Single-Arm Dumbbell Row: How To, Benefits, Tips

The Single-Arm Dumbbell Row, also known as the one-arm dumbbell row, or lawn mowers, is a unilateral isotonic exercise, which isolates the back and focuses on core stabilization. Unilateral movements can help build more strength in specific muscular groups, supporting improvements in muscular imbalances, weaknesses, and improving focus and activation. The Single-Arm Dumbbell Row is a great addition to your back training split, helping improve definition, strength, and size.  

What Is The Single-Arm Dumbbell Row 

The single dumbbell row is a unilateral isotonic exercise, meaning only one side of the body is used in order to product muscle contraction. Traditionally, the single arm cable row is performed kneeling with one knee on a bench, however you can also bend with one arm resting on your knee while you row as well. The single-arm dumbbell row performed on a bench row will provide more stabilization to lift heavier loads by providing optimal core and spinal stabilization. The main targeted muscle group during a single arm dumbbell row is the latissimus dorsi (Lats).

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row Variations

  • Bent Over Dumbbell Row
  • Close Grip Bent Over Row
  • Single-Arm Cable Row
  • Wide Grip Bent Over Row

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row Benefits

The single-arm dumbbell row provides a variety of benefits and is one of my personal favorite back exercises. Dumbbells are a remarkable training implement, to help improve posture, balance, core stability and assist in supporting any muscular imbalances. This exercise can help build a bigger, stronger back, with more definition better than other back exercise and row variations. 

  • Increased Strength
  • Better Posture
  • Stronger Upper Back
  • Better Back Definition
  • Better Core Stability
  • Increased Core Strength
  • Improved Muscular Balance

How To Perform A Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

  • Place on knee on the bench, with your opposing foot firmly planted into the ground, with your back at a 90-degree angle.
  • Grab the dumbbell with your hand opposite of the knee on the bench.
  • Place your opposing hand on the bench gripping the side outside of our knee
  • Look straight ahead and let the dumbbell hand, stretching your lat and shoulders.
  • Pull the weight back, with your hand placed firmly on the handle and pull keeping your elbow tight and tucked close to your body, keeping your back straight avoiding any additional movement.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blade and contract, holding for 1-2 seconds.
  • Return the dumbbell slowly with control, until you feel a stretch in your lat, and shoulder keeping your back straight, then repeat.

Single Arm Dumbbell Row Tips And Tricks 

  • Your back should remain straight at 90-degrees all times, and momentum should be avoided. Imagine someone is sitting behind you, back-to-back.
  • Retract and squeeze your shoulder blade for a 1-2 count to improve strength and results, and avoid fast, erratic reps.
  • Don’t slam the dumbbell at the end of your set and make sure you have fluid motion throughout each rep.

Single Arm Dumbbell Row: Takeaway

The single-arm dumbbell row is a must-have exercise in your back day training split. You can generate more power and force with this unilateral strength movement, while also improving power, core stability, and strength. No back day is complete without the single-arm dumbbell row. 


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