The back is one of the major muscle groups of the body. Aside from it cradles the spine, its musculature help a person maintain proper position, either in standing, sitting, and walking. Also, a well-trained back boosts a person’s physique, in addition to a defined chest, broad shoulders, muscular legs, huge arms, and chiseled abs.
Along with barbells and cables, dumbbells can be used to train the back. In line with this, the following are some dumbbell exercises one can do to maximize back development.
Bent Over Row
The bent over row is usually done using a barbell, but it can also be done with the use of dumbbells. Also known as bent-over dumbbell row or dumbbell row, the bent-over two-dumbbell row is a compound pulling exercise that mainly targets the strength of the middle back, though it also engages other muscles like the latissimus dorsi (also called lats), the shoulders, and the biceps, as per Body Building.
To perform the exercise, the person holds a dumbbell in each hand, with is palms facing his torso. Then, he mildly bends his knees and brings his torso forward by bending at the waist. A good practice is to ensure that the back is kept straight when bending, until it becomes nearly parallel to the floor. The person makes his starting position with his head up and the weights hanging freely in front of him as his arms hang perpendicular to his torso and to the floor. Once ready, the person exhales while he lifts the dumbbells to his sides, while keeping his torso stationary and the elbows near the body. Then, he squeezes the back muscles and holds them for a second a the top of the contraction. After that, he inhales as he gradually lowers the weight again to the starting position. The exercise is done for the prescribed number of repetitions.
The wide row is also another back exercise that can be performed with a dumbbell. It is also a compound pulling exercise that engages the middle back, lats, shoulders, and biceps.
According to Muscle and Fitness, the person stands while holding a pair of dumbbells in front of him, with a pronated grip or palms facing down. Then, he leans forward at his waist until the torso is almost parallel to the floor. A good practice for the position is to keep the chest up, knees mildly bent, and back flat. Also, the dumbbells should hand straight down in front of the chins and the head should be in a neutral position. After that, the person inhales and pulls the dumbbell toward his upper abs while bringing the elbows out and up in a wide arc. The back is squeezed at the top of the contracted position, before the weights are lowered. The exercise is done for the recommended number of repetitions.
Kneeling One Arm Row
Another dumbbell exercise for the back is the one-arm dumbbell row. Also called single-arm row, chest-supported row, and dumbbell row, the exercise is a compound pulling exercise that also targets the middle back, as well as the lats, biceps, and shoulders.
As per Body Building, the person selects a flat bench and places a dumbbell on each side. Then, he places his right leg on top of the end of the bench and bends his torso forward from the waist until the upper body becomes parallel to the floor. Next, he places his right hand on the other end of the bench for support. After that, the person makes his starting position by using his left hand to pick up the dumbbell on the floor and holds the weight while maintaining an erect lower back, with the palms of the hand facing his torso. Once ready, the person exhales as he pulls the dumbbell to the side of his chest, keeping the upper arm neat his side and his torso stationary. A good practice is to concentrate on squeezing the upper back muscles at the top of the contracted position. Also, the back muscles should be the ones engaged and not the arms; they just hold the dumbbell and do no other work. Then, the person inhales as he lowers the resistance back to the starting position. The exercise is done for the recommended number of repetitions.
Overall, a massive back helps a person maintain a proper posture while it protects the spine. Also, it promotes a person’s physique, thus, also promoting his self-esteem. Along with the said exercises, maximum back development is also achieved through proper nutrition and adequate rest.