How To Build A Wide Back With Only Dumbbells

Improve your upper body now!

Find out how to build a wide back with only dumbbells.

Dumbbells are extremely versatile. There are hundreds of dumbbell exercises that you can do to target any area of your body you desire.

Compared to a barbell, with dumbbells you are usually freer to move the weight, increasing the range of motion for the exercise and creating tension on your muscle for a longer period, which in turn can lead to better results. And that is the great news if you only have access to dumbbells at your disposal, but still want to get a good workout done. And if you want to target your back, we got you covered.

A video titled how to build a wide back with only dumbbells was shared by John Meadows“The Mountain Dog” was a professional bodybuilder, trainer and nutritionist who died in 2021.

Check it out.

How To Build A Wide Back With Only Dumbbells

The exercises on Meadows’ list on how to build a wide back with only dumbbells are:

  1. Dumbbell rows – 8 reps
  2. Dumbbell cheat rows – 6-8 reps
  3. Dumbbell floor dumbbell pullover – 10-12 reps
  4. Deficit dumbbell deadlift – 4-6 reps
  5. Dumbbell shrug with 3-second hold – 10-12 reps

Meadows says it is probably best to do 3-4 sets of these exercises. Pick at least four of them, or do them all, for a full wide-back workout.

How To Build A Wide Back With Only Dumbbells

The dumbbell cheat rows are a mix of Pendley row, deadlift and shrugs. The pullover is optimal if you choose lightweight and twist your wrist a little bit when lowering the weights – also hold the dumbbells with palms facing down.

It isn’t necessary to do the deficit part of the dumbbell deadlift, but it will allow you to get a bigger range of motion during the exercise.

And that was Meadows’ way of how to build a wide back with only dumbbells. Click on the video below to see how to perform each exercise with perfect technique.

VIDEO – How To Build A Wide Back With Only Dumbbells

Check out more content from BOXROX:

Best Scientific Way to Train Back Muscles 

How to Get A Strong Lower Back the RIGHT Way (4 Must Do Exercises)

The 12 Best Lat Exercises for Strength and Muscle Growth

The 8 Best Exercises for a Wider Back

Best 6 Core Exercises for a Bad Back (Stronger Abs and Spine)

Muscle of the Back

If you want to know more about how to build a wide back with only dumbbells, you should also understand the muscles of your back and the anatomy.

The muscles of the back (latissimus dorsi, trapezius and others) are a group of muscles that connect to the spine and connect to each other. These muscles work together to keep your body upright and protect your spine.

Back-Muscles perfect back workoutSource: Nigel Msipa on Unsplash

Trapezius muscle

The trapezius muscle is a broad, thick, superficial muscle that extends from the occipital bone to the lower thoracic region and inserts at the clavicle and scapula. It has three parts: upper fibres elevate the scapula; middle fibres retract it; lower fibres depress it.

Latissimus dorsi muscle

The latissimus dorsi muscle is a large, flat muscle on the back. It extends from the lower part of the spine to the humerus. This muscle is responsible for pulling your arm backward and downward, but also can help with other movements such as rotation and adduction of your arm.

Dorsal muscles of the spine

The dorsal muscles of the spine are made up of two sets:

  • The erector spinae muscles are a group of muscles that run along the length of your back. They extend your spine when you’re standing and contracting them to do so. They also help keep your body upright when you’re walking or running, as well as supporting movements such as lifting and twisting.
  • The multifidus is a small muscle that runs alongside your spine on either side. It’s part of a system called intervertebral disks, which act like shock absorbers between each vertebrae in your spine, helping to prevent spinal injury by absorbing shock during movement or impact with other bodies (such as during sports).

The Muscle of the Back

The muscle of the back is a large muscle that covers the back. The muscle of the back is made up of three layers: superficial, intermediate, and deep.

The superficial layer is responsible for moving your arms forward and backward at your sides. It also helps with turning you head from side to side as well as rotating it around its axis.

The intermediate layer helps turn you head from side to side as well as rotating it around its axis, but only when you are in an upright position.

Most Scientific Way To Train Your Back Exercises to Protect your Back Against Injury


The muscles of the back help to keep your body upright and healthy. The trapezius muscle is responsible for raising the shoulders up towards your ears and pulling them down toward your neck.

The latissimus dorsi muscle attaches along each side of your spine just below the shoulder blades and creates a “V” shape when viewed from the front with arms at sides; it also assists in lifting objects overhead such as a shovel or suitcase.

Now you know how to build a wide back with only dumbbells. Add these exercises to your routine to see great results.


Image Sources

Related news