How To Do Underhand Dumbbell Row Properly

The underhand dumbbell row is an excellent fit to activate your lats and back while also working the biceps.

Using this dumbbell variation allows you to address muscular imbalance due to its unilateral training.

The use of dumbbells helps maintain equilibrium and stability in the body on both sides. And training with dumbbells gives you this advantage over a conventional barbell row.

As an upper-body exercise, you hold the weight in your hand while bending forward at the hip. The dumbbells dangle towards the floor. You then lift the weight to chest level before putting them down and repeating this movement.

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Moreover, you enjoy a longer range of motion with this technique which is critically beneficial in fitness.

Here is how you perform the dumbbell row.

How To Do Underhand Dumbbell Row

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  • Have a pair of dumbbells on the floor a few inches from your standing position
  • Maintain a straight back.
  • Slightly bend your knees and grab the dumbbells with your underhand.
  • Start with the dumbbells at knee level as the starting position.
  • Make sure the weights are level with your chest.
  • After a brief pause at the peak of the rep, slowly drop the weights to their starting positions.

While making these moves, remember to keep your shoulders back, your back straight, and your gaze forward.

Secondly, as you lift the weights, remember to keep your elbows close to your sides for proper lats activation.

WHAT MUSCLES DO UNDERHAND DUMBBELL ROW WORK?

Underhand dumbbell row primarily targets the back while also working the forearm. So it is safe to say it targets upper body muscles, including the following.

LATS

They are a thick band of muscle running down the rear of the ribcage. They strengthen your back and shoulder and also stabilise the spine.

TRAPEZIUS

It sits in the upper back, between the clavicles and the humerus. It controls movement and posture besides keeping the shoulders and upper back in good alignment when moving.

RHOMBOID

These muscles connect the shoulder blade to the top of the spinal column. It supports the scapula and the shoulder girdle.

POSTERIOR DELTOID

These are the muscles at the back of your shoulder. The posterior deltoid helps retract the arm.

BICEPS

Biceps let you lift and pull things while your forearm bends toward your upper arm.

UNDERHAND DUMBBELL ROW BENEFITS

You now know the muscles that the underhand dumbbell row works but do you know the benefits you get from this workout?

Here they are.

MUSCLE ACTIVATION

Dumbbell row activates back muscles and those in the forearms and shoulders.

INCREASE STABILITY

Targeting back muscles increases core stability, while bicep activation increases forearm strength.

PUSHING AND PULLING GETS EASIER

There are numerous advantages to increasing one’s upper back muscle mass. Increased muscle strength makes it easier to perform both pushing and pulling activities.

BETTER POSTURE

The underhand dumbbell row aids in maintaining appropriate posture. When your upper and middle back muscles are strong, your spine is more stable. Instead of slouching forward, your body stands taller with your shoulders back.

ALTERNATIVES TO UNDERHAND DUMBBELL ROW

You can always have a different experience with the following alternative underhand dumbbell row workouts.

ONE-ARM DUMBBELL ROW

In addition to strengthening the upper and lower back shoulders, and hips, this exercise also strengthens the core.

Technique:

  • Take a lunge position by stepping back one step.
  • Make a slight bend in your front leg, with the knee in line with your ankle and back leg straight.
  • Place your free hand on your front leg as you lean slightly forward.
  • Squeeze your belly button toward your spine to tighten your core.
  • When the dumbbell reaches full extension at the elbow, return it to the starting position.
  • Keep your shoulders, hips, and lower back in an upright position. Avoid arching or rounding your lower back.
  • Retract your shoulders.
  • Hoist the dumbbell by thrusting your elbow up and bringing the weight closer to your body.
  • As your elbow approaches the ribcage, keep it close to your body.
  • Grasp your forearms and pull your shoulder blades toward your mid-back.
  • The dumbbell should be parallel to your chest at the finish of the action, with your elbow pointing upwards.
  • Make sure your spine, shoulders, and hips are in good alignment.
  • Replicate the exercise with the other arm, switching sides each time.
  • After each set, take a one-minute break before performing the next two or three.

KROC ROWS

The goal of the kroc rows workout is to increase muscle mass and strength by performing high repetitions of a heavyweight. It is a standard variation of the single-arm dumbbell row.

Technique:

  • Rest your non-working arm on anything firm at the height of at least your hips while holding a dumbbell.
  • Stagger your feet to a distance of roughly shoulder-width apart.
  • Set a sturdy bench to rest your arm.
  • Put your spine in a neutral position with your shoulders down and your chest raised by engaging your core.
  • Use some hip drive and row the dumbbell up and back.
  • Pull your elbows up and back while retracting your shoulder blades.
  • Allow your shoulders to move forward as you lower the weight.
  • Full straighten the arm.
  • Repeat.

UNDERHAND DUMBBELL ROW MISTAKES TO AVOID

You could be making the following mistakes when performing the underhand dumbbell row.

A ROUNDED BACK

There is always the temptation to circle your back while lifting the weight. However, maintaining a straight back is essential. In this way, the spine is safe because there is no undue stress.

OVERLOADING

Avoid overloading your weights at the start of your workout. While the heavyweight helps your lats, it may neglect your back’s smaller stabiliser muscles and, in particular, your core.

MOVING THE ARMS INSTEAD OF SHOULDER BLADES

Instead of moving your arm, move your shoulders. The rowing motion comes from the shoulder blades, not the arms.

FOOT-HAND CLOSENESS

When performing a row, the hand performing the movement shouldn’t be too close to the foot that is down on the ground.

CONCLUSION

The underhand dumbbell row is an excellent alternative if you are looking for a row exercise. It strengthens your back muscles, betters your grip, and gives you arm strength. All these are important aspects of powerlifting which you can get if you incorporate it in your training routine.