Home training gets a bad rap as people claim it’s not versatile or effective.
Fortunately, that isn’t the case because you can do various effective exercises even if you only have one to two pairs of dumbbells available.
To that end, let’s review four of the most effective dumbbell lat exercises at home.
4 Effective Dumbbell Lat Exercises at Home
1. Bent-Over Row
The bent-over row is an excellent exercise that targets the lats and develops the lower back and abdominals. These muscles engage to provide torso stability.
- Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand tall.
- Hinge at the hips to lean your torso forward while keeping your back straight.
- Take a deep breath and pull both dumbbells up and to the sides of your torso, squeezing your upper back at the top.
- Slowly lower the weights as you extend your arms and exhale.
2. Single-Arm Row
Single-arm rows are great for training one side at a time and placing more tension on your lat muscles.
- Grab a dumbbell, lean forward, and place your free hand flat on top of a sturdy object, such as a table or chair.
- Stagger your stance for stability, retract your shoulder blades, and take a breath.
- Pull the dumbbell toward your ribcage, squeezing your lats at the top.
- Slowly extend your arm as you exhale.
- Once finished training one side, grab the weight with your opposite hand and do the same number of reps.
3. Renegade Row
These are highly functional and great for building core strength and whole-body stability while developing your lats.
- Grab a pair of dumbbells, preferably hexagonal.
- Get down on all fours with the dumbbells parallel to one another and roughly shoulder-width apart.
- Grab the dumbbells and straighten your legs, supporting your lower body on your toes.
- Bring your shoulder blades back, engage your abs, and squeeze your glutes.
- Tilt slightly to the left, inhale, and pull the dumbbell in your right hand.
- Lower the weight as you exhale.
- Do as many reps as possible, tilt your body to the right, and perform the same number of reps for your left side.
4. Kroc Row
Kroc rows are similar to single-arm rows, with the primary difference being that you maintain a more upright torso, which could help you target the lower lats slightly more.
- Grab a dumbbell with your right hand.
- Place your left hand on top of a tall, sturdy object like a kitchen counter.
- Retract your shoulder blades, stagger your stance, take a deep breath, and engage your abs.
- Pull the dumbbell up in one fluid motion.
- Slowly lower the weight to the starting position and exhale.
- Once finished training one side, grab the weight with your left hand and perform the same number of reps.
What Dumbbells You Will Need
It’s best to have a pair of lighter and heavier dumbbells. For example, if you’re a beginner, that would mean a pair of 10-lb and two heavier ones: 20 to 25 lbs. A pair of adjustable dumbbells might be best.
You can also look into a home pull-up bar. Having one would allow you to do fun and effective back exercises that build width, thickness, and strength: pull-ups, chin-ups, dead hangs, scapular pull-ups, etc. (1)
What Are The Lats, And Why Are They Important?
The lats are large surface muscles that cover a significant portion of the back. They are the biggest muscles in the upper body and play an essential role in numerous upper-body motions.
Developing the lats is necessary to increase your back’s width and achieve the desired V-taper.
Safety And Final Considerations
Before doing any of these dumbbell lat exercises at home, take your time to warm up through: (2)
- A combination of some low-intensity cardio (jumping jacks, high knees, jogging in place, etc.)
- Dynamic stretching (arm and leg swings, elbow rotations, torso twists, etc.)
- Warm-up sets, where you lift a lighter weight for a few reps.
Additionally, always use dumbbells you can control with proper form and through a full range of motion. Avoid jerking movements or swinging your body because doing so can put you at risk of injury. (3)
Click for more dumbbell workouts.
- Chertoff, J. (2019, May 23). Dead hang: Benefits, how to, for pullup, variations, and more. Healthline.
- Elizabeth Quinn, M. S. (2020, March 13). Prevent injuries. Verywell Fit.
- McGowan, S. (2022, August 26). What is the risk of using dumbbells? Woman.