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  • Jack Wilson

Why Should You Perform the One-Arm Dumbbell Row

The back is one of the major muscle groups present in the body, and to hit the entire back, there are basically two types of movements associated with it: one being the pulling motion from the top to bottom like in the pull-up and the other being the pulling motion from the front of your body to your torso. Both have different effects on the back muscles and are of equal importance to get a thick and developed back.

These movements which include pulling from the front of your body to your torso against resistance are called rows. There are a variety of rows like the machine row, cable row, barbell row, and the dumbbell row. The rowing movement mainly targets the middle back but also helps a lot in the stabilisation of the core.

Out of these, the best rows you could possibly do are the dumbbell rows, firstly, because this movement is free-weight and free weights are undoubtedly the best for building muscle when compared with the machines and cables. The reason that dumbbell rows have an edge over barbell rows is that they are performed unilaterally which results in enhanced muscle fiber contraction and evens out the muscle imbalances on either side of the back.

Dumbbell rows allow you to have a full range of motion which is very beneficial as it works up even the small muscles which are often ignored due to less range of motion in other exercises and helps your body not to get stiff. Changing a little bit of form on the dumbbell rows focuses on different lat fibers, for example, when we pull the dumbbell towards our hip, the lower lat fibers are involved, whereas the upper fibers and rear delts are activated when the motion is in a straight line up from the bottom position.

One-arm dumbbell rows are beneficial for both building the mass in the back as well as widening the lats. Rowing movements are generally known to increase the size in the muscle group involved. When the dumbbell is pulled up towards the torso, compression takes place through the thoracolumbar region which results in scapular retraction due to which the outer lat fibers are developed, thus widening the back.

One of the most important things to consider while doing a dumbbell row is the form because even a slight deviation from the exact form like the rounded back will limit the mobility of the scapula which in turn will limit the growth of your lats. Even the positioning of the torso matters; it should be close to the horizontal. The torso shouldn’t be rotated in order to throw the weight up, rather the upward motion should be done by retracting the scapula. When the torso is in the neutral position, the shoulder blade is able to move properly allowing the lats and rhomboids to pull the dumbbells up properly and in good form.

Though the one arm dumbbell row, which is a compound movement, mainly targets the middle back, especially the latissimus dorsi, the shoulders and biceps also have a slight role in the movement. This exercise as we said above is great for core stabilisation due to its anti-rotation and anti-flexion movements.

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