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Best Dumbbell Back Exercises

dumbbell back exercises

Back is one of the body parts that requires constant hard work to stay in shape. Working on your back will not merely give you an excellent-looking figure; it will also improve your posture by strengthening your spine and neck. Having a strong back is also essential if you are into other forms of sport.

For instance, a good back will improve the power you put in serving in tennis. It can also prevent sports injuries. The good news is, to get that ripped back, you do not need a variety of equipment or the biggest and baddest exercises.

All you need is to get the best dumbbells and start your dumbbell exercises at home. You can use one of these sports apps to get the best dumbbell exercises for back muscles.

Nevertheless, with the plethora of back exercises, you will find on the internet, here is a list of the top 9 best that will effectively tone your your back muscles. Each of these exercises is designed to target certain muscles on your back.

Best Dumbbell Back Exercises For Bodybuilding

1. Bent Over Narrow Row

Bent Over Narrow Row target the lats, erector spinae, and the rhomboids muscles. To start the dumbbell back exercise below, have a dumbbell in each of your hands. Make sure that you are standing with your feet positioned hip-width apart.

Slightly bend your knees and bend forward at an angle that is 45 degrees at your hips. For these back dumbbell exercises, extend your arms fully. Your hands should be hanging from your chest in a straight line, and your two palms facing down should face each other.

Bent Over Narrow Row
Source: Gym Cube

Then, pull the dumbbells up towards the bottom part of your rib cage. Your elbows should be skimming past your sides. End these single dumbbell exercises by squeezing your shoulder blades together for a few seconds and then release to starting position. People often recognize this workout as Dumbbell bent over row.

2. Stiff Leg Deadlifts

This workout will target the lats, erector spinae, and traps muscles. Start with a dumbbell in each of your hands. Stand straight with your feet positioned hip-width apart. For these dumbbell back exercises, your arms should be fully extended by your sides.

Stiff Leg Deadlifts
Source: DeMoose

Maintain your spine in a neutral position and keep your shoulder blades retracted. Lean forward at the hips, and then slowly lower your dumbbells down and to the front of your legs. Make sure that you can feel a pull through your hamstrings.

For these back exercises dumbbell, your glutes should be engaged, and your upper back should pull you back to a standing position. Make sure that your back does not bend forward. Your shoulders should also not roll inwards at any point in the range of motion exercise.

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3. Bent Over Dumbbell Row (Wide)

Bent Over Wide Row target the lats, rear deltoids, rhomboids, and erector spinae muscles. To start these dumbbell exercises for back, place a dumbbell in each of your hands. Take a standing position with your feet positioned hip-width apart.

Slightly bend your knees. Lean forward with your hips inclining at a 45-degree angle. Extend your arms fully and hang them from the chest in a straight line. Your palms should be facing behind you.

Bent over Dumbbell Row
Source: Gym Cube

This back strengthening muscle posture will set up the plane of movement for the exercise. Start the exercise by pulling the dumbbells upwards and towards the bottom part of your rib cage. For these dumbbell exercises to do at home, your elbows should go out and wide.

Squeeze your shoulders together for a few seconds, release, and extend your arms back to the starting position.

4. Upright Row

Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Each hand should be holding a dumbbell. Fully extend your arms by your sides.

Your palms should face behind you and place the dumbbells perpendicular to your legs. Pull the dumbbells upwards by using your traps. Bend your elbows in the process. Make sure that the dumbbells are moving upwards in a straight line.

Your elbows should be going out wide. Make sure that you pull the dumbbells up to your collar bones while your elbows get in line with your ears. Your upper traps should be fully contracted at this point.

Hold this dumbbell back exercises position for a few seconds and then return to the starting position to complete your back dumbbell exercises.

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5. Reverse Fly

These dumbbell back exercises target the rhomboids, traps, rear deltoids, and erector spinal muscles. Start these best dumbbell back exercises by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Each hand should have a dumbbell.

Lean forward from the hips, push your hips backward and keep your knees slightly bent. Start the back exercises with dumbbells by hanging your arms down in front of you. Your palms should be facing each other, and the dumbbells should be together.

Bend your elbows slightly, then make a reverse fly by opening your arms out wide. Squeeze the middle of your back together. Hold the position for a few seconds and then return to the starting position. Your torso should remain static throughout the exercise.

6. Kneeling Single Arm Dumbbell Row

Single Arm Dumbbell Row target the lats, rhomboids, traps, and rear deltoids. Start the dumbbell exercises for back by kneeling on one knee by resting it on a horizontal bench. Your other leg should be stretched out and wide with your foot on the floor.

