In my last few posts I’ve been focussing on ways you can improve your fitness in the New Year and provided you with a selection of effective dumbbell based exercises for your chest and triceps. Today I’m going to be continuing with this topic and providing you with 3 Effective Dumbbell Upper Back Exercises To Try This New Year.
If you’re a fan of dumbbell based workouts and you want to build your upper back this New Year, these three dumbbell upper back exercises will be right up your street. All you need to perform them is a bench and a set of dumbbells which you can either purchase to use at home or find at your local gym.
When performing these dumbbell upper back exercises, aim for 3-5 sets of 8-12 repetitions. I personally go for one warm up set with light weights, then three full sets with heavier weights. During the heavier sets, I aim for 12 repetitions and make sure I do a minimum of eight. If I can’t do eight, I grab a lighter set of dumbbells and if I manage 12 repetitions easily, I grab a heavier set.
Exercise 1 – Upright Dumbbell Row
The upright dumbbell row is an excellent exercise for your upper back that also targets your shoulders.
– 2 Dumbbells
1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand, hold them out in front of your legs, stand up straight and keep your core tight.
2. Slowly lift the dumbbells up towards your chin, making sure that you do most of the lifting with your upper back and stop just before they touch your chin.
3. Slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
4. Repeat steps 2-3 for 8-12 repetitions.
5. After your last repetition, put the dumbbells on the floor.
6. Rest for 1 minute and then repeat steps 1-5 for the desired number of sets.
7. If you’re working out in a gym and you no longer require the dumbbells after your final set, make sure you put them away.
– Bent Over Dumbbell Row:- Keep your legs straight, bend over until your hips are at a 90 degree angle and then perform the exercise as described above, except instead of rowing towards your chin, row the dumbbells towards your chest. By bending over and rowing, you take your shoulders out of the equation and place all the emphasis on your upper back.
Exercise 2 – Lying Dumbbell Row
The lying dumbbell row is similar to the bent over dumbbell row variation described above. However, the added support of the bench means you don’t have to focus on your balance or posture and instead can focus entirely on the rowing motion.
– 2 Dumbbells
– 1 Bench
1. Adjust the bench so that it’s flat.
2. Place the two dumbbells on the floor, either side of the far end of the bench.
3. Lie forward on the bench and get in a position so that your body is on the bench and your legs and head are hanging over either side.
4. Cross your feet and bend your knees, so that your feet are pointed towards the ceiling.
5. Hold your legs and body in position, then grab the dumbbells off the floor with your hands.
6. Slowly lift the dumbbells up towards your chest, stopping just before they touch the bench.
7. Slowly lower the dumbbells back down towards the floor, stopping just before they touch the floor.
8. Repeat steps 6-7 for 8-12 repetitions.
9. After your last repetition, put the dumbbells on the floor.
10. Rest for 1 minute and then repeat steps 2-9 for the desired number of sets.
11. If you’re working out in a gym and you no longer require the equipment after your final set, make sure you wipe down the bench with a towel and put the dumbbells away.
– Lying Incline Dumbbell Row:- Adjust the bench so that it’s at an incline angle and then perform the exercise as described above. The incline angle brings your shoulders into play and allows you to give them a workout at the same time as your upper back.
Exercise 3 – Dumbbell Plank Row
The dumbbell plank row strengthens both your upper back and your core and is a highly effective, multi-functional exercise.
– 2 Dumbbells
1. Place the dumbbells on the floor in front of you about a shoulder width apart.
2. Bend down, place your hands on the dumbbells, straighten your legs out behind you, balance on your toes and hands and tighten your core muscles.
3. Once you’re fully balanced, slowly lift the left dumbbell off the floor and up towards your chest, stopping just before it touches your chest.
4. Slowly lower the left dumbbell back down onto the floor.
5. Slowly lift the right dumbbell off the floor and up towards your chest, stopping just before it touches your chest.
6. Slowly lower the right dumbbell back down onto the floor.
7. Repeat steps 3-6 for 8-12 repetitions.
8. After your last repetition, bend your knees, let go of the dumbbells and stand up.
9. Rest for 1 minute and then repeat steps 2-8 for the desired number of sets.
10. If you’re working out in a gym and you no longer require the dumbbells after your final set, make sure you put them away.
– Dumbbell Plank Row & Pushup:- Perform the exercise as described above, except after step 6, bend your elbows and perform a push up. The addition of the push up brings your chest into play and adds an extra dimension to the exercise.
– Dumbbell Plank Row & Burpee:- Perform the exercise as described above, except after step 6, perform a burpee. The addition of the burpee adds a cardiovascular element to the exercise and allows you to improve your stamina at the same time as you strengthen your core and upper back.
A well developed upper back looks great and is also also enhances the quality of your day to day life by making lifting and carrying things a whole lot easier. So make sure these three dumbbell upper back exercises are part of your workout routine, build up your back and gain that functional advantage.
Now I want to hear from you guys. Do you currently train your upper back with dumbbells? Are there any dumbbell upper back exercises that you use regularly and are missing from this list? Leave a comment below and let me know. Also, please Like, +1, Pin and Tweet this post, so that as many people as possible can build their upper back this New Year.