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Standing Dumbbell Rows

By RealJock Staff

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.

This rowing motion isolates the muscles on one side of your back. The exercise can correct an imbalance in muscle strength that comes from favoring one side in sports like tennis or bowling. It also works the stabilizer muscles beneath the shoulder blade and some core muscles that protect your lower back.

Muscles worked
Back Core muscles

Starting position
Standing as if in mid-stride, lean forward while holding one dumbbell in the hand opposite your forward leg. Keep the palm facing in toward your body, and do not drop your shoulder. Stabilize yourself by resting your free hand on the forward leg (see Photo 1).


  1. Pull the dumbbell back toward your hip, keeping your elbow close to your body (see Photo 2).
  2. Bring your elbow as far back as possible, allowing your trunk to twist a little. Squeeze the muscle between your shoulder blade and spine (see Photo 3).
  3. Return toward the starting position, while keeping your lat muscles contracted and your shoulder stationary (see Photo 4 ).
  4. Repeat the motion to exhaustion, then rest one minute. Continue with three more sets.
Bench variation
If you don't want to work your core during this exercise, lean forward over a bench and use your free hand to support yourself.

About Mike Clausen: Clausen is the founder and co-owner of Diakadi Body Personal Training and Wellness Center, which was voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. He has been actively involved in sports and weightlifting since high school, and continues to use that knowledge when training his clients. Clausen is both A.C.E. and N.A.S.M. certified and has been training clients professionally for six years. He enjoys making his clients stronger, both physically and mentally, giving them the tools to create an efficient body and to do things they thought were not possible.