Barbell Row Vs. Dumbbell Row: Which Is Superior? (Video)

Check out this great video from Sean Nalewanyj discussing if barbell rows or dumbbell rows are superior.

A proper bodybuilding workout routine is not complete without a basic rowing exercise included to stimulate the lats and mid-back muscles.

But which is the superior back exercise when it comes to a barbell row vs. dumbbell row? Which one should you favor in your back workouts?

Although a barbell row is certainly an effective lift, there are a few reasons why I believe a dumbbell row is actually the better choice in most cases…

Dumbbell Row Vs. Barbell Row:

Because of the position of a barbell row where a heavy bar is being held in a bent over position without any chest or lower back support, a large amount of effort must be exerted just to maintain the proper posture for the exercise.

The legs and lower back all have to work very hard to keep the body upright, and often times it’s these muscles that fatigue first rather than the lats and mid-back.

One of the main dumbbell row benefits is that the lower back is supported throughout the movement, and this allows you to place 100% focus on stimulating the actual targeted muscles rather than wasting unnecessary energy.

This also reduces lower back fatigue so that your lower back is fresher for your other compound exercises during the week such as squats and deadlifts.

Another point on the issue of the barbell row vs. dumbbell row is that since dumbbell rows are an iso-lateral back exercise, they help to prevent size and strength imbalances from side to side.

Again, barbell rows are still effective and you can perform them if you’d like, but given the choice between a dumbbell row vs. barbell row, dumbbells come out on top for the reasons listed here.

You can check the video above to learn proper dumbbell row form including a few cues that will help you maximize the effectiveness of the lift.

via Sean Nalewanyj