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How to, Benefits & Tips

How to, Benefits & Tips

Single-arm dumbbell row, also known as a one-arm dumbbell row, is a foundational exercise that trains the upper body muscles. It’s a unilateral isotonic exercise that targets one side of the body at a time and helps develop strength and muscles.

When done correctly and consistently, the one-arm dumbbell row can help address muscular weakness and improve muscle activation too.

Muscles targeted

The one-arm dumbbell row is one of the best additions to any dumbbell workout session. It targets the lower and upper back, lats, biceps, hips, and shoulders, and helps train the core muscles too.

Using one arm at a time focuses more on the traps, lats, and other back muscles and works even better than the bent-over variation.

How to perform a single-arm dumbbell row

Typically, a traditional single-arm dumbbell row is performed in a kneeling position with one knee on an exercise bench. It can also be performed in a wide lunge position as you row.

The bench variation, though, stabilizes the muscles more and helps you lift heavier by offering better spinal stabilization and adequate core engagement.

To do the exercise safely, follow these steps:

  • Place your left knee on an exercise bench and right foot firmly on the floor.
  • Hinge at your back, and hold a dumbbell in your right hand, with your left hand on the bench. Ensure that your hands are directly under your shoulders and knees are under your hips.
  • With your core muscles engaged and spine neutral, pull your shoulders down, and extend your right hand towards the floor without moving your torso.
  • Pull the dumbbell up while firmly bending your elbow, and pull your upper arm back while keeping it close to the body.
  • While doing the upward rowing movement, do not rotate your body.
  • Lower the dumbbell to the starting position while maintaining a flat back, and repeat the exercise for a few reps.
  • Switch sides, and continue. Complete 3 sets of 12 reps on each side.


Tips to follow

Consider the following tips when performing a single-arm dumbbell row:

  • Squeeze your shoulder blades while executing the backward movement to hit the muscles even more.
  • Leep your back straight and stable at all times, and avoid momentum.
  • Avoid erratic reps; rather keep the movements slow and controlled to avoid muscle strains and injuries.
  • Ensure that you have a fluid motion in each rep.



The single-arm dumbbell row offers a variety of benefits and is considered one of the best additions to an upper body strength training routine.

This exercise improves back strength, enhances core stability, promotes good posture, and also helps address muscular imbalances. Additionally, it can help you achieve a bigger, more muscular, and more well-defined back.

As theone-arm dumbbell row trains one arm at a time, it helps isolate the lats and improve the lifts. By positioning your free hand on an exercise bench, you can lift even heavier and train harder.

Some major benefits of a one-arm dumbbell row include:

  • Stronger and bigger upper back
  • Improved core strength and stability
  • Better posture
  • Enhanced muscular balance
  • Improves back definition

Bottom Line

The single-arm dumbbell row is one of the best exercises to add to your back workout routine. Regular practice of this unilateral workout can help you develop massive power and stability throughout the back and core.

While one-arm dumbbell row is safe and easy to perform, do not attempt it if you have shoulder or back pain. If you experience sharp pain or inflammation, stop immediately, and rest.

If you have any health concern or have recovered from an injury or surgery recently, talk to your doctor before starting any exercise programme.