Standing Bent Over Dumbbell Row – Back Attack

The Bent Over Row can be performed with resistance bands, dumbbells or a barbell. When using dumbbells, you can choose to work one side at a time while resting opposite hand and knee on a bench for support, or you can perform this exercise lifting both arms at once while standing. There are also many variations to the angle at which you place your upper body, the angle of your grip, the width of your grip and the location you choose to pull your weight toward.

To keep things relatively simple, I will be discussing the Standing Bent Over Dumbbell Row and maintaining an approximately 45 degree angle.

The Bent Over Row primarily targets the rhomboids, latissimus dorsi and trapezius (back). Secondary muscles include the rear deltoids (shoulders) and biceps.

Standing Bent Over Dumbbell Row

Start by standing with arms down at sides and a dumbbell in each hand. Hold the weight using a pronated grip (palms toward the back of the room). Hinge forward at the hips approximately 45 degrees while keeping your spine neutral from your waist to your head (no rounding of the back). Be sure not to look up or down in order to keep your neck aligned with your spine. Keep your shoulders back while you perform the movement (do not allow them to round forward) and engage your core.


Maintaining that body position, pull the weight up toward bottom of rib cage/chest with a slow and controlled movement. At the top of the movement stop for a brief pause while you squeeze your shoulder blades together, then begin a slow and controlled release back to the starting position.



If you are new to this exercise, start with lower weight to allow yourself time to become comfortable with the movement.

Try changing up your hand positioning to see what feels most comfortable for you. You can try the pronated grip illustrated above, a supinated grip (palms face the front of the room) which places more emphasis on the biceps, or perhaps try a neutral grip (palms face the sides of your body). Feel free to switch your grip on different days too! A slight change in hand positioning can hit the same muscles from a different angle!

Pronated Grip (illustrated in first picture)

Supinated Grip (palms toward the front of the room)

IMG_4362 (2)

Neutral Grip (palms toward the sides of your body)


Train hard, train safe and have fun!


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