Dumbbell lawnmower exercise: How-to, benefits, variations, tips

The dumbbell lawnmower exercise, also called one-arm dumbbell row, is a great exercise that helps build your back, arms, shoulders, and core muscles. The key to performing this exercise correctly is maintaining control with both hands throughout the movement.

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This article will show you how to perform this exercise properly and provide some variations for different skill levels.

If you’re looking for an improvement in strength and power on your backside, give this dumbbell lawnmower workout a try!

How to do dumbbell lawnmower exercise

Before you start this exercise, you need to grab a pair of dumbbells. The weight you choose will be dependent on your overall strength and fitness level, but it’s recommended that beginners start with a lightweight (about 15 pounds) while more advanced lifters use heavier weights (30+ pounds).

Once you have the proper equipment, stand in front of your bench or chair. Plant both feet firmly on the ground before bending forward at the hips until your upper body is almost parallel to the floor. Using one arm, grab hold of the dumbbell and rest your opposite forearm against your thigh for support.

Begin by pulling through with the arm that’s holding onto the weight, keeping a controlled motion up until you’ve rowed to shoulder height; then lower back down slowly to complete one rep.

As you get more comfortable with this exercise, add additional variations like the one-arm dumbbell row with a reverse grip, which is great for building stability.

See the video guide below.

Benefits of dumbbell lawnmower exercise

Dumbbell lawnmowers or one-arm dumbbell rows are beneficial for building strength, size, and power in the back muscles. They also help improve posture by strengthening the muscles of the upper back that help to support and maintain a proper arch in your lower back.

This exercise is also beneficial for building muscular endurance because it helps you learn how to keep a wide grip during weightlifting, which will give you increased stamina when holding heavy weights.

Performing dumbbell lawnmower with good form can prevent injury to the lower back, shoulders, and biceps.

Dumbbell lawnmower workout tips

The dumbbell lawnmower exercise is a great exercise to do at home or in the gym. You can use either a bench or chair for support, and you can also use either weight plates on the floor or dumbbells of different weights.

If using a bench for this exercise, be sure to place it in front of a mirror so that you can easily see your form during each repetition; if performing on the ground, make sure there’s plenty of space around you so that you don’t accidentally bump into anything.

If you’re performing this exercise in the gym, ask a trainer for assistance with proper form or choose a variation that’s easier to perform.

dumbbell lawnmower at the gym

What muscles does dumbbell lawnmower exercise work?

Dumbbell lawnmowers are great for building the muscles of your back, arms, shoulders, and core.

  • Primary muscle groups: lats, traps, arms (triceps and biceps), forearms
  • Secondary muscle groups: core stabilizers (transverse abdominis)

Variations of dumbbell lawnmower exercise

There are several ways to perform one-arm dumbbell rows to fit your specific fitness level or desired workout routine.

For example, you can alternate between different variations that target various muscle groups by changing your grip or working on a stability ball.

1. Dumbbell lawnmower using a stability ball

You can also use a stability ball to increase the intensity of this exercise by leaning back on the ball as you row. The increased angle will target your core stabilizers, which will help improve balance and coordination while strengthening several muscle groups.

There are also a few variations of this lawnmower variation. See the video guide below.

2. Dumbbell lawnmower using a reverse grip

Another great variation that you can perform is the one-arm dumbbell row using a reverse grip, which targets your upper lats and helps to develop strength in your rotator cuff.

To perform this variation, grab hold of the dumbbell with one or both hands while positioning yourself in front of a bench or chair; then bend over at the hips until your back is almost parallel to the floor (just like you would for a regular dumbbell lawnmower).

Begin by pulling through with the arm that’s holding onto the weight, keeping a controlled motion up until you’ve rowed to shoulder height; then lower back down slowly to complete one rep.

As you get more comfortable with this variation, pick up the pace or add in some additional weight to increase the intensity of your workout.

3. One-arm dumbbell row using a neutral grip

A neutral grip is another variation that will target your upper lats and strengthen your rotator cuff muscles. To perform this exercise, you’ll need to set up in front of a bench or chair, just as you would for regular one-arm dumbbell rows.

Grab hold of the weight with your right hand or both hands using an overhand grip while positioning yourself so that your back is parallel to the ground; then lift the weight straight out until it’s at shoulder height. Once there, lower it back down to complete one rep.

Repeat on the other side and continue alternating after each repetition until you’ve completed all sets for that arm.

4. Symmetrical stance dumbbell lawnmower

This exercise uses a neutral grip and begins with your feet placed about shoulder-width apart from one another. Lean forward slightly, keeping the trunk of your body straight, and grab hold of a free-weight dumbbell with your right hand.

You should fully extend your arm in front of you while you’re holding onto the weight, keeping your palm facing inward toward your body.

Next, pull through with your arm and row the dumbbell upward until it reaches your chest level. Then lower the weight back down slowly, keeping tension on the muscles throughout the negative phase of this exercise.

Ensure you maintain a symmetrical stance as shown in the video below and resist rotation as this variation focuses on rowing dumbbell.

Maintaining proper form during dumbbell lawnmower exercise

As you perform the dumbbell lawnmower exercise to target your back muscles, be sure to maintain proper form for this movement to reduce any risk of injury.

Other upper body exercises like dumbbell lawnmower exercise

There are many other upper body exercises that you can perform to strengthen your muscles and increase your strength.

Some of these include: chest press, lat pull down, bicep curls, triceps extensions, and overhead shoulder press.