The dumbbell pull workout is an effective training session for building strength in your back and arms. It’s a great way to strengthen your grip and build the muscles in your shoulders, arms and back.
Pulling exercises are performed by lifting a weight – usually a barbell or a rowing or a chin-up bar – towards your body. This movement recruits your back muscles, which are responsible for pulling your shoulders downwards and backwards.
Your arms are also involved in the movement, so make sure you’re using a weight that’s heavy enough to challenge you.
If you’re new to dumbbell pull workouts and need some help picking the right one, then this article is for you.
Dumbbell Pull Workout
As you’ll see below, there are six types of dumbbell pull exercises to choose from, each with their own set of benefits and drawbacks.
Dumbbell Deadlift 3 x 8-10 reps
The dumbbell deadlift is an excellent exercise for both beginners and those who have years of training under their belt. It is a compound exercise that requires recruiting many stabilizing muscles and working on your back, hips, and legs (to name a few).
It’s a pivotal move to include in your training routine because it gets things moving in multiple ways.
Here is how you do this exercise:
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, bend forward from the hips until your torso is nearly parallel to the floor; allow your knees to bend slightly as needed.
- Raise your head and look straight ahead throughout the movement (avoid rounding or excessively extending your neck). From this position, raise the weight by contracting through both glutes and hamstrings while drawing inward on abs, finishing standing upright with weights at arm’s length hanging down at the sides of thighs.
- Return slowly back, lowering under full control to start again immediately – that is one rep
- Perform three sets x 8-10 reps
The dumbbell deadlift is an excellent exercise because it’s versatile for those with different fitness goals. Choose a higher weight if you want to target the lower body or glutes.
If you want increased strength, try a heavier weight coupled with a greater range of motion. No matter your fitness level, the dumbbell deadlift will help you reach your fitness goals faster than other exercises.
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts 3 x 12 reps
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts (RDLs) are a great total body weight training exercise for those with limited weight-room access or no experience. The movement is performed with dumbbells and works muscles such as the glutes and lower back. RDLs can be done for muscle strength, endurance, and fat loss.
Here is how you do dumbbell Romanian deadlift:
- Start with a lightweight. Choose a weight you can lift for 12 repetitions without tiring your muscles.
- Place the dumbbells on the floor in front of you, shoulder-width apart.
- Bend at your hips and lower your torso until it is almost parallel to the floor, and grasp the dumbbells with an overhand grip (palms facing down).
- Lift the weights off the ground by extending at your hips until you reach an upright standing position, then repeat.
- Perform three sets x 12 reps
If you are looking for a simple, productive lower body exercise that you can do at home with minimal equipment, the dumbbell Romanian deadlift might just be it.
The movement is easy to learn and can provide significant benefits regardless of your fitness goals or experience level.
Dumbbell Good Mornings 3 x 10 reps
Dumbbell Good Mornings is a great exercise for your shoulders, back, and core. This exercise works your entire body. Not only do you get the benefit of strengthening your shoulders but also improving overall muscle strength, power and endurance – making it one of the most effective exercise routines you could follow to develop a lean, powerful physique.
To do this exercise:
- Start by standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell to your chest.
- Bend at the hips, keeping your back straight and legs slightly bent until your upper body is parallel to the floor.
- Use your posterior muscles to extend back up to starting position.
The Dumbbell good morning is a great exercise for your core muscles – it will help strengthen your whole lower back area.
This dynamic movement also helps to improve your running, bouncing, and jumping ability, and it may even help you develop a tighter, firmer butt.
Dumbbell Single-Arm Rows 3 x 10 reps
Dumbbell single-arm rows are a challenging exercise for the back of the upper arm. They increase muscle mass and develop functional strength in the upper arm.
The exercise consists of doing rep after rep of an exercise targeting the biceps brachii muscle, which is located on the outside portion of your upper arm just below your shoulder.
Here is you do dumbbell single-arm row:
- Choose a weight for the dumbbell that allows you to do ten reps with good form.
- Place your left hand and knee on a bench, with your right foot flat on the floor.
- Grasp the dumbbell in your right hand, and allow it to hang straight down at arm’s length from your shoulder joint. This is the starting position of the exercise
- Pull the dumbbell up towards your chest by contracting (flexing) your back muscles as you breathe out slowly throughout this portion of the movement.
- Continue to raise the dumbbell until your upper arm is at about a 90-degree angle with your torso
- Reverse the motion by slowly lowering the dumbbell to the starting position as you breathe.
- Repeat this exercise for ten reps before switching sides and doing it again with your left arm.
The dumbbell single-arm row is one of the best back exercises for targeting the biceps and building a beautiful upper body. Most heavy-weight lifters use this exercise over bench presses, as it has been shown to target the back more efficiently.
This exercise is also an excellent substitute for barbell rows, as it requires less energy and can be done more frequently. Because of that, get it into your routine as soon as possible!
Dumbbell Upright Rows 3 x 10 reps
The Dumbbell Upright Row exercise is excellent for building the traps, rhomboids, and erector spinae muscles of the back. Upright rows will help give you a nice defined look in your shoulders that can be maintained over time by adding additional volume once you’ve become accustomed to the exercise.
Here is how you do this exercise:
- Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip, your palms facing towards you, and your arms extended straight down by your sides.
- From here, raise the dumbbells upwards along your body until they reach around shoulder level, maintaining a solid back and avoiding swinging the weights or using momentum to move them up – focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together as you do so.
- Pause for a second at the top of the movement before lowering the weights to the starting position under control. That’s one rep; repeat for three sets of 10 reps total.
The dumbbell upright row exercise can be added to any upper body workout, whether using free weights or a machine. It is extremely effective for building the traps, rhomboids, and erector spinae muscles of the back.
You will notice an improvement in your posture after consistent use of this exercise, and it is also great for increasing your strength in the back so that you can do more with other exercises.
Dumbbell Hammer Curls 3 x 10 reps
Dumbbell Hammer Curls are a great way to pump up your biceps, triceps, and shoulders. They target all of the major muscle groups within your arm region, so you will feel their effects even if your arms aren’t directly trained.
Dumbbell Hammer Curls are an excellent way to work your biceps in a very functional manner. It will primarily train the elbow flexor and extensor muscles and the brachialis.
Here is how you do dumbbell hammer curls:
- Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your thighs.
- Bend your elbows and curl the weights up to shoulder level, keeping your upper arms stationary throughout the movement.
- Return to the starting position and repeat for ten repetitions and three sets.
The hammer curl is a great exercise that can be used to target the forearms as well as the lower biceps brachii. It’s a beneficial movement when building muscle within your arms or overall strength. However, use a heavier weight to stimulate better muscle growth.
The exercises above will help you get started with your dumbbell pull workouts. Don’t forget to always warm up before doing heavy sets of these exercises. Start by doing some light exercise, and then slowly work your way up the weight ladder before you actually start performing the main workout routine.
Make sure that you keep your back straight, especially when doing rowing movements; otherwise, you’ll run the risk of back injury.