Two dumbbells and these three exercises to strengthen your entire back

It'll only take you 15 minutes!

Man doing lat raises with a pair of dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty)

Want to build a V-shaped back as strong as Arnies? Ok, we can’t guarantee that last bit, but this effective dumbbell workout will definitely set you on the path for success. In just 20 minutes these three moves will increase your back strength and build muscle, you just need to grab a pair of dumbbells.

A strong back doesn't just enhance the size of our upper body and extenuate the waist, it's also a key ingredient for successful workouts. After all, our back is our base, we use it for many movements; it helps us walk, twist and carry out every day tasks. The stronger it is the better our posture will be, which will help you train more efficiently with better form. Plus, it will also help reduce the likelihood of injury.

For this workout you’re going to do your three exercises back-to-back for 10 reps each. Afterwards you’ll get a 45 to 60 second rest, before you go in and complete the workout two more times. We suggest opting for a set of medium dumbbells, but if you only have light ones then just do an additional five more reps of each exercise. Here’s what you’ll be doing:

  • Push-up into renegade row
  • Squat to high row
  • Reverse flys

If you enjoyed that back workout then we’ve got plenty more where that came from, using different bits of equipment too – like this resistance band back workout, or here's an alternative five minute dumbbells workout. Remember, if you don’t own a pair of dumbbells, you can also use other bits of home gym equipment, like a pair of kettlebells, or you can try and replicate two weights with two heavy water bottles.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.