The 7 Best Dumbbell Exercises For The Lats

Last Updated on September 13, 2022 by TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer

Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to commit to working out on a regular basis, but if you do home workouts and limit them to half an hour each day, it will be much easier to get into a healthy routine. 

This way you can plan your workouts around the other things you have going on in your life, and you will find it to be much easier to find time to put in a short workout at the end of the day even if you had a long, hard day, at the office!

The 7 Best Dumbbell Exercises For The Lats

There are a lot of different muscle groups you need to regularly work out in order to gain a good amount of strength throughout your entire body.

In this article, we’re going to focus on exercises you can do to strengthen your lats.

These are otherwise known as the latissimus dorsi muscles, which are the biggest group of muscles in your upper body and they attach to the upper and lower back. 

Their location and size means they have a massive impact on your posture and spinal movement, so for this reason it’s very important to work them out.

Doing this will create a V shape in your back and strengthen it, which in turn offers better support to your spine, improves your posture, and stabilizes your arms and shoulders. 

So, here are the 7 best dumbbell exercises you can do at home to give your lats a good workout!

Dumbbell Bench Row

A beginner-friendly exercise, the dumbbell bench row is a great one to begin with for working out your lats.

As with the rest of the exercises that are coming up in this article, you should always start with a weight you feel comfortable with and then progress onto a heavier one when you feel like you’re able to. 

To do this exercise, lean forward on a bench with your left knee and your left hand on it to support yourself, with your right foot resting on the floor and a dumbbell in your right hand.

Then bend your elbow to raise the dumbbell while squeezing your right lat. Hold this position for a moment and then lower the dumbbell back down again. 

Repeat this for 12-15 reps and then switch arms and sides to work the other side of your back muscles. 

Dumbbell Row While Bent Over

For this exercise you’ll need to be standing up and you won’t need any other equipment except for two light dumbbells.

You’ll need to keep your form and move steadily, making sure not to jerk your body.

Place your feet shoulder width apart while holding a dumbbell in both your hands.

You have to hinge at your hips and then lean forward so that your back is straight and also parallel to the ground.

Then bend your elbows and bring both dumbbells up to your chest at the same time. Hold it there for a moment and then bring your arms back down towards the ground.  

Dumbbell Pull Up

Pull ups are a well known exercise that rely on you pulling up your own bodyweight. However, sometimes your bodyweight is not enough.

With this exercise, you will be pulling up a dumbbell as well as your own bodyweight to make it a bit more challenging.

For this exercise, you need a pull up bar to stand underneath and you also need to put a dumbbell in front of you once you’re in position under the bar.

Then simply use your feet to grip the weight and pull yourself up with the bar.

For this exercise, it’s best to use a dumbbell that has a bigger end plate as it’ll be easier for you to hold it up with your feet.

Dumbbell Spiderman 

This is another great exercise for beginners – which you can also later really challenge yourself with by adding more weight – and all you’ll need for it is a mat and two dumbbells.

You need to lay down on the mat on your stomach, place the dumbbells in front of you, and extend your body so your legs and arms are stretched out.

The 7 Best Dumbbell Exercises For The Lats (1)

Then, pick up the dumbbells while simultaneously lifting your arms, legs, and chest off the mat. 

Next, bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells towards you until they’re parallel with your chest.

Finally, hold it there for a moment and extend your elbows in order to bring the dumbbells back in front of you.

Dumbbell Reverse Fly 

This is an exercise done standing up, so you won’t need any extra equipment except for your dumbbells.

Keep your back straight and stable in this exercise without jerking, otherwise you will risk an injury.

To begin, hold a dumbbell in each hand and make sure your feet are shoulder width apart.

Now, lean forward slightly so you’re hinging at your hips, with your knees bent slightly to stabilize yourself. 

You also need to bend your arms slightly, and then pull the dumbbells up and outwards so that they’re parallel with your body.

Keep yourself in that position for a moment and then lower your arms back down to where you originally started. 

Dumbbell Deadlift

Anyone who’s had any experience with the gym will know all about deadlifts and how much of a toll they have on your body.

But, there’s a reason so many people do it – it’s great for a variety of muscles in your body, particularly your back muscles – which hopefully as you know now, includes your lats.

This exercise is a variation of a deadlift and requires you to put both of your dumbbells in front of you, as you would a deadlift bar, and stand with your feet shoulder width apart.

Making sure to keep your chest upright and your back straight, face forward and bend your knees so you can reach towards and pick up the dumbbells. 

Then lift into an upright stance while making sure your arms stay straight.

Lower your body back down again to your starting position, without letting the dumbbells touch the ground, and carry on repeating that movement for as many repetitions as you’re able to complete, shooting for 12-15 repetitions. 

Isometric Dumbbell Row

Any sort of isometric exercise requires you to hold a position in order to strengthen your muscles, rather than completing certain movements. 

For this exercise, you need to grab a dumbbell in both hands and place your feet shoulder width apart with your knees slightly bent – while also leaning forward (you can lean on a bench if you want to) so that your back is close to being parallel with the ground. 

Then bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells up towards your chest and stay in that position for as long as you can – try to hold it for at least 30 seconds.

Then bring the dumbbells down and take a break until you feel you can go again, and keep on repeating this for as many repetitions as you can manage.

Final Thoughts

Completing short exercises at home using dumbbells is a great way to work out your lats.

Doing this will help to strengthen them and will, in turn, help with your posture and with general back stability.

We hope this guide has provided you with plenty of dumbbell exercise ideas for your lats so you can start working them out at home!

TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer
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