5 Quick Exercises for Your Back Using Dumbbells

Posted by on December 4, 2019 in Exercise and Fitness, Health with 0 Comments

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By Daniel DeMoss

If someone asked you, right now, what exercises you do to target your back, I doubt you could come up with more than two. There is the classic pull-up, which is a great combination of back, lats, bis, and tris. There is also the lateral pulldown, which, as the name suggests, works out your lats. 

Besides those two, everything that fits into your average weight-lifting routine might work your back as a side-effect, but few other exercises focus on it. But, for many athletes, having a strong back is essential. Not only does it look great, it feels great. 

And, if you’re wondering how you can get there, the answer is simple: dumbbells. These free weights are some of the most versatile tools any gym will ever possess. You can tone and build every single muscle group in your body, all with a simple set of dumbbells.

Now, if you are one of those athletes that have the urge to build your back, read on, for the five best back-exercises you can do with a set of dumbbells. 

#1 – The Dumbbell Row

There are many variations of this exercise, some of which I’ll be mentioning later. But this is a good place to start. This exercise will build your lats and your rhomboids, while also strengthening your core. 


However, just keep in mind that it is often performed incorrectly. Many people think that the row should be performed with one knee on a bench. This could actually cause serious problems for your back. 

The healthier, and lesser-known form, involves you squaring your feet and your hips, and bending at the hips so that your back is straight and your shoulders are above your hips. 

Press your left palm into the bench to add stability, and row with your right hand. Make sure to lock your core in, so that your back isn’t shifting back and forth. And keep your head in a neutral position while you row.

#2 – Dumbbell Incline Row

This is one of the most targeting rowing variations that exist. It specifically targets your lower lats. Set up your bench at a 45-degree angle and press your chest into the bench, keeping your feet in a wide, strong stance. 

Throughout the exercise, keep your core engaged, and keep your spine neutral. Lift both your dumbbells and deliberately row. 

Try to keep your forearms disengaged so that the workout focuses on your back. Don’t overarch your lower back to compensate – it’ll be harder, but keep your chest against that bench. 

#3 – Renegade Row

If you haven’t yet noticed, any form of a ‘rowing’ exercise targets your back. Start in a high pushup position, holding your dumbbells against the ground. The big difference between a normal pushup position and the Renegade position is in your feet – you’re going to need to have a wide stance. 

To do a rep, fall out of that start position and perform a pushup. When you return to the starting position, lift one arm at a time, and row. After one row on each side, do another pushup. This is a great way to nail your entire upper body.

#4 – The Farmer’s Carry

This is an easy one. All you have to do is pick up a heavy set of dumbbells, and walk with them. Go for either time or distance. 

The key thing to do, when performing a farmer’s carry, is to keep your spine neutral and your core and back engaged. Over time, your back muscles will start to build up. 

#5 – Back Fly

Take an un-angled bench and lie down, pressing your chest against the bench. Lift two dumbbells and perform a standard fly motion, raising your arms until they are parallel to the floor. 

Go slow and stay controlled – nail the form before you start stacking weight. 

The key to a big back is a commitment, consistency, and just one set of dumbbells. And if you already have a set of dumbbells, check out this blog for dumbbell exercises for your whole body.

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