Exercise of the Week: Dumbbell One Arm Bent Over Row

 In Brain Aneurysm Resources

Luke Lewitzke

Certified A.C.E. (American Counsel on Exercise) Personal Trainer

Weight and Lifestyle Management Specialist

The dumbbell one arm bent over row is going to work primarily your latissimus dorsi, the big muscle in your back that attaches in the lumbar spine region and under the armpit. Along with the latissimus dorsi, this exercise is also going to work your posterior deltoid (back of shoulder), trapezius, rhomboid (muscle between the shoulder blades), and your core.

Performing the Dumbbell One Arm Bent Over Row

  • Standing in front of a chair or bench, hinge forward at the waist, pushing your hips back behind you and maintaining a tall, straight spine.
  • Place one hand on the seat of the chair with the other arm hanging straight down towards the floor.
  • Hold the dumbbell in that hand.
  • Pull the dumbbell up towards the bottom of the ribcage, focusing on squeezing your shoulder blade in towards the middle of your back.
  • Make sure to keep your neck neutral and NOT crane up to look in straight ahead. You should be looking about 2-3 feet in front of you.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions each arm with 30 sec – 1 min rest between sets.


If you feel a little fatigue in your lower back, you can place the opposite knee of the hand you are holding the weight on the bench or chair. This is to help support your lower back.


  • Do not perform the dumbbell one arm bent over row if you have pain hinging at the waist.
  • Do not perform the dumbbell one arm bent over row if you experience any tingling or numbness in your arm as you hold the weight.
  • Do not perform the dumbbell one arm bent over row if you feel any pain or discomfort in your shoulder.

Alternative Exercise

If you do experience any of the previous issues or any other issue, try performing a seated or standing band row.

Resistance band Rows

  • These can be performed with either a single arm or with both arms at the same time and either seated or standing depending on how your lower back feels.
  • The main thing to focus on is to squeeze your shoulder blades together as if you are trying to pop a water balloon that you are holding between your shoulders.
  • Hold the row for a count of 3 before extending your arms forward.
  • Perform 10-15 repetitions 2 times with 30 seconds of rest between sets.