How To Do Single Arm Row

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrating a Single Arm Row

Single Arm Row is an upper body exercise that uses dumbbells to strengthen your upper back and shoulder. If you are looking to shape and tone your back and shoulders you should learn how to do Single Arm Row. Strengthening your upper back muscles can be a bit of a challenge without specific machines that are designed to do so. Single Arm Row takes just a simple set of dumbbells to get the job done. And whether you do it from a standing position (as shown) or even kneeling on a bench, this is a great move for isolating those hard to reach places and shaping your upper back to be both strong and beautiful.

Beyond vanity reasons, strengthening your upper back is important in a very practical way as well. It’s called posture! Standing tall with your shoulders back and your spine tall happens more naturally when you have been practicing strength training for those upper back muscles. Many people end up in a hunch-back position with rounded shoulders due to a weak upper back. Keep strengthening these muscles and then practice keeping your shoulder blades pulled down away from your ears. A stable upper back will help you in posture, stability and overall a more youthful appearance.

A few tips for performing Single Arm Row. First, be sure to keep your abs pulled in tight and your back in a straight line. Second, pull the dumbbells toward your low rib cage or hip bones. You don’t want to pull too high an end up shrugging your shoulder. Finally, be sure to pull and lower the weights slowly. Go for muscle versus momentum.

Try the Single Arm Row in our workout 7 Moves To Sculpt Your Back and Shoulders.

Here are the steps to performing Single Arm Row:

1) Stand in split stance with your right foot forward and the dumbbell in left arm. Slightly hinge over from your hip flexors keeping your abdominals engaged to protect your low back.

2) Pull the elbow straight back past your hip (keep arms close to the body- don’t let your elbow wing out.) Engage and squeeze your back muscles then lower the dumbbell back to start position with control. Perform desired of reps and repeat on the other side.

Targets: back, arms, shoulders

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