No time to get to the gym today? Or just not feeling up to a trip? Get some use out of those dumbbells you’ve got right there at home. With the help of your own body weight and just a pair of dumbbells, you can get a great dumbbell back workout in from the comfort of your own home.

What You Need

For this workout, you just need a set of dumbbells and a towel. Choose a dumbbell weight that you are able to do six to eight solid reps with if you’re looking to build strength. If endurance is more of your goal, choose a lower weight that you feel comfortable doing 15 to 20 reps with.

Do Hyperbolic Stretching to Improve Flexibility and Core Strength

The Dumbbell Back Exercises

Upright Row

This exercise targets the upper trapezius and deltoids

Hang the dumbbells in front of you, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows and keeping your palms facing you. Pull your shoulders down and then back, flex your elbows, and lift the dumbbells up to your chin until they pass your lower chest and your elbows are at your shoulders.


This exercise targets the upper and middle trapezius and the levator scapulae

With your feet shoulder-width apart, hang the dumbbells at your side with your palms facing inward, and your elbows bent just slightly. Lift your shoulder blades down and back, and then shrug your shoulders up to your ears. Pause and then begin again.

Narrow Rows

This exercise targets the latissimus dorsi muscles, the rear deltoids, rhomboid, and trapezius

With feet shoulder-width apart, lower your hips until your torso is parallel to the floor, dumbbells hanging straight down and elbows bent slightly. Keeping your abs tight and back straight, pull your shoulder blades down and back. Pull them together and then pull the dumbbells up until your elbows are lined up with your ribcage. Pause for a second and then slowly begin again.

Wide Rows

This exercise targets your rear delts, rhomboids, and trapezius.

Put your feet shoulder-width apart, hinging at your hips until your torso is close to parallel to the floor. While doing so, hang the dumbbells straight down from your shoulder with elbows at a slight angle and your palms facing inward. With a tight stomach, pull your shoulder blades down and back. Pause when your upper arms are parallel to the floor and then slowly start again.

Cool Down

An essential part of any workout is making time to cool down and stretch afterward. Don’t make the amateur mistake of a torn muscle or even feeling too tight and uncomfortable the next day because you didn’t spare just 5 to 10 minutes stretching and cooling down.

One great stretch after a good dumbbell back workout is to lay on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Stretch out your arms and put your palms face down. Cross your right knee over your left, like you would sitting in a chair, and shift your hips to the right before dropping your knees to the left. Repeat this for the other side as well.