Spinal alignment is a key technique for any exercise when it comes to training for correct posture and injury prevention.

Below, GLAC Personal Trainer, Stephanie Murdock, shows and tells us how to do a single-arm dumbbell row with proper spinal alignment.

The single-arm dumbbell row is a simple beginner exercise that is great for strengthening the upper and mid back.

Here’s how to do it:

Start with your left hand and your left knee on the bench. Keep your right knee soft with a slight bend.

Your tailbone should not be tucked under too much, as this will round your spine.

Avoid rounding your back, as pictured here.

Your tailbone should also not be lifted too high because this will arch your back and cause your chin to lift.

Avoid arching your back, as pictured here.

Find the middle ground between the two. Reach the crown of your head to the wall in front of you while engaging the abdominals and obliques–creating LENGTH with your spine!

This photo shows correct spinal alignment.

With the dumbbell in your right hand, on an exhale, started to pull the dumbbell up using your back to pull the weight. Elbow stays in towards the body. Squeeze behind the right shoulder blade and on an inhale slowing lower the weight back down to the starting position while maintaining good spinal alignment.

Repeat 12-15 times per side for 3-4 sets.


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  2. Pursuant to Michigan State Executive Order 2020-9 GLAC will be closing at 3PM 03/16/2020 as requested by the Emergency Management Office of the governor. We will remain closed until further notice. Check our Facebook page for ongoing updates.