Everyone knows that dumbbell rows are a foundational movement for almost any strength-building program. Dumbbell rows using a 3-point stance provide your lats plenty of work while cutting down on the shear force on your lower back.
Dumbbell Row Technique
1. Try to keep an even amount of pressure on your feet and on the hand that is stabilizing on the bench. Watch the video below for tips on the stance.
2. Take a deep breath and stabilize your torso and lower back. You can use a belt if you are going really heavy, to help maintain tension through your torso.
3. After picking up the dumbbell pull your shoulder back and engage your lat.
4. To perform the row drive your elbow towards your hip.
5. When your tricep is ABOVE your back, your row is complete. Lower the weight to a straight arm position and repeat.
6. If the weights are really heavy, use straps to hold the dumbbell. You do not want to let your grip limit your ability to get your back work in.
What percentage of your bodyweight can you 1-arm dumbbell row right now? 50% or more and you’re on the right track. If you are currently rowing less than 50% of your bodyweight you may be rowing too light. Having a strong back will transfer to all your other lifts including the squat, bench, deadlift and overhead press.
What to Aim for with Dumbbell Rows
Here are some great goals for the 1-arm row.
50% bodyweight for 20 reps each side
70-80% bodyweight for 15 reps each side
Watch the video of Ryan and I hitting some 1-arm rows at this weight:
100% bodyweight for 5-10 reps each side
Remember, heavy rows aren’t always pretty but they work. Get your rows up and watch your other lifts grow as well.
The 1-Arm Dumbbell Row will help you build a huge back.
Vary the reps and weights and constantly challenge yourself.
Start slowly, learn the movement and improve your base strength. Then, when you feel you are ready, challenge yourself to some of the bigger weights. Have fun!
Wishing you the best in your training,
Russ Smith C.F.T.