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How to Do the One-Arm Dumbbell Row ?

Exercising your upper back without machinery isn’t easy, but the one-arm dumbbell row does a good job. This exercise also strengthens your biceps and shoulders. Be especially careful if you have lower-back problems.


Grasp a dumbbell with an overhand grip and palm facing body.

Rest your opposite knee on a flat bench.

The supporting leg should be slightly flexed with the foot flat on the floor.

The back should remain straight, parallel to the floor.

The dumbbell should be held at arm's length.


Pull the dumbbell upward in a straight line with the elbow kept close to the body.

Lower the dumbbell slowly to the starting position.

Repeat this movement until the intended number of repetitions have been completed.

Repeat on the other side.


Other exercises that tackle these muscles include Bent-Over Barbell Rows (mid trapezius), Chin-Ups (upper trapezius) and Lat Pull-Downs Behind the Neck (upper trapezius).

Exercise Tips:

  •     Keep your head up and eyes facing forwards, as this will keep your back straight.
  •     Your shoulder blades shoulder be pulled back throughout the set.
  •     Do not let the working shoulder drop down at the bottom of the movement. Keep your entire torso fixed!
  •     Pull the weight straight up while keeping your elbow tucked in.
  •     Focus on pulling the weight up with your back muscles and not your forearm.