V Shape Back Workout with Dumbbells Only (2020)

When it comes to building a wide V-shaped back, it all comes down to building one major muscle, the latissimus dorsi, shortly known as lats. It is a large fin-like muscle that stretches from behind your arms.

Lats is one of the powerful muscles. So, getting bigger lats lets you have a potential benefit for both strength and mass gains. Not only lats, but your shoulders also play a crucial role to make your back V-shaped.

But talking about the most effective way to build those lats or back as a whole, one thing that can never go off track is doing vertical pulling movements.

Lat pull-down and pull-ups are some effective back exercises and vertical pulling movements that you definitely have to do if you want to build and strengthen your posterior chain muscles in minimal time.

If you are a beginner with no strength to do pull-ups, lat pull-downs are definitely there to help you.

As you are here to know the best V shape back workout with absolutely nothing but a pair of dumbbells, we’ve created a basic 45-minute workout plan for you.

Muscles Involved: V Shape Back Workout

Do you know what makes a bodybuilder stand out in a crowd? I think it is a V-shaped back tapering down to a narrow wasp-like waist. Basically, three major muscle groups that contribute to v shape look of your upper body.

Let’s take a look at each of them and see how they contribute to giving that tapered look.

Latissimus Dorsi – Lats

Everybody who wants to be the be set back has to work targeting the latissimus dorsi muscle.

The latissimus dorsi is the largest muscle in your upper body And everyone from a kid trainee to a  professional strives to build bigger and wider lats muscles.

Basically, two Apparent ways to go and build those impressive lats.

  • Pull down and Chin-ups:  Pull down moments and chin-ups are a great way to add width to your back.
  • Rowing:  Rowing exercises are very effective to add thickness to your back muscles.

By combining these two varieties of moments we can build a great and impressive back muscle and achieve that V tapered look.

Deltoids – Shoulders

Having a wide shoulder with proportionately developed all three head of the deltoid is a great symbol of a V-shape. People with a wide frame can naturally benefit in this context but developing thick and cannonball deltoids are not that hard.

By focusing on pressing exercises like Shoulder Press or Arnold Press and keeping in mind that you have to develop all three heads proportionately by trying many different exercises and movement, you can develop wide shoulders.

Abdominals – Abs

The shredded look of six-pack abs is admired by everyone. If your core of the midsection is ripped and tight, you directly seem to have overall body fitness. It is also an essential requirement of a V-shaped look.

Thus, you should perform core exercises effectively at least thrice a week to achieve the smallest waist as possible. The less your waist measurement will be, the better your V-shape body will look.

About The Workout

This 45-minute back workout plan to build your V-shaped back consists of 6 exercises, all of which are major rowing movements, that will ensure that you will develop muscular back with minimum time and equipment.

Basically, it is a circuit workout. Thus, it is suggested that you rest only briefly(less than a minute) between each exercise set.

As pulling movements are utmost to build huge back muscles, if you have access to a pull-up bar, then it is far better to start this workout with 4 sets of pull-ups until failure.

V Shape Back Workout


Pull-ups are the best Upper body compound exercises that develop your upper body strength. Doing pull-ups with proper form definitely targets various large muscle groups in the back, shoulder, and arms.

During pull-ups, your legs and hips have nothing to do which makes the pul-ups more upper body workout than a full-body workout.

There are basically three muscles that pull-ups work. Pull-ups target your upper back, precisely your latissimus dorsi aka lats. Lats pull your arms down to pull yourself up. Thus, the product back muscles that create a v shape look are actively targeted by doing pull-ups.

Moreover, pull-ups also target your traps, rear shoulders, and various other small muscle groups in your upper back which are essential to add details to your V taper back.

How to do Pull-ups?

  1. Grab the pull up bar with your palms facing down with grip shoulder-width apart.
  2. Initially keep your arms straight and your legs off the floor.
  3. Slowly pull yourself up until your chin rises just above the bar.
  4. Lower yourself down on your arms are almost straight
  5. Repeat for desired reps.

One-arm row with dumbbells

 One dumbbell rows are one of the best unilateral exercises that allow you to increase concentration on the target muscles, enhance muscle fibers, and also even out the strength and balance between the size of your body if you have any.

A properly done one arm dumbbell row not only builds a strong back but also strengthens your shoulders, arms, and core.

The main muscle group targeted during a single-arm dumbbell row is latissimus dorsi also known as lats. Moreover, you also engage the whole back, shoulders, and arms(trapezius, rhomboids, deltoids, etc.)

The benefit of doing dumbbell rows with one hand at a time is that you can get better isolation of the Lats and also lift the heavier weights with a greater range of motion than during the normal barbell rowing exercise.


 The goal of doing single-arm dumbbell rows is to be able to maximize the range of motion rather than lift heavy weights. Anyways, by placing your hands on your thigh or any other stable surface like a bench, you will definitely be able to lift more weight.

 But keep in mind that you should focus on achieving greater isolation and increased range of motion while doing one-arm dumbbell rows.

 How to do one-arm dumbbell rows?

  1.  Place your left leg on the bench and grab the far side of the bench with your left hand making sure that your upper body is almost parallel with the ground.
  2. Reach and pick the dumbbell off the floor in your right hand with a neutral grip that is palms facing you.
  3. Pull the dumbbell up to your chest by concentrating on lifting with only your back and shoulder muscles rather than your arms. keep your back straight and chest still.
  4. Squeeze your back muscles and Shoulder at the top of the movement and hold the dumbbell for some brief time.
  5. Lower down your dumbbells slowly until your arm is fully stretched.
  6. Perform desired applications on one arm then switch to the other side

Bent over row with dumbbells

It is widely considered as one of the best muscle building back exercises. however, it also works your shoulders also develops your overall body strength and helps you to build muscles.

