A Single-arm dumbbell row or one-arm dumbbell row is a variation of rows and it’s a great choice for your back workout. When it comes to middle back muscles and strength, this exercise is not as effective as the barbell bent-over row. However, it can target your back, lats and erector spinae muscles. That’s why so many lifters choose to do this movement after they finish the barbell row. Today, I’ll give you the definite guide to build a stronger and wider back with this exercise.
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- What Do You Need?
- How To Do The Single-arm Dumbbell Row
- Things To Remember
What Do You Need?
1. A Weight Bench
For me, it’s best to do the one-arm dumbbell row on a flat bench. However, you can also choose an adjustable weight bench or dumbbell rack as an alternative. Because your body is very stable on the bench, you don’t have to worry too much about your lumbar spine. However, if you are suffering from a back issue or lower pain, it’s important to wear a powerlifting belt for this movement.
2. A Lifting Strap
As I said, you don’t need anything else except for a bench so straps are not really necessary to perform this exercise. However, in case you want to lift a heavy dumbbell but your grip is too weak to hold it, then wear a strap. But remember that you shouldn’t wear it on every set, instead, just wear it on the last set or when your forearms are exhausted.
How To Do The Single-arm Dumbbell Row
Step 1: Get On The Bench
Place a dumbbell on the floor near the bench. Put your knee on the bench, depending on which side you want to start off with. In this article, I’ll assume that we all start with your right arm, which I’m used to. Now, place your left leg on an end of the bench.
Place your left hand on the other end of the bench. To make sure your palms will not end up sliding on the bench, you’d better grab the front of the bench.
Step 2: Get In Position
Try to develop a tripod with the opposite leg out to the side, torso over the floor and back as flat as possible. Lock out your left elbow and relax your left shoulder because you’re focusing on your lats, not your shoulder and triceps, right?
Grab the dumbbell using a thumbless grip instead of squeezing the dumbbell and forcing your bicep and forearm to work. This way, you can focus on isolating your lat muscle more efficiently. However, if your hand grip is strong enough or you just want to strengthen it, just grab it with a full grip.
Now, lift the dumbbell of the ground and get ready for a row.
Step 3: Row
Maintain a slight arch in your lower back, keep your chest up and your head neutral. Then pull with your elbow to lift the dumbbell towards your hip, squeeze it at the back and make sure it gets behind the level of your torso. Also, keep in mind that the dumbbell should move diagonally, not vertically.
Slowly lower the dumbbell to its starting position and repeat the exercise for an intended amount of reps.
Things To Remember
1. Don’t Use Your Leg
Keep in mind that everything has to stay put, except your arm.
You can see a lot of people using their legs during this exercise and this is because the weight is too heavy for them. Keep in mind that this is called an isolate movement for a reason. Therefore, it’s important to lock your legs in.
But what if you’ve already lightened the weight but still feel that your leg, which is out to the side, is working? Well, in this case, you just need to move your torso to the other side or closer to the bench. This will help you reduce the stress on your inner thigh muscles, thus, making it easier and more comfortable for you. your body weight Now, the suggest you should move your body
2. Don’t Twist Your Upper Body Or Shoulders
Another mistake people usually make is that they twist their upper body toward the side. Doing this doesn’t bring any benefit except for the fact they makes the weight much lighter and that is ego lifting. If the dumbbell is not that heavy but your grip is too weak for it, then use a lifting strap. However, most of the cases, people always pick a dumbbell which is too heavy for them, so just choose a lighter one.
3. Lower The Dumbbell All The Way Down
A lot of guys don’t use do this exercise through a full range of motion. The simple reason is that going all the way down makes it more difficult for them to lift heavy dumbbells. Make sure that you can feel a good stretch in your lat at the bottom position. In my experience, just allow your shoulder to drop a little bit so you can get the lat fully stretched.
4. Pull With Your Elbow
Remember that you’re performing the single-arm dumbbell row, not the hammer row. That means the primary muscle groups here are middle back and lat, not the biceps.
Pulling with your elbow will help eliminate as much of the biceps from the exercise as possible. Try to lift the dumbbell toward your hip instead of lifting it up straight up with the elbow close to the torso the entire time.