Two Dumbbell Bent-Over Row


by Devin Sarno, NSCA-CPT

Muscle Groups: Upper Back, Middle Back, Lats

Importance: Relative to the barbell bent-over row, you are allowed a larger range of motion using dumbbells without having the bar stop at your torso. By increasing the range of motion, you'll be able to train the back muscles more completely. 

Proper Form:

  • Begin with one dumbbell in each of your hands
  • Your palms should be turned slightly inward toward your midsection
  • With a slight bend in your knees, fold forward at the waist to a position near parallel to the floor with a neutral spine (identical to your deadlift)
  • Starting with the dumbbells hanging in front of you, keep a stationary position as you initiate the movement
  • Keeping the elbows close to the body, pull them in a straight line backward, moving through your full range of motion in shoulder extension
  • At the top of your range of motion, squeeze your back muscles and briefly hold the position
  • Lower the weight in a slow, controlled manner back to the start position


  • Be sure to keep a neutral spine as well as a stationary torso. Rather than pulling your entire upper body backward, your arms should be the only body art actually moving during the lift
  • Keep your neck lengthened and head up to help keep your position
  • If you have any back issues, try a horizontal row variation

Sample Workout:

  • Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts x 10, 8, 6, 4, 2
  • Dumbbell Bent Over Rows x 10, 8, 6, 4, 2
  • Dumbbell Hammer Curls x 10, 8, 6, 4, 2
  • 45 sec plank

Complete 5 Rounds, starting with 10 reps and decreasing your reps by 2 each round. The plank will remain 45 seconds.

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