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One Arm Dumbbell Row – Complete Video Tutorial and Exercise Guide

By: Stuart Carter, Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1,

C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

The One Arm Dumbbell Row is a great addition to your workout routine. As a unilateral movement, you can work one side at a time and help cure imbalances in strength and muscular development in your back.

one arm dumbbell rowOne Arm Dumbbell Row works throughout most of your upper body, covering lats, shoulders, traps and to some extent, biceps.

This exercise will help you build thickness, rather than width, in your lats. This gives a great effect and compliments the V-taper effect you build from Lat pulldowns or pull-ups.

Keeping the flat position of your back throughout the movement is very important, so you get a full squeeze into the right muscles, but also to keep your spine in alignment and avoid injury.

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.

We have a full video tutorial below, to show you the fine form points of the One Arm 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.

One Arm Dumbbell Row – Step-by-step technique

    • Step 1: Set your bench with a flat position and place equal weight dumbbells each side of the bench.
    • Step 2: Place one knee and your hand on the same side onto the bench, keeping your other foot planted on the floor and other hand free.
    • Step 3: Lean forward and pick up one dumbbell in your free hand and set yourself into a ‘tabletop' position with your back flat and shoulders square.
    • Step 4: Pull your shoulder blade back on your active side and keep this locked in throughout the entire set.
    • Step 5: Breathe in, then as you breath out, row the dumbbell up, keeping your elbows close to your sides throughout. Pause at the top of the movement and squeeze your lats.
    • Step 6: Breathing in, lower the dumbbells back to the lowest point, slow and controlled, keeping your shoulder blade locked in place.
    • Step 7: Repeat steps 3-5 for the prescribed number of reps, then change sides and repeat for the opposite arm.

** Pro Tip #1: To start, complete this exercise as a finisher exercise, with 2-3 sets of 10-15 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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