When it comes to designing and implementing a back workout regime, besides the obvious wide grip pull down, which is one of the most popular and effective back exercises available, you simply can’t omit the bent over dumbbell row. This is one of the best general back exercises available to develop size whilst simultaneously teaching your core muscles to remain rigid under load.

The only issue with this particular exercise is that it’s easy to perform badly and even easier to cheat on. Now these two occurrence factors might not be deliberate, but the outcome will be the same regardless, reduced efficiency and reduced effectiveness.

Despite being relatively straight forward in its exercise prescription, the bent over dumbbell row is an exercise which is consistently performed badly. The main reason for this is that the positioning of the body is very much open to interpretation and easily allows for an unwanted torso rotational movement to find its way into the exercise. This article aims to put to bed some of these commonly found flaws, so that whilst others around you might perform badly, you can rest assured that you’ve given your back an optimal workout.

In order to successfully perform this exercise you will need the following equipment:

  • Dumbbell offering the correct resistance
  • Gym workout bench
How To Perform The Bent Over Dumbbell Row

The bent over dumbbell row will now be broken down into preparation and execution phases respectively so you can see exactly what is required of you;

Preparation phase
  1. Kneel over the bench allowing the knee and hand to both make contact
  2. The knee and hand supporting your body should both be in alignment
  3. Position your other foot onto the floor and slightly to the side
  4. Grasp the dumbbell from the floor with your target side
Execution phase
  1. Raise the dumbbell off of the floor by performing an upward pulling motion
  2. Continue this movement until your upper arm is beyond horizontal
  3. Reverse this movement lowering the dumbbell but do not make contact with the floor
  4. This is one repetition. Repeat repetitions as required before switching sides
Bent Over Dumbbell Row Video

Final Word

Simple right?! There really is nothing more to performing this exercise. When undertaking the bent over dumbbell row select a resistance that challenges you but allows you to keep perfect form. Due to the lack of external support to your core during this exercise, any postural deviations can result in injury, normally to your lower back region.

Furthermore, always attempt to maintain a flat upper back throughout this exercise, where your torso is as close to horizontal as possible. Resist the temptation to rotate at your mid section as this will take away from your back muscles, the reason you’re performing the exercise, and will place unnecessary strain on your back and core.

With all this in mind, all that’s left for you to do now is to find the necessary equipment and get lifting.