1 Arm Dumbbell Row Back Exercise

The 1 arm row is a good back exercise that adds a little more stability challenge to your lower back muscles.

You can change the stability demands of your upper body exercises by changing simple variables.

For example, in the 2 arm dumbbell row, the dumbbells provide a counter balance for each other.

However, when you only use only 1 dumbbell, there is no counter balance, so your core muscles will have to work harder to stabilize your spine.

In the 1 arm dumbbell row, your lower back muscles will work harder to prevent your spine from rotating.

Back Strengthening Exercises
1 Arm Rows

Starting Position: Begin by hinging from the hips while keeping your back straight. Hold one dumbbell in your hand. Also, you can place your opposite hand on your thigh to help stabilize your back, or you can gently place your opposite hand on your waist.

Form: Exhale and bring the dumbbell towards the ceiling. Hold for a brief second and then slowly lower to the starting position.

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Personal Trainer Tips: Be mindful of the position of your lower back during this exercise.

This exercise places a lot more torque on the spine and lower back when compared with 2 arm rows, so begin by mastering 2 arm rows.

In addition to the lower back muscles, this exercise also works the middle back, upper back, shoulders, and biceps.


You can increase the stability challenge of any dumbbell exercise by using one dumbbell at a time. When you use one dumbbell, your core muscles have to provide the couter balance to keep your body in good alignment.

Using one dumbbell at a time is a great way to sneak in some extra core work while working your upper body.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT

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