The bent-over row with dumbbells targets many muscles in your upper and mid-back.

It includes latissimus dorsi and trapezius primarily but it also works your rhomboids, posterior deltoid, etc.

Well, this is a compound and functional exercise that you have been doing at your home mostly when you pick up things off the floor.

How to do bent-over rows with dumbbells?

  1.  Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and slightly bent.
  2. Holding dumbbells in each of your hands, bent over at about 45-degree angle with your back completely straight and core braced.
  3. Lift the weight straight up until your arms are just parallel with shoulders. make sure that no movement of your legs occurs throughout the exercise.
  4. At the top of the movement feel the squeeze in your shoulders and lats.
  5. Lower the weight slowly until your arms are extended family.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of rapes with your body bent for the whole set.

Upright row with dumbbells

Shaping your shoulders and bringing out your traps to achieve that we tapered aesthetic physique is very difficult without mastering upright rows with dumbbells.

Although it may seem that dumbbell upright rows only target your deltoids,  it is a compound exercise that can help you develop your upper back(traps), shoulders(deltoid), and biceps as a whole.

There is no doubt that it is a simple and effective move, but you must not do it wrong.  mastering the proper technique and form is very crucial as it ensures that you are maximizing your muscle-building potential on those targeted muscles.

The primary muscles which are involved during the dumbbell upright row movement are the trapezius, deltoids, and the biceps.

The muscles of your upper back and shoulder work together to lift your arms and the muscles of your biceps work to flex and bend the elbow.

Thus the dumbbell upright rows are definitely the great exercise for shoulder and trap development and the perfect supplement to your upper body workout.

How to do upright rows with dumbbells?

  1. Hold the dumbbells by your thighs with a supinated grip with your hands less than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lift dumbbells slowly by keeping them close to your body.  make sure that your elbows are always higher than your forearms throughout the lift.
  3. As the dumbbells reach just as near as your chin height,  pause for a second.
  4. Lower down the dumbbells back to the initial position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Bent-over Dumbbell Reverse Flye

Bent over dumbbell reverse flyes can be a great addition to your strength training workout routine.

This exercise requires only a set of dumbbells so you can perform it at the gym or at your own home.

Dumbbell reverse flyes are effective exercise to target your posterior deltoids ( rear Shoulders) and the major muscles are of your upper back including the trapezius and rhomboids.

The bent-over dumbbell reverse flyes also help people with poor posture as the shoulder blades pull in towards each other during the scapular retraction that occurs during this exercise.

However,  all these benefits depend totally upon how you do the dumbbell reverse flyes And how much weight you pick up.

It’s important to lift moderate weights and gradually increase rather than lifting heavy for the very first time.

How to perform bent-over dumbbell reverse flyes?

  1.  Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart by holding the dumbbell at your sides with a supinated grip.
  2. Push the hips back in a hence motion keeping your test forward almost parallel to the floor.
  3. Initially hold weight straight down with your palms facing each other.
  4. Raise the dumbbells with both arms out to your sides by squeezing the shoulder blades together and keeping a slight bend in your elbows as you pull shoulder blades towards the spine.
  5. Concentrate on squeezing the shoulder blades and focus and proper breathing pattern.
  6.  Lower down the dumbbells to the initial position.
  7.  Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Dumbbell Incline Row

Dumbbell incline rows are a great exercise for anyone looking to build up the back and biceps muscles.

It adds stability to your body and you can automatically upgrade the amount of weight you lift which, in turn, means that you can increase muscle mass.

Dumbbell incline row is also called a chest supported in inclined rows.  By supporting your chest on a bench, you will definitely lower the amount of rocking motion and place all of your work onto your back and biceps.

For beginners, it also prevents cup injury and helps you isolate the muscles of your back very easily. This will speed up your result and help you reach reset tapered back in a very short amount of time.

Besides the fact that chest supported incline dumbbell rows will help you become more efficient at any kind of pulling exercises, it effectively isolates your major back muscles like latissimus dorsi, traps, rhomboids, etc.

Thus, this variation of dumbbell row exercise will strengthen your back muscles and gives you the added stability factor which also helps beginners to carry out movements in proper form.

How to do dumbbell incline rows?

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie down on a 45-degree incline bench with your test facing downward.
  2. Keeping a feet form on the floor, extend your arms straight down and palms facing towards each other.
  3. Pull your elbows up towards the ceiling by squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  4. Bring the dumbbells only up to the level of your Rib cage and lower down the dumbbells after holding for about a second in that position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Back Workout Without Dumbbells – Sample

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This workout is designed to target the muscles you require for a wide, V-shaped back- and the equipment you need is just a pair of dumbbells and a bench.

You can perform this workout at home or at the gym as it will effectively hit your back with dumbbells only back workout. But if you have access to a gym, it’s better to go for other varieties of back exercises that’ll target your different back muscles from different angles and you’ll get huge tapered back in the even shorter time frame.

Thanks a lot for visiting our website.


Aaron Reiner

Aaron is a fitness blogger, founder & editor of Prosfitness. He has been lifting weights & writing about fitness for over 3 years. He has been a contributor for several health and fitness publications.

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