Starting Position: Start with your right foot flat on the floor and your left knee resting on a flat bench. Then lean forward so you're supporting the weight of your upper body with your left arm on the bench. Your back should be almost parallel with the floor.
Reach down and pick up a dumbbell with your right hand. Look straight ahead instead of at the floor in order to keep your back straight.
The Exercise: Concentrate on pulling your elbow as far back as it can go. The dumbbell should end up roughly parallel with your torso. After you've "rowed" the dumbbell up as far as you can, slowly lower it to the starting position.
After you complete the planned number of reps for your right arm, follow the same instructions for your left.
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The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.