Fitness Tips

Underhand Dumbbell Row: How To Do It, Muscles Worked, Alternative Exercises

Are you ready for a little exercise?  This exercise targets a variety of muscle groups in your body including your biceps, it has a lot of benefits and it’s easy to perform. We are talking about the underhand dumbbell row exercise.

What is the Underhand Dumbbell Row?

The underhand dumbbell row is a slightly advanced variation of the dumbbell row; it involves bending over a little bit and rowing the dumbbells using an underhand grip.

This activates a lot of your muscle areas; your back muscles, biceps and much more.

The underhand dumbbell row is a workout used to help increase the definition and focus on contracting the middle muscles of your back.

underhand dumbbell row exercise

How To Do the Underhand Dumbbell Row?

To do the the underhand dumbbell row you will of course need dumbbells (their weight should be about 20-25 lbs.), and simply lean forward a little bit ( about 45 degrees) while standing and hold the dumbbells at your knee level using and underhand grip and row the dumbbells, just like in this example video below:

Make sure that you keep your back and shoulders in the same position as in the video, this is important to work all the muscles correctly.

To take the full benefit of this exercise you should complete it in 3-4 sets, each with 10-12 reps. This means you should it row the dumbbells 10-12 times and then rest for about 45 seconds and then row it again for 10-12 times and so on totaling 3 or 4 times.

Benefits of Doing the Underhand Dumbbell Row Exercise

Doing any kind of exercise is a benefit; moving your body helps with blood circulation, blood pressure and much more, on top of that you brush off the laziness that comes with sitting around doing nothing. This benefit is compounded when the exercise is easy to perform like doing the underhand dumbbell row exercise.

This exercise will improve the strength of your back, your arms, including your biceps and shoulders. If you have an ordinary job chances are you sit on your desk all day long and don’t move that much. This is a great exercise to help you get out the energy that you need to.

A simple 5-10 minute workout routine will go a long way in combating the negative effects that come with a modern way of life.

Doing the underhand dumbbell row exercise will help greatly with that. You will move your body, exercise your muscles, be active, and all in the span of 10-15 minutes.

Underhand Dumbbell Row Alternative Exercises

There are of course other variations of this exercise, in fact, the underhand dumbbell row exercise is itself a variation of the dumbbell row. The dumbbell row includes a variety of other exercises that target various areas of the body and that can be performed more easily than other exercises, examples are:

1. Dumbbell Bent Over Row

This alternative exercise is very similar to the underhand dumbbell row exercise the difference is you hold them with a neutral grip rather than an underhand grip, like shown here

underhand dumbbell row

This exercise targets your back and arms and shoulders just as the underhand exercise did, ideally you want to do this exercise in 3-4 sets with 8-10 reps each

2. Seated Row with Dumbbells

Another alternative exercise is the seated dumbbell row, very similar to the rear delt row only you are bent over at a less downward angle; start the exercise by sitting on an edge where you can hold the dumbbells with a neutral grip to your sides, lean forward towards your hips and move the dumbbells to the level of your abs and then towards the ground and then back you the level of your abs, like this:

underhand dumbbell row alternative exercise

This exercise targets the upper back, shoulders and your abs. And ideally you would want to do it in 3-4 sets each with 8-12 reps.

3. One Arm Dumbbell Row

And finally, this alternative exercise will help you a lot with your arms. It allows you to focus on one arm dumbbell rows. This exercise is performed by placing yourself on a bench in the following manner; put your leg on top of the bench and also put your arm on the bench like shown here:

alternative exercise to underhand dumbbell row

And using your other arm pull the dumbbell up and down as shown.

Be careful not to move your back, resting arm or leg while doing the exercise and stay stationary

You would want to do this exercise in 3-4 sets, each with of 6-8 reps for both arms

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Ben Mayz

Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 16 years now. My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future. I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics. My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics. Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward. You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our About Page