Why You Absolutely Need The One-Arm Dumbbell Row

This pulling exercise is an all-time classic for building thick and strong back

If you want to grow, you need to row. The one-arm dumbbell row is an excellent exercise to build your back, with an emphasis on your lats. Every serious lifter needs to incorporate this time-tested exercise in their back workout if they intends to develop back width, thickness and insane grip strength.

In this article we will tell you why you should add this incredible exercise into your training regimen!

The advantage of using one arm

This exercise is performed by using only one arm at a time and then switching to the other arm. This is also known as unilateral training. Unilateral exercises have largely been neglected in recent years and gained a reputation as time-wasting and inefficient. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

This type of training has unique advantages. First, they allow you to better concentrate and focus on the muscle you are trying to target. Second, the very act of increased focus allows you to  recruit more muscle fibers in the targeted muscle and third, unilateral exercises can help you even out potential strength imbalances between both sides of your body, you may have accumulated over the years.

It stretches the muscle

If you examine all the free-weight exercises targeting the lats, the one-arm dumbbell row can help you experience the greatest stretch at the middle of the rep. When you stretch a muscle intensely against some resistance, you do a lot of damage to the muscle fibers, which in turn releases a powerful growth-producing signal to your body. This speeds up the hypertrophy in the stimulated muscle.

You are more stable

This exercise in its standard execution is performed with having one leg and one hand supported on a bench, which enables the torso to be fully supported and stabilized during the entire set.

When you have your body position, balance and lower back burden taken care of, you can fully focus and put some extra effort into trying to contract your lats as much as possible, again meaning a quicker muscle growth.

You can vary the form

One of the many advantages of one-armed dumbbell rows is that you can vary the pulling angle while you’re doing them, enabling you to stimulate slightly different parts of the back. For example, you can put a greater emphasis on the lower lats if you pull the dumbbell back toward your hip and you can stimulate the upper part better if you pull in straight line up.

What’s more, beside doing this exercise with your palms inwards, you can also do it by having your palm face back, forcing the elbow out, which enables you to better stimulate the muscle in the middle of your back.

It widens your back and makes it thick

There are some who want to separate their back training sessions into ones meant for widening and ones for thickening and doing different exercise in each sessions to meet those goals. The beauty of this exercise is that it can make your back both wide and thick, all at the same time.

If you use the conventional grip where your palms face inwards you will target the outer parts of the lats, achieving a look the bodybuilders like to call “spreading the wings”. And because this is a rowing exercise you can use big weights with a proper form which enables you to build large amounts of muscle mass.