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Thread: The One Armed Dumbbell Row - by Maki Riddington - May 7th 2006

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    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    The One Armed Dumbbell Row - by Maki Riddington - May 7th 2006

    The one-arm dumbbell row can be used to increase the size of the lats and to strengthen the smaller muscles of the upper back. Maki outlines how to execute the movement correctly!

    http://www.wannabebig.com/article.php?articleid=256

    Enjoy!
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    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    The link on the main page takes you to a Dave Tate Maximal Effort article...

    There was an article by Marc Caviglioli (sp?) a few years back on the bent-over dumbell row in PLUSA.

    I liked the article, but I leave both feet on the floor and staggered when I do bent-over DB rows - I find I have a lot more stability and there is less torque on my lower back even when I use heavy weights and "cheat" a little.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

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    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    I fixed the link, that was my bad
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    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei
    The link on the main page takes you to a Dave Tate Maximal Effort article...

    There was an article by Marc Caviglioli (sp?) a few years back on the bent-over dumbell row in PLUSA.

    I liked the article, but I leave both feet on the floor and staggered when I do bent-over DB rows - I find I have a lot more stability and there is less torque on my lower back even when I use heavy weights and "cheat" a little.
    Sensei,

    I had originally written the piece to include another way to perform the movement, it was the way you just explained it. I teach this particular movement to my clients as it is easy to see where mistakes are being made (and correct them quickly) in the exercise.

    It'll probably go up on my website. Thanks for the feedback.
    Maki Fit Blog

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    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

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    Senior Member Ricochet_kid's Avatar
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    dropping shoulder

    Hey

    When I do this exercise I always make a point to drop my shoulder when the weight is at the bottom.

    You guys are clearly more learned than me about the mechanics involved, which is why I'm asking for a bit of explanation.

    My form evolved the way it has because I find that when I begin the lift (from the shoulder down position), I engage more of my back to lift the weight. When I do it this way I feel it more completely in my lat than when I don't drop my shoulder. If you do it slow enough you can feel your lat tourquing the weight up. (not sure if that's how you spell tourquing)

    Is doing it the way I'm describing potentially harmful?

    There wasn't any explanation in the article to explain why not to do it this way.

    Thanks
    "Hope is a good comforter in the hour of danger, and when men have something else to depend upon, although hurtful, she is not ruinous. But when her spendthrift nature has induced them to stake their all, they see her as she is in the moment of their fall, and not till then."
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  6. #6
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    When you drop the shoulder down there is a pull on the lat. This in turn allows for more feedback when it comes to pulling with the lat and not so much with the arm or even the rear delts.

    Does that make sense?
    Maki Fit Blog

    At Large: Optimize Your Body | Dynamic Conditioning |
    My articles on Wannabebig

    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

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    Senior Member Ricochet_kid's Avatar
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    Am I correct in my interpretation of your comments to say that ideally you are attempting to 'isolate' the rear delt/arm, and when you drop the shoulder you engage the lat which takes over the movement to perform the lift?

    That is what it seems to me like you are saying, but it says the following in your article:
    "the one-arm dumbbell row can be used to increase the size of the lats and to strengthen the smaller muscles of the upper back."

    I kind of thought the lat was the primary force behind this movement, which is the reason for my initial question. It seems that not dropping the shoulder significantly reduces the participation of the lat in the exercise. Or atleast eliminates a big part of it's ROM.

    Even if I misinterpreted your response a little bit, I didn't see it mentioned why to NOT drop the shoulder.

    Sorry if I misunderstood.
    "Hope is a good comforter in the hour of danger, and when men have something else to depend upon, although hurtful, she is not ruinous. But when her spendthrift nature has induced them to stake their all, they see her as she is in the moment of their fall, and not till then."
    - The Athenians to the Melians

  8. #8
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricochet_kid
    Am I correct in my interpretation of your comments to say that ideally you are attempting to 'isolate' the rear delt/arm, and when you drop the shoulder you engage the lat which takes over the movement to perform the lift?

    That is what it seems to me like you are saying, but it says the following in your article:
    "the one-arm dumbbell row can be used to increase the size of the lats and to strengthen the smaller muscles of the upper back."

    I kind of thought the lat was the primary force behind this movement, which is the reason for my initial question. It seems that not dropping the shoulder significantly reduces the participation of the lat in the exercise. Or atleast eliminates a big part of it's ROM.

    Even if I misinterpreted your response a little bit, I didn't see it mentioned why to NOT drop the shoulder.

