4 Dumbbell Exercises for a Jacked Back

A thick and wide back is a crucial component of any impressive physique. Here are 4 dumbbell exercises to add your back routine for both size and strength.

One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Tips

  • Keep your back straight and chest facing the ground throughout the movement. Don't allow your torso to rotate when pulling the dumbbell.
  • Pull the weight toward your hip while keeping your elbow tucked close to your body.
  • Move the weight with your back, not your arm. Pull your elbow as far back as possible and squeeze at the top of the motion.
  • Think about squeezing an orange under your armpit to emphasize engaging the lats and retracting the scapula.

Chest-Supported Dumbbell Row

Tips

  • Fully stretch at the bottom of the movement. Retract the scapula (squeeze the shoulder blades) before pulling the dumbbells.
  • Move the weight with your back, not your arm. Pull your elbow as far back as possible and squeeze at the top of the motion.
  • Think about squeezing an orange under your armpit to emphasize engaging the lats and retracting the scapula.
  • Slide up or down on the bench, or increase or decrease the incline, to add variation.

Bent Over DumbbellRow

Tips

  • Fully stretch at the bottom of the movement. Retract the scapula (squeeze the shoulder blades) before pulling the dumbbells.
  • Move the weight with your back, not your arm. Pull your elbow as far back as possible and squeeze at the top of the motion.
  • Think about squeezing an orange under your armpit to emphasize engaging the lats and retracting the scapula.
  • Try to avoid swinging the dumbbells or thrusting the hips to keep tension on the back.

Dumbbell Pullover

Tips

  • Lay across the bench so that your shoulders and upper back are supported.
  • Sink the hips and don't allow them to raise and lower throughout the movement.
  • Keep a slight bend at the elbows throughout the movement to avoid "pressing" the dumbbells with your triceps.
  • Think about wrapping your body around the bench to get a full stretch at the bottom of the movement.

Programming

These exercises can be implemented at any point in your typical back or pull day. I typically use them anywhere from my second exercise immediately following a max effort pull (such as a deadlift or barbell row) to the very last exercise for a finisher.

I suggest using rep ranges anywhere from 6-20 reps, and I normally stay between 8 and 12.