Use your non-working arm to support your upper body by leaning forward and placing the palm on the bench. That is, if your right knee is bent, your right arm is the non-working arm. Your chest should face the bench while maintaining a neutral neck and spine.

Place the dumbbell in your working hand, in this case, the left hand, and fully extend that arm. You will feel a slight stretch through your rear deltoids. Then, pull the dumbbell upwards towards the bottom part of your rib cage.

Your elbow should be pulled up and back through your side. Hold one arm in this position for a few seconds. To complete these dumbbell exercises at home, return your arm to the bottom and allow the stretch through your rear deltoids to occur, and then repeat.

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7. Chest Supported Supinated Row

Start by making sure your bench is inclined at 45 degrees. Place your upper body on the bench. Your chest should be against the backrest. (You need to do this workout on an incline bench to get better results)

Your feet should remain on the floor, staying straight or bent but supported by the seat part of the weight bench. Each hand should have a dumbbell.  Extend your arms so that they are hanging from your chest in a straight line.

Start the dumbbell back exercises by rotating the dumbbells. Your palms should face forward, giving you a supinated grip. Make sure that you have pulled the dumbbells upwards and towards the lower end of your rib cage.

To finish your single dumbbell exercises, tuck your elbows in, squeeze together your scapular, maintain the position for a few seconds, and return to the starting position.

8. Renegate Row

It target the lats, rhomboids, and traps. Start in a push-up position. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Make sure you are stable and that you are in a straight line from the head to the toes.

For these dumbbell pullover and back exercises, hold each dumbbell in one hand and pull one dumbbell up towards your rib cage. Your elbow should move past your side. Return this arm to the ground and repeat the process with the other arm.

When doing these back exercises with dumbbells, avoid twisting your bent over row shoulders or hips. Your wrists should be stacked above your hands to reduce excessive flexion though them.

9. Shrugs

It target the rhomboids and the lats. Start by placing your feet shoulder-width apart. Each of your hands should have a dumbbell. Extend the arms fully by your side.

Continue the dumbbell back exercises by retracting your shoulders slightly. Then, your shoulders should be raised towards your ears as high as possible. Your upper traps should be fully contracted at this point.

For these back and dumbbell shrug exercises, make sure your arms remain straight. Hold this position for a few seconds, and then lower your arms to the starting position. Your movement should be controlled. Also, do not spend a lot of time in the bottom position between each shrug.

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Best Dumbbell Back Exercises: The FAQs

Can I build muscle with just dumbbells?

It is a known fact that dumbbells can engage a good number of muscles in your body. The answer to the question of whether you can build muscle with dumbbells is yes. However, it is important to note that you don’t need the heaviest pair of dumbbells to build muscle. You can get a light set of dumbbells and start building with it.

What are the best dumbbell brands online?

1. Bowflex
2. Fitness Republic
3. Ativafit
4. Amazon Basics
5. BalanceFrom
6. Vivotory
7. Fitness Alley
8. TopMade
9. Yes For All
10. CAT Barbell

How heavy should dumbbells be?

The weight or size of dumbbells is not supposed to be the same from one context to the other. This is based on the fact that the weight and strength of people interested in the best dumbbell exercises are rarely the same. Your best bet is to check the weight and size specifications before placing an order. On the other hand, you may want to consult your fitness coach for guidance.

How much is dumbbell set for home workout?

Some of the best dumbbell sets you’ll find in the market won’t have the price. Depending on the number of dumbbells and other features, expect pay between $50 and $400 for the average price of dumbbells. Inside some of the retail sites like Amazon, you can get more insights about features and quality through the questions and answers section on each product page.

Is weight lifting good for lower back pain?

Like so many other exercises, weight lifting can help to relieve lower back pain. But if you have any other form of chronic pain or waist pain, lifting heavy weights can lead to fatal injuries. Before you start engaging fully in weight lifting exercises, it will be helpful to consult with a fitness coach or your doctor, especially if you have some type of chronic back pain or waist.


To get the best results, ensure that each of the dumbbell back exercises is done at least 15 times for each set. Three sets are a good start for any beginner. You can take a 60-seconds break after each set and start again.

Also, you can incorporate different back exercises with dumbbells for each set. For instance, if in the first set you did the reverse fly, you can do the bent over narrow row in the second set, and the chest supported supinated row in the last.

These exercises aim to leave no back muscle untouched. Therefore, do these exercises correctly, and you will be happy with your final results.