The seated row with dumbbells is a great exercise that builds your middle and upper back strength. Basically, it involves single-joint movement that targets the muscles of your upper and middle back.
The exercise only requires a pair of dumbbells and a bench. It is fit for all fitness and experience level, from bodybuilders to novice lifters.
This multifunctional exercise can be incorporated as a warm-up exercise as you advance to more complex exercises like the single-arm neutral-grip dumbbell row.
Adding and mastering this versatile exercise to your workout regimen will help in strengthening your back, shoulder and triceps muscles.
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HOW TO DO SEATED ROW WITH DUMBBELLS
Below is a step-by-step procedure of doing the exercise:
- Sit at the edge of a flat bench while holding a dumbbell on each hand with palms facing inwards.
- Bend slightly towards your hips such that your torso is leaning forward. This is the starting position.
- Pull the dumbbells up to your sides by squeezing your shoulders blades together as you simultaneously drive your elbows beyond your back.
- Hold at this point for a few seconds before slowly returning to the start position.
- Repeat the move for the desired number of sets and reps.
SEATED ROW WITH DUMBBELLS MUSCLES WORKED
Seated row with dumbbells primarily works the back muscles like the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, posterior deltoids, erector spinae and the rhomboids muscles. The secondary muscles engaged are the shoulder, biceps and triceps muscles.
The core is also strengthened during the exercise.
SEATED ROW WITH DUMBBELLS BENEFITS
BUILDS BACK STRENGTH
As discussed, seated row with dumbbells prioritizes the back muscles, like the latissimus dorsi, posterior deltoids, teres major, trapezius, and rhomboids. Consequently, these muscles are strengthened and improved.
SRENGTHENS UPPER BODY MUSCLES
In addition to building your back muscles, the movement activates many other muscle groups like the core, chest muscles and triceps. This makes it a comprehensive upper-body workout.
By strengthening your upper body, the workout also improves your posture.
ENHANCES SHOULDER AND ELBOW MOBILITY
The exercise improves your shoulder and elbow mobility by allowing a wide range of motion than the traditional barbell row.
INCREASES GRIP STRENGTH
If you are a novice lifter, this move is perfect as it helps you improve and build your grip strength. Moreover, you can incorporate is as a warm-up to other compound exercises like deadlifts and bench presses.
ALLOWS RAPID HYPERTROPHY AND MUSCLE GROWTH
The move also allows stretching at the middle of the rep thus, more rapid hypertrophy and muscle growth.
HELPS ACHIEVE AN APPEALING AESTHETIC SHAPE
Another benefit of the exercise is helping you achieve an appealing aesthetic shape. Men get the V-shape torso while women get a broader back, insinuating a slimmer waistline.
SEATED ROW WITH DUMBBELLS ALTERNATIVES
THE INCLINE DUMBBELL ROW
The incline dumbbell row is an upper-body strength exercise that primarily works the latissimus dorsi, upper-back muscles, and the biceps too. The lower lats are particularly targeted because of the use of the incline bench.
SEATED CABLE ROW
The seated cable row is performed by sitting upright on the bench and holding the cable attachment. Ensure that your lower back is straightened and knees slightly bend by sliding your hips back.
Now, you can pull the cable attachment toward your waist while simultaneously pulling your shoulders back and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
BENT-OVER DUMBBELL ROW
The bent-over dumbbell row is a compound exercise for strengthening the back muscles. It is performed by standing with your hips hinged and your back straight, as you lift a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip.
It activates several upper back muscles, your core, shoulders and arms by using the pulling movement pattern. This is common in many rowing exercises.
SEATED ROW WITH DUMBBELLS TIPS AND MISTAKES TO AVOID
SWINGING YOUR UPPER BACK
Avoid swinging your upper body during the pulling motion. This is because the intended muscles will not feel the tension.
Ensure that you engage your core to keep your upper body stationary as you pull the dumbbells. This will also protect your back during the movement.
USSING TOO MUCH WEIGHT
Avoid using too much dumbbell weight especially at the start of the exercise. Although this will strengthen your lats, the smaller stabilizer back muscles and your core could be neglected.
Alternatively, it is better to start with smaller weights and more reps as you properly squeeze your shoulder blades. Then you can go on increasing the weight after completing some sets with smaller weights.
This will not only give you the desired results but also prevent you from risking an injury.
MOVING YOUR ARM
Do not initiate the row movement with your arms, rather use your shoulder blades. It is your shoulder blades that should be moving and not your arms.
Do not rotate your body as you row because this will prevent your scapular muscles from being fully activated and used. Perform each row in a slow and controlled manner for optimal results and to prevent injury.
Avoid creating momentum by steering clear of rapid and jerky movements.
Avoid shrugging your shoulders as you pull the weight as this will shift the tension to the traps instead of the lats. Ensure that your shoulders are kept back and down.
Do not round or arch your back to prevent injury. Make sure that your abs are contracted always to stabilize the back.
Also, focus on maintaining a neutral back and a straight spine.
PARTIAL RANGE OF MOTION
Avoid not going through the full range of motion in a rep. This will not guarantee you optimal benefits as your muscles will not be fully activated.
Even though a partial or reduced range of motion lets you lift more weight, extending your arms partially will not enable you to work your muscles properly.
If you want to tone and build your upper body strength, then the seated row with dumbbells is the exercise for you. Of importance is that you maintain the correct posture throughout the exercise, not only for optimal results but also to prevent back injury.