Tip: Stop Rowing Wrong

You're not starting a lawnmower when you do dumbbell rows. Here's a better way to row for big gains.

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It's Not a Lawnmower!

Dumbbell rows are an excellent exercise, but most lifters look like they're trying to pull-start a lawn mower when they do them. This severely limits the bang-for-your buck benefits of single-arm rows because torso rotation replaces scapular retraction as the primary mover of the weight.

To maximize reward and minimize risk, adopt a split stance and stand perpendicular to the bench.

Dumbbell Split Row

This slight change allows you to row huge weight for strength and mass while significantly increasing the anti-rotation and anti-flexion demands of the typical row. This builds an injury-resistant trunk while allowing you to hoist heavy weights for better pulling strength.

How to Do It

With a heavy dumbbell in one hand, lock the opposite arm out on a bench and hold a flat back position. Keep the feet slightly staggered and row the dumbbell up towards your ribcage while preventing your torso from twisting and rotating.

Eric Bach is a highly sought-after strength and conditioning coach, located in Colorado. Eric specializes in helping athletes and online clients achieve optimal performance in the gym and on the playing field. Follow Eric Bach on Facebook