< View Blog

Two-Arm Dumbbell Rows: Back to Back Gains

Jun 02, 2018

Two-arm dumbbell rows are a basic but demanding exercise.

They effectively work all of the back muscles and are an excellent way to thicken the middle muscle fibers in this area.

You also gain overall strength from performing this exercise since two-arm dumbbell rows stimulate almost all of your upper body, including your back, neck, shoulders, and arms.

Two-Arm Dumbbell Rows - how to pick a weightlifting belt

In addition to your back two-arm dumbbell rows strengthen your spine, which is crucial for good posture.

The form required–back and neck straight, bent at the waist–focuses on the muscles needed to maintain proper posture on a daily basis.

This is very important for preventing back and neck problems later on.

To prevent those back problems wear our Dark Iron Fitness genuine leather weight belt.

Related: Back Exercises For Posture


Two-Arm Dumbbell Rows Mainly Target Your:

Two-Arm Dumbbell Rows - Muscles Targeted

  • Rhomboids in the middle back,
  • Latissimus dorsi (lats) along the sides of your back,
  • Trapezius muscles of the upper back,
  • Secondary muscle groups including your rear deltoids (shoulders) and your biceps.

Dumbbells allow a neutral grip (palms facing each other) and a longer range of motion (as opposed to the barbell). They also allow you to bring the weight toward the center of gravity, which is safer.

Related: Dumbbell Rows – Back Exercise Guide with Photos


How To Do Two-Arm Dumbbell Rows:

Two-arm Dumbbell Rows - Bent over rows

  1. Hold the dumbbells so that your thumbs point in toward one another and your palms face your body.
  2. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, your knees should be slightly bent.
  3. Slowly bend forward at your waist so that your chest is leaning forward over your feet.
  4. Begin with your arms fully extended, enabling the dumbbells to naturally hang down at about mid-shin level.
  5. Next, lift or “row” the dumbbells up to the top and close to your stomach. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
  6. Make sure you keep your head up, back straight, and your shoulders back throughout this movement so that your spine is secure and stable at all times.


For Best Form When Doing Two-Arm Dumbbell Rows:

  1. Keep your buttocks and thighs steady.Two-Arm Dumbbell Rows - Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Weight Lifting Belt
  2. Always wear a belt to protect your lower back, and don’t try to lift too much weight at first. Protect your back with our top-rated Dark Iron Fitness genuine leather weight belt
  1. Pull your elbow up as high as possible without twisting your torso.
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold the contracted position for a couple of seconds; then lower the weights and repeat.
  3. Avoid jerking the weight upward.


Don’t Do This When Doing Two-Arm Dumbbell Rows:

  1. When doing two-arm dumbbell rows avoid bending, rounding or hunching your back.Two-Arm Dumbbell Rows - Women's Rows
  2. Try to maintain a straight line from your waist to your head to avoid unnecessary and painful stress on your lower back.
  3. Don’t turn your head to either side. It’s important to keep your head up and your eyes looking ahead as you lift to reduce strain on your neck.
  4. Try not to tense your muscles. Relax your back and move with the motion. Your back will naturally move up slightly as you raise your arms, don’t fight this natural motion.
  5. Don’t perform this exercise too quickly. You want to move through the exercise in a slow, fluid motion to get the most out of every repetition.


How To Make Them Easier:

  • Lift your torso up so that your back is above parallel with the floor.
  • Pull the dumbbells to your abdominal region.
  • Rest the dumbbells on a low bench between reps.
  • Use an underhand grip (palms facing forward) to make it easier to pull.


How To Make Them Harder:

Two-Arm Dumbbell Rows - Dumbbell Rows Standing On One Leg

  • To work on your balance at the same time, stand on one leg. It might be a good idea to start with very light dumbbells because the movement is difficult to do.
  • Hold the dumbbells at arm’s length, and row them in an alternating fashion.
  • Pause at the bottom of the movement, squeeze your scapulas together, and pull the handle to your chest. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then slowly lower dumbbells.

Related: How to Get Insanely Strong – 13 Strength Tips


How Many Reps and Sets Should You Do?

For beginners, start with 2-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions, depending on how much weight you are using and your overall level of strength.

As you become stronger, you can add repetitions and more weight.

More experienced lifters can begin with 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps with more weight to overload the muscles and gain strength and size.

The weight of the dumbbells used should be determined by the person’s strength and experience.

Related: Low Reps vs High Reps for Arms – What’s the Best?


How Much Weight Should You Be Using?

It is up to the individual to decide how much weight he or she can handle.

It is important to be honest with yourself.

If you are not sure, always go with less weight and you can add more next time if it wasn’t enough.

With two-arm dumbbell rows, you want to use lighter weights.

Heavy weights are not recommended when you are using both hands.

Rowing with both hands, especially with heavy weights, can put the back at risk.

Your back is a sensitive muscle, putting unnecessary strain on it will result in you having to skip workouts.

Since both the shoulder and the elbow joints are mobilized the two-arm dumbbell row belongs in the basic, multiple-joint exercise category.


Conclusion For Two-Arm Dumbbell Rows:

Two-Arm Dumbbell Rows - Dark Iron Fitness Wrist WrapsRemember to stay patient with this effective exercise.

By training hard and increasing your weights when you can safely handle the additional weight, you will see results!

Just make sure to keep your wrists protected while you start doing your two-arm dumbbell rows.

You can utilize our Dark Iron Fitness suede wrist wraps to keep your reps steady and consistent.

With two-arm dumbbell rows, you’ll be on your way to a stronger back, traps, and arms in no time!