10 Most Effective Back Workouts With Dumbbells

Nikhil Goswami

Some of our body’s largest and most powerful muscles are found in our back. It’s a frequent fallacy that you need various tools, including power racks, to perform an efficient back workout.

Also, if you’re new to the gym, it’s not the all-encompassing back workout you’ve been told it is. That’s because, despite how great pull-ups and chin-ups are, they are challenging and don’t develop many essential back muscles.

When it comes to back training, try to keep it simple. The remedy? Pick up a set of dumbbells.

This article will share ten top back workouts you can do with just a pair of dumbbells!

Benefits Of Using Dumbbells For Back Workouts

  • Excellent for rows

With a set of dumbbells, you can train the meaningful muscle groups that will guard your shoulder blades and simultaneously improve your posture while developing the back power you’ll eventually need to master chin-ups and pull-ups.

This is because using dumbbells can allow you to perform the row, which is an essential back workout.

It’s a crucial dumbbell exercise since it simultaneously works your rhomboids, midback stabilizers, and lats.

  • Better posture is established

While reading this, consider your posture: You’re probably leaning slightly forward, with your shoulders and back relaxed.

Every time you perform a row, the extension will pull your shoulders back toward your back in a “horizontal” pulling motion that will help you emphasize shoulder blade compression.

  • Easier to use than other tools

Barbells lock you into a specific range of motion and grip, whereas dumbbells do not. As a result, there is less work on your wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints because there is more movement, and you can lift with a neutral grip.

Furthermore, barbells usually require additional equipment, such as a bench for exercises like the bench press and require the addition and removal of plates.

  • Improve Imbalances

Training unilaterally, such as with single-arm dumbbell rows, will help to strengthen any imbalances between the sides.

When employing barbells and trap bars, both sides of your body are simultaneously engaged, making it simple for one side to overpower the other.

  • Better Muscle Development 

When lifting two dumbbells, your body uses independent force on each side to keep the weights steady.

Your weaker side can overcome your dominant side when you utilize two dumbbells frequently, which will boost muscle development on that side.

Another essential element of strength and muscle growth is the vast range of motion that dumbbells typically provide, allowing you to stretch and contract your muscles to their utmost capacity.

Anatomy Of The Back

Since back muscles aren’t visible, they are frequently forgotten (especially for starters). However, they are essential for shoulder movement, position, and health.

The primary back muscles and movements are listed below.

  • Erector Spinae Muscles 

Spinalis, Longissimus, and Iliocostalis are the collective muscles that make up the erector spine, which run parallel to the spinal column from the lower back to the neck.

They support the spine’s extension, lateral flexion, and head movements.

But their main job is to keep the spine neutral when under pressure (anti-flexion and anti-lateral flexion – spinal stability).

  • Rhomboids

The rhomboids start from the cervical (neck) vertebra, go diagonally down the back, and join the shoulder blades inside.

  • Scapula 

Adduction (when they come together), elevation (overhead presses), and inward rotation (when you’re lowering your arm back down to your body) are their primary movements.

  • The Trapezius 

Trapezius is a single muscle divided into the upper, middle, and lower traps.

It is a sizable flat triangular muscle that arises from the 12 thoracic vertebrae and the cervical spine. Scapula adduction, elevation, depression, and outward rotation are some of their primary movements.

  • Latissimus Dorsi 

Sometimes known as the “lats,” it is the most significant muscle in the human body. It almost wholly encloses all back muscles, except for the traps.

From the scapula and the spinous processes of the thoracic spine, they extend to the lumbar spine.

The spine, ribs, scapula, and pelvis are among the five sites where the lats are supposed to join after inserting the humerus.

Some of its primary movements include shoulder extension and adduction, horizontal abduction and adduction, and shoulder internal rotation. You can also take Pre-workout supplement to enhance your strength during the workout.

How To Position Your Body During Back Workouts Using Dumbbells

  • Body Alignment

First, you can modify how your muscles are targeted and stressed by adjusting your body location. In essence, you are altering angles to aid in the total growth of your back muscles.

Dumbbells let you position yourself in various ways, including bent over, prone (laying face down on a bench), inclined prone, seated, bent over, and more. The dumbbell bent over row is the most preferred position amongst people.

To promote hypertrophy, you should vary your exercises, as dumbbell back exercises are often supplemental.

  • Grip Placement

Dumbbells allow you to experiment with grip position more effectively than any other equipment. You can hold anything underhand, overhand, neutral, or rotational grip.

Why And How To Warm Up Your Back?

The warm-up goal is to get your back and shoulder muscles’ blood flowing from your midsection. As a result, your joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles become ready for use.

You may get more blood flowing and ease your body into training by doing foam rolling exercises for the back while holding your arms aloft and spreading your scapulae apart.

Next, the back and shoulders will be mobilized and prepared to roll by executing a few low-intensity back exercises, face pulls, and band parts for 8–15 repetitions.

The 10 Best Back Workouts With Dumbbells

  1. Bent Over Dumbbell Row

Targeted Back Muscles: Erector Spinae, Rhomboids, and Lats

In starting position, hold a dumbbell in each hand. Now, standing with your feet hip-length apart, allow for a slight bend in your knees and bend your hips forward to 45 degrees.

After that, start by hanging your arms straight from your chest with your palms facing each other and your arms completely stretched. Your elbows should be visible past your sides as you lift the dumbbells toward the base of your rib cage. Once your shoulder blades have been squeezed together, slowly return the dumbbells to their starting position.

