Take our FREE 1 Minute Quiz to find out EXACTLY what Diet & Training is Best for You.


Take our FREE 1 Minute Quiz to find out EXACTLY what Diet & Training is Best for You.

When trying to gain strength, power, and put on quality muscle, dumbbells are often overlooked for those BIG LIFTS and viewed as only something to pick up for accessory work. 

This is especially true when walking into the gym to try to build a back!

You probably think you need heavy plate loaded machines, fancy t-bars, and cables with a gazillion attachments, etc.


We are going to show you that it’s possible TO GET A KILLER BACK and never touch anything except dumbbells!

We aren’t telling you to give up those fancy pieces of equipment. If you have access to them, go for it! But if you are stuck working out at home with limited equipment, are in a lacking gym, or don’t have time to wait on machines to free up at the gym, these DB variations will get the job done in the same way!

These DB only exercises should be thrown into your back day routine from time to time because our bodies like subtle changes.

You don’t have to change up your workout all the time (in fact, you shouldn’t mix things up too much), but you will find that you can achieve BETTER RESULTS when you incorporate different types of weights and equipment .. for the same exercises. 

Check out this COMPLETE BACK WORKOUT that focuses on strength, power, and muscle building .. without a big fancy gym!


Grip a dumbbell between your feet, or you can even hang it around your waist with a belt. 

Yes, pendlay rows are typically done with a bar, but the magic of this row is in the movement pattern itself, not so much where the weight comes from. In fact, it may feel a little more difficult using DBs because they will require you to travel further to the floor during each rep.

Make sure you use correct form on these, or they can easily turn into a chest exercise and not hit the targeted muscle .. the lats.

Make sure you are focused on proper form! Most people have too short of a range of motion. You want a long range of motion and pull with your elbow! Watch the full video for tips and to see two variations of this row.

(5) DB ONE ARM PRONATED ROW – with elbow out!
Yes, we are going to do one-arm rows again, but this time with a PRONATED grip with the elbows OUT! These small changes will isolate other areas of the back.

(6) DB (back focused) GOOD MORNINGS
You may have never thought of doing Good Mornings with a DB, but it’s possible! Holding one DB .. bring it up to your shoulders .. hugged into your chest. You can also try this with the DB behind your neck. 

Don’t overlook the traps! They take up a big portion of the back. We like ending a solid back day with some DB Shrugs.

Try this workout and let us know how you feel!

If you focus on using heavy enough dumbbells with proper form and use the tweaks we go over in this video, you can achieve a complete back workout that focuses on strength, power, and muscle building .. without a big fancy gym!


Did you know that attempting to set personal records and lifting heavy may not even be YOUR best way to train to achieve OPTIMAL results?!

The way you train and eat should be based on both your goals and your BODY TYPE

Make sure and check out our FREE BODY TYPE QUIZ! It will tell you the best way to train based on your genetics so that you can get the most out of your health and fitness journey.