Tip: Isolate with Fisherman Rows

Here's a better way to do dumbbell rows.


Dumbbell rows are a staple in many programs for unilateral pulling strength and development of the lats. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who might not have the right conditioning to use the classic single-arm dumbbell row without risk, and others who just plain struggle to get a handle on proper form and technique.

For lifters with a history of lumbar issues, the last thing they need is a one-sided load combined with an uneven hip position, which is what happens when they place one leg up on a bench while the other stays grounded.

Moreover, finding the right places to put your hands and feet to promote a level hip position to avoid the pitfalls can be frustrating. Even healthy lifters can have trouble finding a position that gives the proper amount of emphasis to the right areas.

Solution? Do the fisherman row:

The major difference you'll see right off the bat is the fact that both legs are mounted on the bench, not just one. This immediately stabilizes the pelvis so you don't have to spend time trying to finding the least objectionable hand, foot, and knee position. Make sure to set up on an angle to the bench so the dumbbell's path isn't impeded.

Since this setup places the arm a bit farther away from the bench, it also allows you to use a greater rotation at the wrist, which allows you to hit the upper back and lats from a slightly different angle while staying comfortable.