Using dumbbells will also help target smaller stabilizer muscles that a barbell cannot hit.
The bent-over dumbbell row works a lot of the upper body muscles.
Mostly targeting the back, it is a great exercise for building thickness, rather than width.
Secondary muscles targeted are the shoulders, traps, and biceps.
Due to the position you need to hold as you complete the bent-over dumbbell row, you will also work your core muscles and postural muscles.
In this tutorial and related video, I'll show you the proper technique of the exercise, so you can complete it with confidence and safety.
Completing the exercise properly will mean the best results for you while avoiding the potential of injury.
Check out the full video tutorial below to learn the fine form points of the bent-over dumbbell row.
Also, if you need something to print off and take to the gym, you can find our step-by-step exercise walkthrough further down this page.
Here's how to do the bent-over dumbbell row the right way!
Bent-Over Dumbbell Row – Step-By-Step Technique
- Step 1: Stand in front of your dumbbells, both of even weight.
- Step 2: Bend yourself forward, hinging at the hip and keeping your back flat. Grip the dumbbells and raise yourself up slightly, keeping your back flat.
- Step 3: Holding this position, squeeze your shoulder blades back and down, to isolate the lats.
- Step 4: Row the dumbbells up, keeping your elbows close to your sides throughout. Pause at the top of the movement and squeeze your lats.
- Step 5: Lower the dumbbells back to the lowest point, slow and controlled, keeping your shoulder blades drawn down and back.
- Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5 for the prescribed number of reps.
Pro Tip #1: To start, complete this exercise as a finisher exercise, with 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
Pro Tip #2: Make sure your back does not round throughout the exercise. Keep your back flat.
To learn more exercises that you can use in your training, visit our complete exercise library on the Fit Father Project YouTube Channel.
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*Please know that weight loss results and health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on the bent-over dumbbell row.