Why it's on the list: This is a classic unilateral exercise—meaning each side works independently. It's also one that allows you to move a lot of weight, particularly if you use straps.
It's back day, not forearm day
The strongest lifters in the world still use lifting straps for back training. Why? If your grip is limiting your weights, it's limiting your results. Strap up and go heavy!
You'll get a greater range of motion when training unilaterally, and you'll be better able to support your lower back by placing one hand on a bench. Allowing a slight degree of rotation of the trunk has been shown to activate a greater amount of "core" musculature, as well.
Single-arm dumbbell row variations for back growth:
- Single-arm row with one hand on a bench
- Single-arm row with one hand and one leg on a bench
- Single-arm arc row, reaching forward at the front of each rep
- Single-arm barbell row (landmine to the rear)
- Single-arm "Meadows row" (landmine to the side)
In your workout: This is a "meat and potatoes" back exercise. Do it in the middle or end of your workout for sets of 8-12 or higher.