10 Best Ways To Work Your Back With Just Dumbbells


Using dumbbell set in back exercises is also an effective way of adding muscles and strength to your back. Below are tips, descriptions, and instructions on how to work your back with just dumbbells.

The importance of back exercises cannot be overlooked, this is because they do not only work and strengthen the muscles responsible for supporting the upper body, but assist you to carry out other lower body exercises with ease. A well-executed back exercise will prevent sprains and strains while participating in sports or daily activities, give you a dynamic V-shape physique, and an overall aesthetically pleasing appearance.

There are varieties of back exercises you can incubate into your back exercise routine. Most of them tend to be vigorous, intimidating, or just too hard. Back exercises that involve the use of dumbbells are all great choices if other varieties are too daring. These exercises are as effective as many others. They work your lats, rhomboids, traps, and Erector spinae.

Dumbbell back exercises are great for you if you enjoy workouts that involve dumbbells. Ever wondered how dumbbells can become part of your back exercise routines? Well, the primary objective of this article is to unravel different ways to smoke your back with just dumbbells and still develop a good-looking back, upper body, and posture.

The below-listed dumbbell back exercises are handpicked and well researched. Sticking to them will yield results in no time.


10 Ways To Smoke Your Back With Just Dumbbells


1. Elevated Plank Row Hold Back Exercise

Think of Elevated Plank Row Hold as a core or back finisher. This multi-functional exercise works your core, developing muscles in your arms and shoulders, upper and middle back. With a bench and dumbbell, you can get the most out of elevated plank row hold.


Step-by-step Instructions

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to perform the elevated plank row hold:


· In a plank position, place one forearm on a bench. Maintain a straight spine by squeezing your glutes and core.

· With your other arm, get a hold of your dumbbell. Row up by squeezing the muscles on your back, always row up until your dumbbell is at least at your ribcage level, then hold for 30 seconds.

· For full-body balance, squeeze your glutes, back, and core continuously while in motion.

· Repeat this body movement after switching arms to work the other side.


Your target should be executing this body movement for at least 30 seconds per side.


2. Dumbbell Row Back Exercise

The Dumbbell Row is a classic muscle-building back exercise that never gets old or tiring to execute. A well-executed dumbbell row builds and strengthens the upper arms, core, and shoulders. Muscles affected by dumbbell rows are the scapular stabilizers, biceps and forearms, latissimus dorsi, and spinal erectors. This back exercise will allow you to carry out various day-to-day activities with ease and without discomfort.


Step-by-step Instructions

What is needed to get the best out of the dumbbell row is a dumbbell and a bench. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to properly execute dumbbell rows:


· Standing next to a bench and a dumbbell placed on the floor, grip and set your back by placing your knee and same side non-rowing hand on the bench, firmly drill your other free foot on the ground, maintaining a flat back posture. With your free hand, grab the dumbbell placed on the floor, then go back to keeping a flat back posture.

· With relaxed shoulders, squeeze your shoulder blades together initiating the row with your elbow. Endeavor not to row the dumbbell with your shoulders, pull your elbow past your torso, and the dumbbell should at least reach your hip level.

· After rowing to your hip level, contract your back muscle intensely for increased muscle engagement. Contract your back muscle on every rep, slightly return to starting position after feeling an aggressive back contraction and then repeat.


Prescription – Begin with 8 to 12 reps in each set (three sets) for a start.
Stronger back and grip, improved posture, and the ability to engage in competitive strength lifts are all benefits of dumbbell rows.


3. Renegade Row Back Exercise

The Renegade Row Back Exercise is popularly known as plank row. This back variation exercise works the upper back, and at the same time works the core. This back exercise features your body in a plank position, supported by one arm at a time. The muscles targeted by the renegade row are the obliques (core muscles), rhomboids (back muscles), and triceps (arm muscles).


The renegade row is an important back exercise for many reasons, a few of which are; it trains anti-extension and anti-rotation, trains your lats, and integrates stability and strength.


