Dumbbell Bent Over Row

Posted by & filed under Exercise and Training.

Its the lovely Scot Herminator performing the classic exercise, the bent over dumbbell row.  Here are the main points he goes over:

  • Sideways on to a bench, put the closest shin on the bench and step the other leg out good and wide, so your body is parrallel to the floor.
  • The closest hand goes onto the bench.  It will help to slightly push the heel of the hand into the bench to wake up the shoulder stabilisers and make you feel strong.  The elbow is unlocked or bent, according to the bench height.
  • Nice long back, with a long back of neck, looking straight down.  The head should be roughly in line with the hips, neither sagging nor should you be looking forwards.
  • Grab the dumbbell with the free hand and let it dangle towards the floor, feeling as if the arm is lengthening through the little finger side.  This means that the thumb side of the dumbbell is slightly higher than the little finger side.
  • Now row the dumbbell up as if sawing a piece of wood, so the line is not straight up and down, but follows a slight arc.
  • The shoulder blade moves towards the spine and down towards your bottom as the weight lifts. You should be feeling the lats contract, so the sensation will  be across the low back and between the shoulder blades.
  • Hold this tension as you lower the weight. Personally, I would relax the muscles at the bottom of the movement, then re-engage on the next rep.
  • Lats suit higher reps, so aim for 8-12 reps, but 15 is fine if learning the exercise.

To avoid this exercise causing injury, it would be wise to check the following points out:

  • In their normal resting position, the shoulder blades need to sit flat on the back when standing.
  • The shoulders should not be rolled forwards.
  • Both shoulders sit level with each other.  Typically the non-dominant shoulder is lifted and the dominant shoulder rolled forwards.

If any of these faults are found, then there is a very high chance that this exercise will engage the muscles that lift the shoulders, causing them to go into spasm and result in much pain and possible headaches.  Plus trips to the pain menders.


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