What Muscles Do Incline Dumbbell Rows Work?

The incline dumbbell row is a strength exercise that mainly works the upper body muscles. Mainly it targets the back muscles called the latissimus dorsi (lats). In addition to that, it also works the trapezius, rhomboids, biceps, spinae erector. This article discusses in detail the muscles that you engage when doing this exercise.

On top of that, it also gives detailed instructions on how to do the incline dumbbell row and other variations. If you want similar muscles worked by this exercise, this article provides the alternative exercises that you can do.

Incline Dumbbell Press

The incline dumbbells press exercise targets the triceps, chest, and shoulder muscles. You will need an inclined bench to do the exercise. In addition to that, this exercise is good for increasing your chest size and strength. Other muscles that you engage such as the triceps get improved in terms of growth as well as strength. To do the exercise; follow the instructions below;

  1. Sit on an inclined bench and keep your feet planted on the ground. Lie on the bench facing upward and hold the dumbbells in your hands.
  2. Bring the dumbbells to your chest level with the elbows pointing downwards.
  3. Push the dumbbells up until your arms fully stretched.
  4. Lower the dumbbells to the chest position.
  5. Repeat the moves until you reach the number of your preferred reps.Incline Dumbbell Row - Incline Dumbbell Press

Incline Dumbbell Row Without Bench

Doing incline dumbbell row in a proper posture is ideal when you have an inclined bench. But if you don’t have the bench, you can do the exercise and hit those lats, biceps, rhomboids, traps, and other upper body muscles. Follow the instructions below to do the exercise;

  1. Kneel down on the floor with your right knee and bend to plant your right-hand fist in front of your right leg.
  2. Stretch out your left foot and keep it fully stretched in a straight line.
  3. Grab the dumbbell with your left hand.
  4. Pull the dumbbell up to your ribcage keeping your arm closer to your body.
  5. Return the dumbbell to the starting position.
  6. Repeat on one side and then alternate to exercise the other side.

Incline Dumbbell Row Muscles Worked

Whether you are doing the exercising facing up or down, you still hit similar muscles. Primarily, as you push the weight up and down, you exercise the latissimus dorsi muscles on your back. This exercise strengthens your back muscles making it easier to perform day-to-day activities of pulling and pushing things.

In addition to that, you also exercise the erector spinae, rhomboids, trapezius, and biceps.  The exercise is good at strengthening those muscles making it much easier to do any pulling activities. The exercise has the capability of making these muscles gain more muscle mass. Furthermore, it keeps the upper body stronger to lower injury risks. To do the incline dumbbell row, follow the instructions below;

  1. Sit on an inclined bench and lie on it with your chest against the bench.
  2. Grasp the dumbbells with your hands and make sure that your palms are facing each other.
  3. Pull the dumbbells up towards your chest and keep your arms closer to your body.
  4. Pause for a second with the dumbbells below your chest.
  5. Return the dumbbells to the starting position.
  6. Repeat to reach the number of your intended reps.

Incline Dumbbell Curl

This is a strength exercise that works the biceps muscles. It works as the biggest bicep muscle called bicep branchii. Therefore, this exercise is good for increasing muscle mass. To do the exercise; follow the instructions below;

  1. Sit on an inclined bench and hold the dumbbells with your hands and keep your arms hanging.
  2. Your palms must be facing forward.
  3. Lift the dumbbells up towards your armpits. Engage your core as you raise the weight.
  4. Lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
  5. You can do 15 to 20 reps for 3 sets.

Incline Dumbbell Row Alternative

There are different exercises that you can do to exercise the same muscles as the incline dumbbell row. Remember the muscles that get worked include the lats, biceps, rhomboids, and traps. Below are the exercises that you can do in place of the incline dumbbell row exercise.

