How To  Do Kneeling One Arm Row Properly

The kneeling one arm row is an excellent addition to any dumbbell workout. This compound exercise targets varied muscles like the lats, entire back, shoulders, forearms, traps, biceps, and hips all while improving core stability.

If you are a beginner, you can use light weights as you build strength. You can also include it as part of a circuit training routine.

Dumbbells and a flat bench are the only equipment that you need for the movement. However, there are several variations of this back exercise that you can try out that may require different types of equipment or may even require no equipment at all.

Even though, the bent-over barbell row is the most popular back exercise due to its massive back-boosting benefits, the kneeling one arm row is arguably better for your back. This is because, the latter uses one arm at a time and this allows you to focus all your efforts on the targeted lats, traps and other back muscles.

Besides, using dumbbells instead of a barbell highlights any strength imbalance that needs fixing thus, prevents you from relying on one side of your body to do most of the work. Moreover, the kneeling one arm row has a greater range of motion than the bent-over barbell row, as you can row the weight higher than when using a barbell

Learning how to properly perform the movement is easy with the step-by-step instructions given below. The exercise also just needs beginner level of physical fitness and exercise experience.

HOW TO PERFORM KNEELING ONE ARM ROW

Here are the steps on how to properly do the exercise

  • Stand to the right of a weight bench or a sturdy thigh high platform and hold your dumbbell in your right hand with a neutral grip.
  • Place your left knee on the bench and grab the top of the bench with your left hand for support. Contract your abs and bend from the hips such that your upper body is roughly parallel to the ground. Slightly bend your right knee, and let your right arm hang down and a bit forward. Also, tilt your chin towards your chest so that your neck is in line with your spine.
  • Pull the dumbbell up to your chest until your elbow is pointing to the ceiling, upper arm is roughly parallel to the floor and your hand comes to the outside of the ribcage. Concentrate on lifting the dumbbell using your back and shoulders instead of arms. Ensure your chest is kept still throughout.
  • Pause at the top of the movement, and squeeze your shoulder and back muscles.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell until your arm is fully extended again to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps before switching to the other arm.

MUSCLES ENGAGED DURING KNEELING ONE ARM ROW

This compound back exercise, like other rowing exercises, uses a pulling movement pattern that activates multiple muscles.

The primary muscle group targeted during the single-arm row is the latissimus dorsi (lats). Other muscles engaged are those of the entire back, shoulders, and arms (the trapezius, brachialis, rhomboids, teres major and minor, infraspinatus, deltoids, biceps, brachioradialis, and even pecs).

KNEELING ONE ARM ROW BENEFITS

BUILD A STRONGER BACK.

The movement puts special emphasis on your back muscles, including the latissimus dorsi, posterior deltoids, teres major, trapezius, and rhomboids. A strong back means that you can walk and stand longer without having to deal with an aching back.

STRENGTHENING UPPER BODY MUSCLES.

Even though the exercise prioritizes your back muscles, it activates several upper body muscles, including your chest muscles, shoulder muscles, core muscles, glutes, lower back muscles, and triceps. This will help you perform several daily activities with greater ease and less discomfort. You will be able to effortlessly bend, lift, and carry.

 IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE.

The exercise helps you improve your posture by building your upper-body strength

ENHANCE SHOULDER AND ELBOW MOBILITY

The movement allows for a greater range of motion than the traditional barbell row, and this enhances your shoulder and elbow mobility.

IMPROVING BLOOD FLOW, BURNING CALORIES

Exercising major muscles improves blood flow and burns calories. This improves your body composition by reducing fat and building muscle.

KNEELING ONE ARM ROW ALTERNATIVES

SYMMETRICAL STANCE ONE ARM DUMBBELL ROW

The symmetrical stance one arm dumbbell row will need you to have only one hand on the bench while you row with the other, instead of supporting yourself with both your leg and hand on the bench. This challenges your core even more, as you’ll have to work harder against the weight so as to hold your torso in place while you row it up and down.

GYM BALL ONE ARM DUMBBELL ROW

The gym ball one arm dumbbell row will require you to switch out the bench for an unstable inflatable ball. This will increase the work your core has to do to stabilize you while you perform your rows. Although, you won’t be able to lift as much weight as when leaning on a stable surface, the exercise makes a better all-round workout.

DUMBBELL INCLINE ROW

For the dumbbell incline row, you will need to set a bench up at a 45° incline and then lie chest-down on it. Grab a dumbbell in both hands and row them up to your chest. Ensure you squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement. Your chest should not come off the bench at any point during the exercise. This will prevent you from rounding your back while doing the movement.

KNEELING ONE ARM ROW MISTAKES TO AVOID

TOO MUCH WEIGHT

Don’t lift too much weight as you may find that you are mainly focusing on the lats and neglecting the other smaller stabilizer muscles. Use lighter weights and more reps, and squeeze the shoulder blades in order to get the rhomboids and shoulders firing. Once you have mastered the proper form, you can then add weight and reduce the number of reps.

MOVING ARM RATHER THAN SHOULDER

Do not move your arms to initiate the row, instead move your shoulder blade.

JERKING OR TWISTING MOTION

Do not jerk the weight or twist the spine and shoulders during the movement. This may indicate that you are using too much weight.

ROUNDED BACK

Do not curve your back throughout the exercise. Ensure you keep the back straight.

CONCLUSION

The kneeling one arm row is a great exercise for strengthening your lats, biceps and shoulders. Essentially, always use the proper form to maximize its benefits and to avoid injury.