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Humble Row Workout Exercise 2023

Humble Row Workout Exercise

The humble row exercise is another term for the bent-over row exercise, a strength training exercise that targets the back muscles, including the lats, rhomboids, and erector spinae.

I’m George from armyprt.com, and today, I will teach you how to do the lying down dumbbell row, also called the humble row.

If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to work your back safely, the humble row will be your exercise. I love this exercise because it keeps your back in that nice, static position, so there’s no swing. Swinging and arching the back is a big problem when doing back movements, so this is good because you can be strict with your positioning.

So first and foremost, you should set up your bench for the humble row exercise at about a 40 or 45-degree angle. I find that’s the magic number for me. Of course, it depends on your height and how long your arms are, which will change how much you can stretch out.

So the goal here is to position yourself and retract your scapula by pulling those shoulders back, getting yourself postured. When you do this, you will be protecting all the small vertebrae in my spine by condensing them. 

There’s a little bursa between each spine, and when you have it padded and contracted backward, you’re protecting your back. But, again, this is something you can use for any exercise, not just this one, so always keep that one in mind. 

Next up, you will grab the dumbbells and row with a pronated grip, nice and forward, and you can do this with a little more rear delt, a little more upper back, and an upper trap.

How to do the humble row


The humble row is an excellent movement if you can’t access a chest-supported row machine or a chest-supported T-bar row.

  1. Set up

    Generally, we will set up a 45-degree inclined bench, set the dumbbells down, get your chest against the bench, and pick those dumbbells up.

  2. Dumbbell Grip

    You will grab the dumbbells and row with a pronated grip, nice and forward, and you can do this with a little more rear delt, a little more upper back, and an upper trap.

  3. Doing the Exercise

    You want to keep your elbows close to your side ( elbows out to your sides by at least 45 degrees) and get a nice good squeeze at the top; this will be an excellent movement for the upper back and the lats.

Keep Point with the Humble Row Exercise

Extend with slow, eccentric movement on the way down, lengthening your back nice and tight. On the way up, come up as high as you can, squeezing more towards your stomach than anything else. If you’re squeezing towards your chest, you might end up working the biceps. That is a common mistake I see quite often. 

So you want to pull it all the way in, nice and far back, stretch it out, keep that control, and focus on tempo here. I like a slower tempo. The goal is to use something other than your heaviest weight, like with the barbell row. Work on good contraction and control, and that is how you will get the most out of this exercise. 

Common Mistakes with the Humble Row

Common mistake number one: I see so many people stopping short of full extension because this is a steady state; you have the bench stopping you. When you’re doing a barbell row and extending all the way down, typically, your shoulders will roll forward, and you put your lower back in a vulnerable position. 

But in the humble row, you can focus and extend all the way down and try to reach your arms or your fist right to the ground, and you’ll get full extension and the most out of this exercise.

Common mistake number two: I see many people doing exercise with way too much weight. If you want to go heavy, do a Yates row, a barbell row, a pen lay row, whatever it is, but save this exercise for the end of your workout. Focus on the isolation and the contraction, and you’ll see some crazy results.

I could do this exercise all day and not feel anything in my back or not see any back gain. So really focus on squeezing the top for a second or two. Focus on what feels best for you. Aim to drive those elbows all the way up toward the ceiling, and you’ll see the best results possible. 

What muscles are worked on in the Humble Row?

  • Latissimus dorsi muscles are responsible for shoulder extensions and internal rotation.
  • Rhomboid muscles in the upper back keep the scapula stable and help pull the shoulder blades back.
  • Trapezius muscles move and help stabilize the shoulder blades and neck.
  • Erector Spinae muscles, which run along the length of the spine, help with spinal extension.

What are the benefits of the humble row:

  • It will strengthen the back muscles by targeting back muscles, including the lats, rhomboids, and erector spinae, which helps to improve overall back strength.
  • It will help improve your posture; the humble row exercise will strengthen the muscles responsible for retracting and stabilizing the shoulder blades, which can help improve posture and reduce the risk of developing rounded shoulders.
  • The humble row exercise will enhance your athletic performance. A strong back is essential for many athletic activities, such as swimming, weightlifting, and other physical fitness activities.
  • The humble row exercise will help you build muscle mass. This exercise works for many different muscle groups simultaneously, so it is an excellent way to build muscle in the back, biceps, and forearms.
  • The humble row exercise improves your overall stability, which helps prevent injury, particularly to the spine and shoulders.

Humble Row Questions

What is a humble row?

The humble row exercise is another term for the bent-over row exercise, a strength training exercise that targets the back muscles.

What muscles are worked in the humble row?

The humble row workouts target the back muscles, including the lats, rhomboids, and erector spinae.

George N.