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Bent Over Barbell Dumbell Rows - Lats Muscle Exercise Workout
By Jean Lam

Would you like to have a colossal back with that v-taper shape? This article will show you how. The back is a big muscle group and one of the most complex. To properly appreciate the different muscle parts in the back, you need to look at a well-developed contracted back which has definition and details. Having a ripped back is certainly one of the most amazing in any body builder.

While analysing the back, you'll notice muscles below armpit level. In fact these are your lats muscle and they are the one that give you that v-taper shape. Your lats muscle consist of two parts ie the upper lats and the lower lats. To develop the lats, most body builders do what we call bent over rows which can either be performed with a barbell or a dumbell, hence the term bent over barbell rows or dumbell bent over rows. The difference is that with a barbell, you can work your right and left lats simultaneously while with a dumbell, one at a time. But if you use two dumbells one in each hand, you can work your right and left lats at the same time just like with a barbell. The dumbells can either be vertical or horizontal in your hands. It's not a common exercise though. Most will do it with a barbell.

If you want to get that v-taper shape back, focus on bent over rows. Of course there are other great lats exercises but we'll focus on the bent over rows. Barbell or dumbell rows also work your middle back also known as rhomboids and your lower trapezius. Well developed rhomboids add thickness to your back. So a good muscle range is already targeted on your back with this single exercise. Other muscle groups worked are the biceps, forearms and the rear shoulders.

To perform the bent over barbell rows, grasp a barbell about shoulder width palms facing away from you while standing with knees bent slightly. Lift the barbell until it's close to either your chest or stomach. I say this because when you raise it closer to your chest, you'll target more your upper lats and when it's closer to your stomach, you'll focus more on your lower lats. Then lower the barbell slowly to its initial position. Note that the barbell is not placed on the floor. It stays up until you're finished with the exercise. When the barbell is released slowly in a descending motion, your lats will stretch.

The one-arm dumbell rows is a bit different in posture but the movement is the same. This is performed usually with the support of a bench. For example, to work your right lats, place your left knee and calves vertically on a bench in a 90 degree angle and with your left arm on the bench in front of your knee. Your right foot stays on the floor to support your body which will be bent forward in a 90 degree angle and kept straight not arched. Now with one dumbell in the right hand, raise it till about chest or stomach level depending what lats part you're targeting. Then lower the dumbell slowly to the initial position. Note that the dumbell should be vertical in your hand not horizontal.

The above lats muscle exercise workout along with proper nutrition and rest will give you that v-taper shape in no time. Do 3-5 sets of 10 repeats for upper and lower lats. Combined with other back exercises like weighted pull ups both close grip and wide grip, lat pull down, seated cable rows, t-bar rows, deadlift and shrugs, you'll build yourself an amazing complete developed back.

About the author

Jean Lam is the webmaster of Body Building Resource which provides articles on weight training, nutrition and fitness, body building book and DVDs.

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