This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Though the movement of dumbbell rows comes through your arms, the muscle development will be in your back. Bring your shoulder blades together and keep your shoulders away from your ears as you do these.
Take a dumbbell in each hand and stand upright with your feet roughly hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and bring your shoulders forward until your back is parallel with the floor. To support this position, think of pressing your hips back, so that your weight is over your heels and you are “sitting” slightly to engage your abs. Your arms should now extend straight down toward the floor with palms facing each other (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, begin bending your elbows and pulling the dumbbells up and back toward your hips, keeping your elbows close to your body (see Photo 2).
- Keep your shoulder blades squeezed slightly toward each other as you bring the elbows all the way up past your hips, trying to “wrap” your elbows around behind your back (see Photo 3).
- When you have taken your elbows as high as you can, begin lowering the arms back to their extended position, maintaining the resistance in your back muscles, and keeping your abs engaged as your arms lower toward the floor (see Photos 4 and 5).