Dumbbell Row

  • Alternative Names: One arm dumbbell row, single arm dumbbell row, chest-supported row
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Dumbbell
  • Muscles Targeted: Middle back
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-4, of 6-8 reps for each arm
  • Variations: Bent over, incline, seated, renegade, underhand dumbbell rows
  • Alternative: Bent-over two-dumbbell row with palms in, bent-over one-arm long bar row

The dumbbell row or one-arm db row is one of the most effective back-strengthening exercises, as it allows you to focus on your lats, traps, and other muscles without relying heavily on any one side of the body to do the maximum work. It helps highlight the strength imbalances in your muscle groups while working over a greater range of motion than the barbell row. Aside from other benefits, it also gives you the strength needed to perform other lifting exercises thereby increasing your performance.

How to do One Arm Dumbbell Row

Set up for the dumbbell row by placing a medium-heavy dumbbell (weighing about 25 lbs) on each side of a flat bench. For support, put your right hand at the other end of the flat bench.

Dumbbell Row

Single Arm Dumbbell Row Tips

  • Focus on squeezing your back and shoulder muscles once you assume the full contraction at the top of the movement.
  • Avoid keeping your head up and straight because it may cause pain in your spine. Try to keep your head in a neutral position
  • Do not tuck in or flare out your elbows to the sides. Also, make sure that you do not lift the elbow past your body.
  • Perform it using a low or high pulley to maintain continuous tension over your back muscles.


  1. Dumbbell Bent Over Row: Performed by standing with a dumbbell in each hand and bending over, while keeping the back straight.
  2. Incline Dumbbell Row: Involves lying chest-down on an incline bench while holding a pair of dumbbells.
  3. Seated Row with Dumbbells: Done by bending forward at your hips in a seated position.
  4. Dumbbell Renegade Row: Performed in a push-up position, while holding and balancing your body on the dumbbells kept beneath your shoulders.
  5. Underhand Dumbbell Row: Involves bending your knees and picking up the dumbbells using an underhand grip.

Alternative Exercises

  • Bent-Over Two-Dumbbell Row with Palms In
  • Bent-Over One-Arm Long Bar Row

Stay Connected

Get access to the latest health and fitness insights, tools and special offers to keep your career moving.