The Best Dumbbell Exercises for Your Back


I love fitness gadgets and I’ve amassed my fair share of them, but over the past few months I’ve tested all the exercises to come up with the best moves you can do for every part of your body using only dumbbells. Be sure to read through them all here and give me your thoughts.

As we’ve seen over the previous dumbbell exercises posts, sometimes simplicity is better. Whether that’s because you’re traveling and the hotel gym is not what you’re accustomed to, or because you wanna work on your bench press but you don’t have a spotter, dumbbells really can be an awesome solution in so many situations.

So while I have and will continue to wholeheartedly embrace fitness innovation, let’s also remember our roots, shall we? It’s nice to have it all but it’s not necessary in order to get a great workout. Sometimes all you need in a pair of dumbbells and a little space.

The Best Dumbbell Exercises for Your Back

It’s rather poetic that the final stop on this train is the one body part most people forget about until it starts to break down and send everything else off the rails. Maybe it’s because you can’t see it in the mirror or maybe “Back Day” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Leg Day or Butt Day — but seriously, it really seems like our back muscles get no love.

Because we use each of our arms and shoulders differently, the muscles of our back tend to get pretty unbalanced. I especially notice this phenomenon when doing things like pull-ups and barbell lifts — one side always seems to be doing more of the work, and the two sides really never seem to be on the same page.

This is one of the biggest reasons why I include dumbbell exercises for my back into my weekly training schedule. The muscles of your middle and upper back are the glue that hold you together in so many ways, so it’s critical that we train these muscles to work tougher in a balanced way. If not, our necks, shoulders, and lower back will all pay the price.

So grab the dumbbells because these little gems force your muscles to do their fair share. The moves I picked for this post will ultimately help you address any imbalances before they take you out of commission.

Try this circuit for some serious back strengthening …

Best Dumbbell Exercises for Your Back Demo

Check out this video for a demo of each move featured in this post.

Ready to revisit the dumbbells? Grab a pair of our favorites here. —Alison



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