At-Home Back Workout With Dumbbells

Sometimes you’ll need to train at home for a variety of reasons – you can’t make the gym, you don’t have the time to do anything else, or perhaps you just prefer working out in the privacy of your own home. While it would be great to have a fully equipped gym at home, most people will be limited to some basic equipment.  

Fortunately, you can get a pretty great workout at home with a set of dumbbells, and although it’s not ideal you can target just about every area of the body with them. In this article, we’ll outline how to get a great back workout with dumbbells when you’re training at home. 


The Workout 

  • Dumbbell Rows 3 x 10 
  • Dumbbell Shrugs 3 x 10 
  • Bent Arm Pullover 3 x 10 
  • Dumbbell Deadlifts 3 x 10 

Perform the workout as two supersets – follow a set of rows with a set of shrugs, take around 90 seconds of rest before repeating. Complete this 3 times before moving on to a superset with the pullovers and deadlifts. 

Dumbbell Rows 

Rows are a great way of adding muscle to the upper and middle of your back, and can really add thickness to your torso over time. 

  1. Set up with a flat bench (a chair will do if you don’t have a bench) 
  2. Place your right knee and shin on the bench and lean forward until your torso is parallel to the floor 
  3. Starting with your arm straight down, pull the dumbbell up towards the side of your chest 
  4. Focus on keeping your upper arm close to your torso and squeeze your shoulder blade back 
  5. Slowly lower the weight to the starting position 


Dumbbell Shrugs

Shrugs are a great way of targeting the traps and the upper back. Really focus on contracting the muscle throughout the movement for optimal results. 

  1. Set up with a slight bend in your knees and your feet shoulder-width apart
  2. Take a dumbbell in each hand and place your hands by your sides
  3. Drop your shoulders down as much as you can
  4. Raise your shoulders up towards your ears as much as possible, keeping your arms straight throughout
  5. Squeeze at the top of the movement before slowly lowering the weight to the starting position 


Bent Arm Pullover 

This is a great dumbbell exercise for the lats, so really focus on using those muscles to lower the weight instead of your shoulders. This will help add width to the upper back. 

  1. Set up on a flat bench with your head hanging over the edge
  2. Take a dumbbell with both hands, and focus on keeping your elbows in throughout the movement
  3. Starting with your arms above your chest, slowly lower the weight in an arc over your head
  4. Raise the dumbbell back up to the starting position in a controlled manner
  5. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows throughout the movement 


Dumbbell Deadlift

Deadlifts are a great way to strengthen your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings, as well as improving your core strength.

  1. Set up with dumbbells in front of your feet
  2. Your feet should start off roughly shoulder-width apart
  3. Bend at the waist while keeping your back straight, allowing for some bend in the knees
  4. Grab the dumbbells with an overhand grip, with your hands roughly 16 inches apart
  5. Holding the dumbbells at arm’s length, straighten your back until you’re fully upright
  6. Lower the weight until it’s just above the floor, then repeat the movement 


  • Updated July 17, 2020
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