Back Workout With Dumbbells

While trying to build that perfect body, many people fixate only on what they can easily see – the torso, arms, thighs, and abs. Sometimes one of the most important parts of the body, the back, gets neglected.

Working out your back is important for many reasons. Firstly, our backs suffer the most due to the sedentary lifestyles we lead nowadays. This can mean bad posture, desk-hunch, and chronic back pain, so a back workout is one key to a healthier lifestyle.

Plus, your back plays a role in boosting strength for other exercises, such as the bench press. It helps build strength in your shoulders which can help you lift more weight in every upper body workout. Also, most exercises for the back also use your arm muscles, so it’s really a double whammy.​​​​

Finally, you may not be able to see your own back, but everyone else can. Having a toned back is just as important as the rest if you want to have a body that looks and feels good!

Dumbbells are a great way to tone your back muscles. Here's a few things you should keep in mind before you begin a dumbbell back workout.

How to prepare for a dumbbell back workout

Choosing the right weights

It’s important to choose the right weights when starting out. Ideally, you would want to use weights that are heavy enough to challenge you. However, it’s even more important to make sure that the weights are light enough for you to maintain the correct posture. Start with weights that feel comfortable even if they’re on the lighter side and keep increasing it as you progress.

Warm Up

Warm-up exercises like jogging on the spot or doing jumping jacks are worth the small amount of time they take. They’ll your blood flow going and relax your muscles.


Leave time for stretching when you’ve finished exercising. This increases flexibility and also helps prevent muscle soreness.

Safety First

Pushing yourself beyond your limits can lead to injury, so be aware of the signals coming from your body. Because many of these exercises can put strain on the spine if not done correctly, maintaining the right posture and checking in with your body are doubly important.  If you feel sharp pain, stop working out immediately.  If the pain persists, speak to a medical professional.

Best Exercises for a Dumbbell Back Workout

Wide Row

This is one of the easiest and most fundamental back workouts you can do with dumbbells.

  1. Take a dumbbell in each hand, and bend your knees slightly to avoid locking them.
  2. Lean over from the waist.
  3. Lift both dumbbells simultaneously towards your chest. Your arms should be a little more than shoulder width apart.
  4. The angle of the hips and knees should stay the same.
  5. Once your dumbbells are as close to your chest that they can be, hold for a few seconds.
  6. Lower your arms and repeat.
  7. Breathe out when lifting and inhale when you go back to the starting point.

Back Fly

Make sure the weights you use for this exercise are lighter than the ones from the previous exercise.  This will be easier on your arms.

  1. Lie on your stomach on a bench.
  2. Take a dumbbells in each hands with your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Straighten your elbows till your arms are parallel to the ground.
  4. Hold this position for a few seconds.
  5. Lower your arms until your elbows are at 90 degrees again.
  6. Exhale while straightening your elbows and inhale while returning to the initial position.

Back Fly Variation- Standing Back Fly

  1. Stand up and start with a right leg lunge.
  2. Keep your dumbbells in both hands with your hands hanging by your side.
  3. Lift your arms to the sides until the dumbbells reach shoulder height.
  4. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then return to the initial pose.


When done correctly, the deadlift is excellent for the upper back muscles and other muscle groups as well.

  1. Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Bend your knees, keeping your spine erect, and lower the dumbbells to the ground.
  3. Hold for a few seconds and stand back up

Deadlift Variation- Stiff Legged Deadlift

In this variation, you bend from the waist instead of bending the knees and keeping the back straight.

Front Squats with Dumbbells

Surprisingly, front squats are great for your back as your muscles need to work to make sure your torso doesn’t bend.

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Make sure your feet are shoulder width apart.
  3. Bend your knees and hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  4. Lift the dumbbells to your chest.
  5. Hold for a few seconds then lower your arms.
  6. Stand up straight and return to the starting position.
  7. Exhale while straightening your elbows and inhale while returning to the initial position.

Renegade Row

This unconventional exercise utilizes to high power moves – the plank and the push-up – and adds variations to give your back muscles a good workout. You need to make sure you use light weights for this exercise as maintaining spinal position is the most important thing.

  1. Take dumbbells in both hands and get into a plank position.
  2. Your feet should be wide and you should grip the dumbbells with palms parallel to each other.
  3. Focus on your core and look at the floor in front of you.
  4. Row the right dumbbell to chest height, then return to the ground. Reduce the weight if you feel any strain in your back.
  5. Do a push-up.
  6. Repeat the process with the left arm

Getting your back in shape is just as important as the other parts of your body, perhaps even the most important. This simple dumbbell back workout will ensure you have a defined back that everyone envies.