While the barbell row reigns supreme, the dumbbell row offers at least two benefits that elevate it into the conversation of best back exercise.” For one. it uses a broader range of motion than the more limiting barbell, while not allowing a weaker side of your anatomy to compensate for a stronger one. Also, its more stable, as it allows you to place your free hand on a bench or rack. Paired together, the two rows can be a dream team on back day.
Bend over at the hips and place one knee and the same-
side hand on a flat bench. Keep your other foot on the
floor beside the bench and hold a dumbbell in the same-
side hand, hanging straight down with your elbow fully
Bring the weight toward your hip, keeping your elbow in
close to your body.
Pull your elbow as high as you can, squeezing your shoulder
blades together for a full contraction at the apex, then
lower the dumbbell along the same path.
Once you reach
failure, you can
stopping for a couple
of seconds in the
bottom position to
allow your energy
stores to recharge
before eking out a
few final reps.
No less than the great Arnold Schwarzenegger himself was a chin connoisseur, doing all varieties: wide-and close-grip, to the front and to the back of his neck. As with many things bodybuilding-centric. Schwarzenegger is worthy of emulation when it comes to the chinup: No back-exercise arsenal is complete without it. And while we have it in the prime mover” category, it’s versatile enough to be used in any capacity, from an anchor exercise to the leadoff of a routine to a mid-workout punisher to a finishing move taken to utter failure.
Grasp a fixed overhead bar with a wide overhand grip. Hang freely from the bar, arms fully extended (i.e., a “dead hang”) and feet crossed behind you.
Flex your lats to raise your chin over the bar. Concentrate on keeping your elbows out to your sides and pulling them down to your sides to raise yourself.
Hold yourself momentarily in the “up position before lowering yourself to the dead-hang” position.
Schwarzenegger didn’t count sets when he did chins. Instead, he set a goal-rep target and strove to hit it in as many (or few) sets as it took. So if his aim was 50 total reps, his rep line may have read 15,12,9,8 and 6