waist until your upper body is parallel to the floor.
Place the matching arm on the bench for additional support.
With the opposite arm while maintaining a straight back, parallel to the ground pick up your dumbbell with your palm facing toward your torso.
Pull the dumbbell up toward your chest while keeping your arm tucked in tightly against your side. Your shoulder should not jerk around at all nor should your torso change position – only the arm is involved in this pulling movement,
Slowly lower the dumbbell back down until your arm is fully extended, repeat for the desired number of repetitions before switching arms.
Common One Arm Dumbbell Row Mistakes
Using Partial Range Of Motion
Each repetition should begin with your arms fully extended below your torso and end with the barbell up against your torso with your shoulder blades squeezed together.
Most guys continue to up and up the weight as their range of motion and form begins to degrade… don’t be one of them.
Jerking Your Body To Complete The Repetition
The duration of the repetition should be slow and controlled, the top (contraction) portion of the repetition is by far the hardest, and if you’re jerking your entire body to get the contraction this is a clear sign it’s time to drop the weight down a bit.
Not Bending Over Far Enough
It’s called a bent over row for a reason, you must bent forward and row into your torso, standing straight up and attempting to row will not engage the desired muscle.
Not Squeezing The Shoulder Blades Together
Every back exercise comes down to getting the correct contraction – the contraction is a result of squeezing your shoulder blades together and tensing your back muscles as you’ve pulled the weight towards your torso. You cannot get this contraction without squeezing the shoulder blades.
I feel as if I repeat this point far too often, however for years I was merely training my back without contracting the muscles correctly… needless to say for a few years my back lagged behind the rest of my physique in terms of both size and strength.
Similar & Substitute Exercises
- Bent Over Row
- Seated CableRow
- Lat Pulldown