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4 Dumbbell Row Variations

Most people can show a little more rowing love to their workouts to offset all the sitting at a desk or over mobile devices. When putting workouts or training sessions together it is important to look at the total volume of "movements" in the session. Is there an equal balance over the session? What about the week? month? Here are the main movement categories:

  • Hinge

  • Squat

  • Upper Press (vertical and horizontal)

  • Upper Pull (vertical and horizontal)

  • Core - loaded carries or plank variations

What tends to happen is over the course of a workout or week, too many squat and upper press movements are completed. This creates an imbalance between the front of the body vs the back. We know in terms of injury prevention, we need all the muscles to be working together. If the front is too strong from always doing squats and upper press movements, then essentially the backside gets amnesia....this forces compensatory muscles to work, and after repetitive repetitions this can lead to pain and injury or chronic pain.

So here are 4 dumbbell variations for you to try and add to your routine to keep the core firing and the backside engaged! Don't forget that when we press and pull:

  • We want the shoulder blades to move along the rib cage - i.e. not packed.

  • A great start position is always key! Rib cage over the pelvis and "hinge" into position. Feel some pull in the hamstrings:-)

  • Keep the shoulders away from the ears on these variations

  • Upper arm moves at a 45 degree angle to the body!

  • Chin is slightly tucked - avoid an "extended" posture while rowing

  • If you notice a big difference right vs left then start doing more volume on that week side until it catches up!

Try this workout the next time you have a set of dumbbells:

3-5 rounds of:

A1) Single arm row with ISO hold x 10/side

A2) Double front goblet squat x 10

A3) Alternating floor press x 10/side A4) Single leg glute bridge x 10/side

A5) Inchworm walkout to alternating overhead reach x 5/side

If you are wondering where these would fall in the movement it is:

A1) Upper pulling - horizontal / core- anti-rotation (resisting rotation)

A2) Squat - quad/front of the body dominant

A3) Upper press - horizontal

A4) Hinge - glutes and hamstrings - back of the body dominant - differences left vs right??

A5) Anterior core (resisting extension) resisting rotation (when arm is lifted of the ground) and vertical reaching

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