The Athletic Dumbbell Row

We all know that dumbbell rows are an awesome exercise for developing the upper back.

But sometimes I feel like rows can get a little blocky and mechanical.

Now don’t get me wrong – especially if you’re just learning the movement, simply thinking about reaching long and then squeezing back is totally fine.

But once you’ve mastered the basics, sometimes it’s nice to put a little spice into those workouts!

So if you want to take that standard dumbbell row and make it a bit more fluid and athletic, check out this demo right here!

Once you’ve watched the video, here are a few notes on performance:

  • REACH. Reaching with that down arm will not only give you a stable base, but it pushes the thorax back and cranks up core activation. #winning
  • Pronate and supinate the working arm. As you’re reaching long with the “rowing” arm, think about pronating the lower arm to facilitate the motion. Inhale and reach long, then supinate and exhale as you squeeze back.
  • Rotate the thorax. In a standard dumbbell row the goal is to keep the thorax relatively still. In the athletic row, I want you to rotate the thorax slightly as you go through the motion. When loading and pronating, allow the thorax to come along for the ride. As you exhale and squeeze back, drive some thorax rotation to go along with that movement as well.

If you’re just learning how to row, stick with the basics for the time being.

But once you’ve mastered the standard dumbbell row, give this variation a shot – I think you’ll really enjoy it!

All the best,

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