Table Pull Ups

The table pull ups is an interesting exercise that you can do at home if you don’t have an inclined bench and weight. You just need a stable table. This exercise works your chest, shoulders, back, and arms muscles. To do the exercise follow the steps below;

  1. Lie under the table and make sure that your body is in a straight position.
  2. Grasp the top edge of the table with your palms at shoulder width distance apart or a bit wider than the shoulder width.
  3. Pull your upper body up until your face gets closer to your hands. Keep your heels on the floor.
  4. Lower your body to the floor or to the starting position.
  5. Repeat as much as you can.

T-Bar Row

Incline Dumbbell Row - T-Bar RowThis is a strength exercise that targets the lats, traps, and erector spinae. In addition to that, it helps your body to get stronger and manage to lift objects. Thus making it easy to do day to day activities. To do the exercise follow the steps below;

  1. Place the bar in a corner to secure it from moving when you are training. Then load it with the weight you are comfortable with.
  2. Stand over the bar with your feet apart and attach a row handle.
  3. Bend on your waist and grasp the bar near the weight.
  4. Pull up the weight up to towards the chest and pause at the top of the movement.
  5. Return the bar to the starting position.
  6. Repeat as much as you can.

Inverted T-RX Row

This is another exercise that you can do in substitute for an incline dumbbell row. The Inverted T-RX targets the lats and the biceps muscles. It strengthens those muscles and also improves muscle mass. In addition to that, the exercise is good for improving posture and stabilizing your body. To do the exercise; follow the instructions below;

  1. Start by attaching the suspension straps to a rack.
  2. Grasp the handles of the ropes with your palms facing down.
  3. Lean back but keep your body straight and your feet planted on the floor for balance. Make sure that your arms are fully extended.
  4. Pull your body up and keep your arms closer to your body and bend the elbows. Drawback the shoulders and keep your chest up.
  5. Pause at the top of the movement for a second. Squeeze your back.
  6. Lower your body to the starting position.
  7. Repeat as much as you can.Incline Dumbbell Row - Inverted T-RX Row

Incline Dumbbell Fly

This exercise is good for opening your chest muscles. Besides working the chest muscles, the incline dumbbell fly also hits the triceps and the shoulder muscles. Additionally, it makes your back muscles be more fit than being tight. To do the exercise, follow the instructions below;

  1. Holding one dumbbell in each hand sit on an inclined bench and rest your back on the bench.
  2. Position your arms at chest level and stretched out with elbows slightly bent.
  3. Then lift the dumbbells up above the chest and keep your arms straight.
  4. Lower your arms to the starting position. Don’t forget to inhale as you lower the weight and exhale as you lift the weight.
  5. You can do 1 to 20 reps for 3 sets.

Incline Barbell Row

The barbell row challenges your back muscles. Mainly it works the lats. In addition to that, it also exercises the rhomboids, traps, and biceps muscles. To do the exercise follow the steps below;

  1. Lie facing down on the inclined bench and make sure that your chest is at top or closer to the bench edge. Keep your arms fully stretched towards the ground.
  2. Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip and make sure that your hands are a bit wider than the shoulder-width distance.
  3. Pull the barbell up and squeeze your shoulder blades at the top of the movement.
  4. Lower the barbell to the starting position.
  5. Repeat as much as you can.

Incline Dumbbell Row Angle

When doing an incline dumbbell row exercise, you can set the bench to any angle between 30 and 45 degrees. Training on an inclined bench makes you focus on your lower lats. Therefore, if the bench is more inclined, the more you hit your lower lats muscles.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the incline dumbbell row is ideally good for exercising the upper body muscles such as the lats. Other muscles that you use when doing this exercise include the traps, biceps, rhomboids, spinae erector among others. To make sure that you hit these muscles correctly, you must also do the exercise properly.

However, not everyone relies on the incline dumbbell row to chisel upper body muscles. There are different exercises that can equally work your lats, rhomboids, spinae erector. Some of these exercises include the T-Bar row, inverted T-RX row, among others.

These exercises are discussed in detail above. There are also different row variations that you can do to strengthen your lats and other upper body muscles. Let’s get started and strengthen the upper body muscles using these exercises.

Which row exercises do you love doing and why? Share your experiences below.

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