One Arm Dumbbell Row

Exercise Details for One Arm Dumbbell Row

  • Primary Muscle
  • Secondary Muscle
    Biceps , Traps, Rear Delt, Middle back
  • Equipment
  • Level

Why should you do One Arm Dumbbell Row?

One Arm Dumbbell Row is an excellent rowing exercise for your lats, the muscles next to your back. The exercise is quite easy to perform and well-suited for home training as long as you have a dumbbell. Be sure to pull the dumbbell close to your body and obliquely backward towards your hips; then, your lats will work the most. If you pull the weight up towards the chest and angle the upper arm towards the body, your traps will take over the lift. Other exercises for this purpose, including Meadow Rows, are better suited than incorrectly performing One Arm Dumbbell Row.


Bring out a horizontal bench. Put the knee of the nearest leg on it and lean forward with a straight arm on the bench—the same side of the body for both arm and knee. You have the other leg firmly in the ground but tilted obliquely backward. You should not have it straight down because then it obstructs the dumbbell’s trajectory. Your other arm should hold a dumbbell that now hangs down to the floor just below the shoulder of the same arm. Make sure that your back is in a neutral position and remember to lift your butt towards the ceiling slightly; you should not bend your back. Either your back is entirely parallel to the floor, or it leans somewhat upwards. Pull back the shoulder and push the chest forward. You are now in your starting position.

Pull the dumbbell up diagonally backward towards your hip. The dumbbell should not go straight up and down but obliquely. Joint and lift with the elbow. It should end up behind your back in the top position as far up as possible. Pull the arm close to the body and do not angle the elbow out of the body.

It’s ok if your body rotates slightly when you extend your arm down to the floor in the bottom position so that your lats stretch out. It’s ok if your body rotates the other way in the top position when you pull your elbow behind your body but do not overdo this rotation.

Tips for One Arm Dumbbell Row

  • You should have a neutral back and remember to lift your butt against the ceiling slightly. You should not bend your back.
  • Keep a neutral position with your neck.
  • To maximize the load on your lats, your back should be completely horizontal or tilt very slightly upwards.
  • Your straight support leg should not obstruct the trajectory of the dumbbell. Therefore, keep it at an angle backwards.
  • Pull your shoulders back and push your chest forward 
  • The dumbbell should be below your shoulder in the starting position, stretch the back muscles and let the shoulder blade pull down
  • Pull the dumbbell diagonally back towards the hip. When you pull the dumbbell higher up towards your chest, your traps will take over 
  • Pull the dumbbell close to the body
  • Pull with your elbow. Make sure your elbow is behind your body in the top position.
  • Your upper body may rotate slightly when you extend your arm in the bottom position and slightly upwards in the top position, but do not overdo it.
  • Make sure your shoulder blades are pinched together in the top position
  • Control the movement, keep tension in the muscle you are exercising on the way back

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