5 Best Back Exercises With Dumbbells

Five Dumbbell Exercises You Need To Strengthen And Sculpt Your Back

Many of us tend to spend so much time working on...

...getting those muscular arms and those six-pack abs that we forget about the other muscle groups that need work.

Often included among those overlooked muscles are the ones in your back.

You can’t afford to continue overlooking those muscles though.

For those planning on lifting weights consistently or perhaps even running more, it is crucial to have a strong back.

You also need a strong back to prevent the onset of chronic pain that could plague you for the rest of your life.

It doesn’t hurt that a well-trained back helps you look better.

What all this means is that you need to stay on top of your back training.

In our last installment, we talked about the benefits of poundin' out legs with dumbbells, but here we're gonna chop it up about building a barn door back with 'em.

If you’re looking for effective back exercises to try out the next time you’re at the gym, feel free to give these a go... 


Rep and set counts for the exercises will vary depending on how heavy the dumbbells are. If the dumbbells are around 100 pounds, you should try to get four sets in the eight to 12 reps each. If you’re using lighter dumbbells, go for three sets with 20 reps each.

List Of Exercises

  • Chest-Supported Bench Rows
  • Dumbbell Pullovers
  • Dumbbell High Rows
  • Standing Close Grip Rows
  • Incline Dumbbell Shrugs

Exercise #1: Chest-Supported Bench Rows

The chest-supported bench rows are great for contracting your back muscles. These specifically target the upper and lower segments of your back.

You can start by raising the angle on the bench so that you can rest your chest diagonally on it.

Place your chest on the bench and take up a dumbbell in each hand.

As you’re lifting the dumbbells to your sides, remember to tuck your elbows in while simultaneously raising your chest off the bench slightly.

Exercise #2: Dumbbell Pullovers

Working on the widths of your back is important too and you can do that by performing some dumbbell pullovers.

Lower the bench now so that it’s flat and rest the upper portion of your back on it. You need to raise your hips as well. Keep them aligned with your upper back.

Your body should now be parallel to the ground with only your feet touching it. While in this position, keep your glutes flexed as well.

Grab the dumbbell and start by placing it over the midpoint of your chest. Move it to the top of your head while keeping your elbows slightly bent. 

Pull the dumbbell back to its position over your chest to complete a pullover.

Exercise #3: Dumbbell High Rows

We’re working on the upper portion of the back with the dumbbell high rows.

Set the bench to an incline again and assume the same position as you did earlier when you performed the chest-supported bench rows.

The big difference this time is that you will be lifting the dumbbells in such a way that they will remain in a horizontal position.

Flare your elbows out while lifting the dumbbells. You also don’t have to raise your chest anymore.

Exercise #4: Standing Close Grip Rows

Next up is an exercise that will target the inner portion of your back.

To perform the standing close grip rows, you first have to bend your body at the hips and stick your behind out.

Grab the dumbbells next and make sure that your palms are facing each other while holding them.

Pull the dumbbells up to hip level and be sure to pull your elbows back as well to get the best results.

Exercise #5: Incline Dumbbell Shrugs

We’re finishing up with the incline dumbbell shrugs that will focus on the traps.

Once the bench is in the right position, rest your chest on it and pick up the dumbbells. Your palms should be facing each other.

Lift the dumbbells up by slowly shrugging your shoulders. The key here is to only bend your elbows slightly. 

You’re going for shrugs and not rows.

After raising the dumbbells up, lower them slowly to avoid straining your muscles.


Keeping your back in great shape is something you have to do if you want to join be more athletic or just stay healthy long-term.

The exercises listed above will make it easier for you to strengthen your back effectively and the best part is that you only need some dumbbells and a bench to do so.

Let us know if this workout was helpful to you, and please share this article if you're not too sore!  😉

Talk soon,
CC Matthews
Transformation Coach/ Pizza Lover

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