Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePull (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Biceps, Lats, Shoulders
Target Muscle Group

Upper Back

Upper Back Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Incline Bench Two Arm Dumbbell Row Overview

The incline bench two arm dumbbell row is a variation of the bent over dumbbell row used to strengthen and build the muscles of the back.

By supporting your chest on an incline bench, as seen in the incline bench two arm dumbbell row, you take pressure off the lower back and eliminate some of the stability required to perform the row. This allows you to better isolate the target muscle group (the back).

Incline Bench Two Arm Dumbbell Row Instructions

  1. Position an adjustable incline bench at 45 degrees and lie prone on the bench.
  2. Grab a dumbbell in each hand utilizing a pronated (thumbs facing) grip and then begin the movement by driving the elbows behind the body while retracting the shoulder blades.
  3. Pull the dumbbells towards your body until the elbows are at (or just past) the midline and then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position under control.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Incline Bench Two Arm Dumbbell Row Tips

  1. Experiment with head position and see which option (looking forward vs. packing the neck) works better for you.
  2. Keep some tone through your abdominals as you pull the bar into your body to ensure you don’t arch excessively through your spine.
  3. Don’t allow momentum to dictate the movement, control the dumbbells throughout the entirety of each rep.
  4. If you feel your biceps being overused and your back remaining under active, consider utilizing a false grip (i.e. don’t wrap the thumb around the dumbbell).
  5. As you pull the dumbbells towards your body, don’t hyperextend the thoracic spine by pulling your entire upper torso off the bench. You can extend slightly but don’t make it too drastic.
  6. Some feel more comfortable with bending their knees and positioning them on the bottom pad whereas if you have longer legs than you may want to extend your legs and plant your feet flat on the floor.
  7. Don’t allow the head to jut forward as you pull.
  8. Similarly, ensure the shoulder blade moves on the rib cage. Don’t lock the shoulder blade down and just move through the glenohumeral joint.
3 Comments
Paul
Posted on: Sat, 11/16/2013 - 09:50

Correction: in my previous comment, open grip means underhand or reverse grip. The bottom line is you can do all three versions of dumbbell rows (pronated or overhand, neutral, or underhand grips) with body positions in either supported one-arm row, standing bent-over row, or lying face down on the inclined bench as shown in this web site.

Paul
Posted on: Wed, 11/13/2013 - 08:36

Sure you can do this like 1-arm dumbbell row. Just change two things: 1) Change from neutral grip to pronated grip; 2) When you pull the dumbbell up, the bar should line up with the upper ab/lower chest (the upper arm is about 45 degree angle with the torso). You can call this exercise as wide row, which works the upper back and rear shoulder, while the neutral grip row works the lat. You cannot use a lot of weight on this exercise comparing with the neutral grip one. You can also do this exercise with open grip, which is similar to the neutral grip one.

D.R.
Posted on: Sat, 11/10/2012 - 03:14

Would the one arm dumbell row be a good substitute for this? It's already in my Monday workout, but I'm looking for a substitute for the incline bench two arm dumbbell row for my Friday workout.

Laying on an incline bench for me is absolute torture. I'm missing 2 ribs and the "stumps" left behind are incredibly painful when I lay down on them with any amount of weight, so any good substitute suggestion would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks and great site! Your workout guide for someone with only dumbbells has been very useful!

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