Strength & Stability Exercises – Dumbbell Row


[Updated 1 January 2024] After a day at the shooting range with a few buddies, I realized my shots getting sloppier as the day went on.  My arms and shoulders became slightly numb over the course of just a few shots. The strings on my bow are relatively new but, I didn’t have the necessary upper body strength to hold the bow stable enough before I take the shot. I realized that body stability together with hand/eye coordination are a few of the deciding factors that go into the perfect shot.

A few days after, I told my sister about what I realized and she recommended that I come with her to the gym and consult a trainer about body strengthening and stability. I took her advice and the trainer really helped, and it was because I had a clear reason for why I wanted to get better!  I learned that there are muscles in the body that work together to make a straight and more stable shot for archery. 

Here are a few exercises you can do to improve your balance, stability and strength for a perfect shot on a bow and arrow.

One Arm Dumbbell Row

This exercise develops strength in your arms as well as your lats. It can be done in a gym or at home with a straight bench and a bottle full of coins as weights if you don’t have a dumbbell.

Affected muscle groups for this exercise

  • Deltoids
  • Biceps brachii
  • Serratus anterior
  • Trapezius
  • Triceps brachii
  • Latissimus dorsi
  1. Grab a dumbbell (10+lbs) and position one knee and one hand on a bench for support. Stretch out the opposite leg back away from your body with the foot planted on the ground to keep your balance. Keep a straight back with a slight curve in your lower back, your chest out and your chin up with eyes looking forward.
  2. From a starting position of the arms with the dumbell stretched perpendicular to the ground, pull the weight towards your rib cage with your elbow. Avoid putting pressure on your wrist and hold the position for at least one second.
  3. Very slowly release back to the starting position and repeat at least 12 repetitions until you reach your strength limit. Do the same for the opposite side.

It is recommended to start with your less dominant side and max out your strength limit. Do the same number of reps and sets with your dominant side to even out the strength on the left and right sides of your body.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Ques: What muscles are targeted by the dumbbell row?

Ans: Dumbbell rows focus on your back muscles, especially the latissimus dorsi, posterior deltoids, teres major, trapezius, and rhomboids. Dumbbell rows target muscle groups in your upper body.

Ques: What’s a dumbbell row?

Ans: Dumbbell rows are complex movements that primarily target your middle back but also work the biceps, shoulders, and lats. This implies you’ll most likely include this activity in many upper body exercises, especially if you want to build your upper body.

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