One Arm Dumbbell Row

Technique Summary

Place your left knee and your left hand on a flat bench.  Keep your back almost parallel to the floor.  Lift the weight up with your right arm (your forearm perpendicular to the floor).  Exhale on the way up.  Inhale on the way down.  Switch supporting leg and arm to do your left side.

Technique Details

It is especially important to follow good form in performing this exercise.  There are several things you could do to avoid bulged disks and pinched nerves.  First, do not jerk the weight.  If you are having trouble lifting, use lighter weights.  Secondly, you should keep your back/spine perfectly flat (if you are using light weights, some rounding is acceptable as you bring the weight down).  Many books recommend keeping your back parallel to the floor, but depending on comfort level it is perfectly fine to keep a slight incline (with your shoulders higher than your hips).  Make sure that you form a reliable base with your knee and hand on the bench, and the other foot, which should be flat on the floor.  Don't rest on your toes, this isn't the time to perfect your grand plie's.  Grab the weight with your palm facing your body and lift the dumbbell all the way up.  Focus on pulling your elbow as far as you can. You could slightly turn your torso into the weight to get a better contraction (again only with lighter weights).