Step-by-step Instructions

Below is your go-to guide on how to properly execute a renegade row:


· To executing a renegade row, get into a push-up position with both arms locked out, and dumbbells underneath your shoulders. This position allows for optimal results.

· Layout your legs with feet a bit wider than shoulder-width, this formation will help prevent your hips and spine from rotating. As you get used to performing the renegade row, your feet could be placed closer as long as your hips and spine don’t rotate.

· With toes and feet drilled to the ground, initiate a push-up, with a dumbbell in one hand row towards your hip level same time drilling your non-rowing dumbbell into the ground with the other free hand.

· To prevent spine and hips rotation, row slowly. If rotation becomes problematic, it means it is either you are going too fast or using too much weight.

· Return your weight to starting position after rowing, and repeat on the other side.


Prescription – Begin with 8 to 12 reps for each side in a set (three sets) for a start.
Now that’s how to execute a complete renegade row rep.


4. Dumbbell Incline Row Back Exercise

The Dumbbell Incline Row is considered one of the most effective and safest middle back exercises. Executing the dumbbell row will have your back in a safe position, letting you easily concentrate on other muscles (lats, biceps, and middle back) involved when initiating rows.


Step-by-step Instructions

Below is your go-to guide on how to properly execute the dumbbell incline row:


· First, select an appropriate dumbbell weight that suits your style of training.

· Lean forward on an incline bench of about 45 degrees.

· With feet drilled to the ground, dumbbells in both hands, row the dumbbells to your side by retracting your shoulder blades, flexing your elbows.

· Ensure both elbows are close to your torso, maintain your wrists in the same position, giving no room for rotation. Make more reps until you begin to feel contractions on your back muscles.


Prescription – Begin with 8 to 12 reps in each set (three sets) for a start.
To properly execute dumbbell inclined row, endeavor to maintain a straight torso at all times. When controlling resistance on your way up, do not use your upper trapezius muscles.


5. The TRX Plank Pause Row Back Exercise


The TRX plank pause row involves daring moves that will severely crush your back and core. This back workout variation uses dumbbell and suspension trainers to work both abs and back muscles. Properly executing the TRX pause row will not just strengthen your back, shoulder stabilizers, and other deep abdominal muscles, but prevent possible injuries to the low back and shoulders as you go about your day-to-day activities.


Step-by-step Instructions

Below is your go-to guide on how to properly execute the trx plank pause row:


· First, get into a single-arm plank position by spreading your legs a bit wider than shoulder-width apart, holding a TRX handle in your left hand, and a dumbbell in your other hand, same time bracing your glutes and core.

· With your right arm fully stretched, row the dumbbell in your left arm by squeezing your back muscles.

· Halt at for about a second or two at the top of the row, then slowly and in full control return to starting position.

· Repeat this body movement until you feel a contraction or to your desired amount of reps, then switch arms.


What may seem challenging when performing the TRX plank pause row is the instability of the TRX. This can be managed or avoided by flexing your abs and tightening your glute on that side.


6. The One-arm Bent-over Row

This back workout variation is also as effective as the above-listed exercises. Executing a single-arm bent-over row will intensely work the lower and upper back, hips, biceps, and shoulders same time improve your core stability.


Step-by-step Instructions

Below is your go-to guide on how to properly execute the single-arm bent-over row:


· With your dumbbell in one hand and feet hip-distance apart, take a little step forward for a staggered stance.

· With bent knees and hips, maintain a lowered torso parallel to the floor with dumbbells hanging at arm’s length from the shoulder.

· Pull your dumbbell to the side of your torso, elbow close to your side while maintaining a stable torso formation. At the top of the movement, halt and squeeze.

· Lower your dumbbell back to starting position and repeat on the other side.


Prescription – Begin with 8 to 12 reps in each set (three sets) for a start.

Here are few tips to consider when performing the one-arm bent-over row. Maintain good body formation by always being mindful of proper posture. For each row, pull the dumbbell up to at least your ribs level.


