Bent-over dumbbell row exercise
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Bent-over dumbbell row

Exercise details

Main muscles activated

Muscles activated by bent-over dumbbell row


Starting position

  1. Holding a dumbbell in your left hand, kneel on a bench with your right knee and support your body with your right arm. The dumbbell should be hanging straight down, with your left arm almost fully extended.


  1. Exhale as you pull the dumbbell up to the side of your waist.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you lower the dumbbell to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
  5. Repeat with your right arm.

Comments and tips

  • Pull with your elbow, not with your biceps.
  • Keep your torso near horizontal and your elbow tucked in.
  • Do not rotate your torso as you pull the dumbbell upward.
  • Many people think that the biceps acts as a synergist in rowing exercises such as the bent-over dumbbell row, when, in fact, it acts as a dynamic stabilizer, along with the long head of the triceps brachii.
  • The bent-over dumbbell row is great for developing unilateral upper-body strength.
  • As with all unilateral exercises (exercises that allow you to train one side of your body at a time), start with your weak side, and do not perform more reps with your strong side. This will allow your weak side to catch up.
  • See also the bent-over barbell row and the seated cable row.

Bent-over dumbbell row video


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