  1. Bent Over Wide Row With Knees Slightly Bent

Targeted Back Muscles: Erector Spinae, Rhomboids, Rear Deltoids, and Lats

For this exercise, hold a dumbbell in both hands. Keep your knees barely bent and your feet hip-width apart as you stand. At the hips, hinge forward 45 degrees.

Now start exercising by hanging your arms fully extended in front of your chest with your palms facing backward (setting up the plane of movement for the wide row). With your elbows spread wide, lift the dumbbells toward the base of your rib cage. After briefly fusing your shoulder blades, slowly release the dumbbells until your arms are fully stretched once more.

  1. Stiff Leg Deadlifts

Targeted Back Muscles: Lats, Traps, and Erector Spinae

Hold a dumbbell in both hands and plant your feet shoulder-width apart as you stand to start this exercise. Your arms should be out straight at your sides. You should feel a tug at your hamstrings as you descend the dumbbells down the front of your legs while keeping a neutral spine and retracted shoulder blades.

Now, pull yourself up to a standing position using your glutes and upper back to engage. It would be best if you didn’t allow your shoulders to roll inward or your back to bend forward at any point during the workout

  1. Reverse Fly

Targeted Back Muscles: Erector Spinae, Rhomboids, Rear Deltoids, and Traps

In starting position, stand with your feet hip-width apart in the starting position by holding a dumbbell in each hand. Now push your hips backward while keeping your knees slightly bent and lean forward at the hips.

With the dumbbells close together and your palms facing each other, begin with your arms hanging in front of you. Now, perform a reverse fly by bending your elbows slightly, spreading your arms widely, and squeezing your middle back together.

Hold in the highest position for a little moment before returning to the beginning position. Make sure your torso remains still at all times.

  1. Upright Row

Targeted Back Muscles: Rhomboids and Traps

For this exercise, start by placing your legs shoulder-width apart and your arms fully extended by your sides, holding a dumbbell in each hand. The dumbbells should be parallel to your thighs, and your palms should be facing backward.

Pull the dumbbells up while bending your elbows using your traps. You should spread your elbows wide as you raise the weights in a straight line. Ensure your elbows are parallel to your ears and your upper traps are fully clenched when you have the dumbbells raised to your collarbones.

Hold for the count of two before slowly returning to your original position.

  1. Chest Supported Dumbbell Row

Targeted Back Muscles: Lats and Rhomboids

This dumbbell chest-supported row requires helping machinery, onto which you will lay and make sure all the intensity of this row directly works your back muscles. Install a bench with a 45-degree slope.

Plant your feet firmly with your legs straight or bent and supported on the seat portion of the court, and rest your upper body on it with your chest resting against the backrest.

Start by standing with your arms outstretched and holding a dumbbell in each hand. Your arms must be hanging straight from your chest. Create a supinated grip by turning the dumbbells so your hands face forward.

It would be best to raise each dumbbell toward the bottom of your ribcage. Before returning to the starting position, tuck your elbows in and squeeze your scapulae together.

  1. Kneeling Single Arm Dumbbell Row

Targeted Back Muscles: Rhomboids, Rear Deltoids, Lats

This would be the exercise beginners should preferably start with, as it is less work but introduces your back to weight work. To start with it, kneel on your one foot, extended flat on the ground, and your other knee resting on an incline bench. Now, support your frontal and upper body with your left arm resting and palm down on the bar. Maintain a neutral spine and neck while keeping your chest facing the court. You can take musclebuilding supplements to grow a stronger and wider back.

With your working hand, take the dumbbell. To experience a tiny stretch in your rear deltoids, you must start with your working arm fully extended. Continue by pulling your elbow up and back while skimming past your side and row the dumbbell toward the base of your ribcage.

Before beginning your next repetition, hold for a brief moment in the top position before lowering yourself to the bottom and allowing your rear deltoids to stretch.

  1. Shoulder Blade Shrugs

Targeted Back Muscles: Lats and Rhomboids

Plant your feet shoulder-width apart as you stand. Arms outstretched, dumbbells in each hand and fully clenching your upper traps, slightly retract your shoulders. Keep your arms straight.

Hold in the highest position for the count of two, then slowly return to the starting position. Space the time you spend in the bottom posture between each shrug.

  1. Lat Pull-Overs

Targeted Back Muscles: Lats and Rhomboids

For this exercise, lay straight on a bench and place your legs firmly on the ground. Next, hold a dumbbell in between your hands with your arms above your chest.

Keep your elbows slightly bent as you reach the dumbbell behind your head. Your lats should feel stretched out well at the finish line.

When your arms are fully stretched over your chest, engage your lats to pull the dumbbell back up to starting position.

  1. Renegade Row

Targeted Back Muscles: Lats, Traps, and Rhomboids

Begin by pushing yourself up but hold a dumbbell in each hand this time. Start alternating rows from left to right until you can stand up straight and firm from head to toe.

Slowly lower the dumbbell back to the ground while bringing it up towards your ribcage with your elbow skimming past your side. Repeat with the opposite arm.

With each row, try to avoid twisting through the hips or shoulders. Instead of allowing your hands to flex too much, keep your wrists stacked above them.

Conclusion: How Can I Train My Back With Dumbbells?

There is no shortage of back exercises that require dumbbells. The back muscles that the workouts in this article target span a wide range. If you are on leaning, then you can also look for best fat burners for the effective weight loss.

Of course, there are additional dumbbell back exercises that you can perform.

Still, we think these 10 are the best options available that, when executed correctly, can produce fantastic results and keep your back happy!


Share this Article