7. Alternating Dumbbell Bent-over row

This back exercise variation targets the upper and middle back, and if done at a lesser degree will intensely work your biceps, shoulders, and forearms. To properly execute this exercise you are only going to need dumbbells.


Step-by-step Instructions

Below is your go-to guide on how to properly execute the alternating dumbbell bent-over row:


· With a natural lowered back arch, and feet drilled to the floor shoulder-width apart, firmly grab a pair of dumbbells while bending your knees and hips, maintain a low torso almost parallel to the floor.

· With both palms facing each other, from your shoulders, let your dumbbells hang out at arm’s length.

· Maintaining a steady torso, row one dumbbell to your side and then slowly return to starting position.

· Repeat this movement until your begin to feel a contraction, and then switch to the other arm.


Prescription – Begin with 8 to 12 reps in each set (three sets) for a start.

For an upper body strength workout, the alternating bent-over row is a great choice to begin with.


8. The Reverse Fly Back Exercise

With the reverse fly exercise, the rhomboid muscles found in your shoulder and the upper back region become a target. This back exercise cannot be left out because it is as important as the rest as it increases your shoulder and back strength, same time shielding them from possible injuries that may occur from your day-to-day activities.


Step-by-step Instructions

Below is your go-to guide on how to properly execute the reverse fly back exercise:


· With dumbbells in both arms and feet shoulder-width apart, bring your arms in front of you, right where you can see them, maintaining them at shoulder height and parallel to each other.

· Get into a T-shape by slowly spreading your arms. Note that the slower you go, the more contraction you will feel on your back and shoulder muscles.

· Having been in control all the way, return both arms to the starting position (the parallel position).

· Repeat this body movement to your desired amount of reps, or till you begin to feel contractions.


What makes the reverse fly stand out is that it can be done just about anywhere; at home, a gym, with or without weights, standing up or on a bench.


9. Upright Dumbbell Row

If you want a perfectly shaped upper back, shoulders, and traps, then the upright dumbbell row is your best buddy for that. Consistent upright dumbbell row exercise will bring out that V-taper physique desired by so many in no time.
Muscles targeted by this back exercise variation are the deltoids, traps, and biceps.


Step-by-step Instructions

Below is your go-to guide on how to properly execute the upright dumbbell row:


· Assume your workout position by standing with feet shoulder-width apart, slightly bent elbows, and dumbbells hanging in front of you.

· With assistance from your shoulder blades, flex your elbows, pulling dumbbells in both arms close to your chin. Ensure both elbows are at or close to shoulder level and both dumbbells are above your lower chest.

· While in control bring both dumbbells to starting position.


Avoid getting unnecessary injuries by always getting the right technique while performing the upright dumbbell row. Avoid swinging the weights, and going too heavy with little range of motion.


10. Romanian Deadlift With Dumbbells

The Romanian deadlift with dumbbells is a more home gym-friendly back exercise that improves the posterior chain muscles, gluteus maximus, erector spinae, adductors, and hamstrings. With just a single move, the Romanian deadlift will improve strength in the lower body and core.


Step-by-step Instructions

Below is your go-to guide on how to properly execute Romanian deadlift with dumbbells:

· Take a standing position with feet shoulder-width apart.

· With both palms facing you, in front of your thighs hold both dumbbells.

· Maintain a flat back and a tight core, then push your butt backward by hinging at your hips. While in control, lower your torso until you feel an undeniable stretch in your hamstrings.

· Revert to the starting position by thrusting your hips forward


Prescription – Begin with 8 to 12 reps in each set (three sets) for a start.


Final Words

Engaging in the above-listed dumbbell back exercises will strengthen the muscles that support your spine, remove or prevent pressure from your facet joints and spinal discs. These back exercises are remedies for stiffness as they improve overall body mobility. They also improve circulation which allows the free flow of nutrients through the spinal discs and entire body.

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