    Sorry if I misunderstood.
    The lats are the primary mover in the exercise, however other muscles are called upon to assist in the movement as well (rear delts/rhomboids). That is why I said that the lats and smaller muscles of the back become strengthend as a result of performing this movement.

    When you stop short of letting the shoulder drop forward all the way down it's like applying the brakes to the lats which in turn shorten the range of motion.
    Maki Fit Blog

    At Large: Optimize Your Body | Dynamic Conditioning |
    My articles on Wannabebig

    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

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    Great article Maki, but I have a question if you don't mind.

    On the pulling motion (lifting the weight up to your chest), I find that I actually feel more of a pull when I disalign my shoulder blades from a flat line level with my back to just pulling it back with the weight also.

    Why is this? Does this cause my body to work the wrong muscles?

    Thanks,

    John
    Squat = Not enough
    DL = Not enough
    Bench = Not enough

    Big 3 = Not enough

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    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John04Civic
    Great article Maki, but I have a question if you don't mind.

    On the pulling motion (lifting the weight up to your chest), I find that I actually feel more of a pull when I disalign my shoulder blades from a flat line level with my back to just pulling it back with the weight also.

    Why is this? Does this cause my body to work the wrong muscles?

    Thanks,

    John
    Sorry, I forgot to reply to this.

    This doesn't cause the body to "use" the wrong muscles, it's just that it can set your body up to compensate more with other muscles when fatigue sets in. People also tend to use momentum to aid in pulling the weight up as well.

    I'm assuming you mean that you disalign your shoulder blades at the bottom of the movement, or do you mean at the top?
    Maki Fit Blog

    At Large: Optimize Your Body | Dynamic Conditioning |
    My articles on Wannabebig

    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maki Riddington
    Sorry, I forgot to reply to this.

    This doesn't cause the body to "use" the wrong muscles, it's just that it can set your body up to compensate more with other muscles when fatigue sets in. People also tend to use momentum to aid in pulling the weight up as well.

    I'm assuming you mean that you disalign your shoulder blades at the bottom of the movement, or do you mean at the top?
    Sometimes both, but usually at the top is where I find myself doing it.
    Squat = Not enough
    DL = Not enough
    Bench = Not enough

    Big 3 = Not enough

  12. #12
    Iron4Life
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    Maki...
    I've also found that when you are at the bottom to also turn your grip from the usual neutral position to a hands-over-the top position. This seems to really stretch the lats on the downward movement...

    Obviously you have to be careful when pulling the weight back up, to turn it on the way up to the neutral position before smacking the weight bench.

    Your comment about "momentum on the way up"... I always thought that you should "snap" the weight up... or a 1/2 sec up, 2 sec down rep.. to get that explosive strength.

    Any thoughts on these 2 ideas?

    BTW.. thanks as usual for a good article..
    Last edited by Bob; 07-03-2006 at 06:59 PM.

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    I have to admit I'm not a big fan of this exercise. Since you are using the bench for support your core doesn't work very much to stabilize your body. I like the bent over barbell row and the one leg, one arm DB row much better.
    Last edited by aming37; 10-12-2006 at 09:44 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Your core works to stabilize your body and keep your torso from twisting from the weight. Most people, with practice, can one-arm DB row considerably more than half of what they can bent-over BB row (which will give you plenty of core work if that's what you're after).
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

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    Getting un-streamlined Progress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MixmasterNash View Post
    That is sick. Doesn't that guy total in the 2000's, though?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    Your core works to stabilize your body and keep your torso from twisting from the weight. Most people, with practice, can one-arm DB row considerably more than half of what they can bent-over BB row (which will give you plenty of core work if that's what you're after).
    I guess what I was trying to say is that from a functional standpoint, having a knee and a hand resting on a bench during the exercise is a disadvantage. Your body should learn to stabilize itself while exerting force. I just think that doing this exercise while standing has many more benefits than doing it on a bench. Just because you can use more weight when you are doing this exercise on a bench, it doesn't mean it's a good thing (maybe it is from a body building standpoint but I am a supporter of functional/sport-specific training).

    To me, this seems similar to the lat pull vs. pull-up debate. My opinion on this is that the more your body has to work to stabilize itself during an exercise, the better the exercise is for you.

  18. #18
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progress View Post
    That is sick. Doesn't that guy total in the 2000's, though?
    2200-2300 something I think. 900/600/700-ish.

    I guess he's not functional.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

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