• You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.

Dual Dumbbell Dead-Rows

By RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

For upper back work, the dead row is the gold standard. Use your own body as a bench by working this exercise out of a near-squat position.

Muscles Worked

Starting Position
Stand upright with feet hip-width apart. Sit into your hips in a half-squat as you incline your shoulders forward to a 60 degree angle, keeping your back flat. Your shoulders should be over your knees. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with arms extended to hold the weights in front of your knee caps. You should have an overhand grip and hands shoulder-width apart.


  1. From the starting position, bend your elbows up and back and squeeze your shoulder blades together to lift the dumbbells up to the sides of your chest in a row. Be sure to pull your shoulder blades down and back for the row, keeping the muscle work out of upper traps—do not shrug your shoulders.
  2. Once you bring the weights to your chest, slowly lower them back to the starting position—but even once the dumbbells are in the low position, the shoulder blades must say retracted back and down.
About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is co-founder of the award-winning Diakadi Body personal training gym and creators of RealJock's 12-week Workout Programs. Billy is a certified Level 1 Practitioner and Holistic Lifestyle Coach through the Paul Chek Institute as well as a Certified Personal Trainer through The National Academy of Sports Medicine. Have burning questions about your fitness that you want Billy and Diakadi co-founder Mike Clausen to answer? Send an email to