Bent Over Dumbbell Laterals


The bent over dumbbell lateral exercise is classed as an isolation movement and is typically completed nearing the final stages of a back or shoulder workout. However, from my personal experiences, performing bend over dumbbell laterals immediately prior to moving to a row type exercise is a great way to pre-exhaust the muscles of the upper back before drawing assistance from the biceps. For spinal safety reasons, it is important not to allow any curvature within the spine and your body should be positioned almost parallel with the ground.


  1. Grasp an appropriately weighted dumbbell in each hand using a neutral grip, slightly bend knees, push buttocks out and while keeping back flat, bend over at the hip until your torso is almost parallel with the floor.
  2. Exhale, retract shoulder blades and while keeping the elbows slightly bent, pull arms apart until they reach torso height. The dumbbells should be drawn back to a position in line with the buttocks when viewed from the side.
  3. Inhale and lower back down to starting position at a controlled speed.
  4. Repeat until desired number of repetitions are completed.


This movement may also be performed while lying prone on a bench with a slight incline. This may be a more practical alternative for trainees who struggle with the positioning while performing the above method due to a lack of body awareness.

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