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Dumbbell Rows 'Widen the Trunk'


For years ive had dumbbell rows as a staple part of my back workout, as i feel they hit a contraction lower down on my lats than other types of rows ie bent over rows. However, ive seen on a few threads that they arent as widely used as i thought due to the exercise "widening the trunk" (apparently Jay Cutler mentioned this a while back).

How true is this? I have naturally wide hips as it is, and I was looking for some opinions on whether this is the case.
Thanks in advance, from a new member.


A paradox?


I doubt it would make that much of a difference, considering your lats are widening as well.


I could live with a trunk that wide.


well, first off I doubt you're at the development level where you have to worry about a 'wide trunk'.

But there is some truth to it. Yesterday I played around with Kroc rows/Chinese DB rows, and my whole left/right trunk (depending on arm I was doing) was spasming pretty hard to stabilize my torso while I row'd.

But still... not a big deal.


i'm with PBA about db rowz engaging the trunk (obliquus externus??),every time i switched from bb rows to db rows my obliqui are toasted heavy (doms for days).....

said this DB rows are my favorite back excercise,far more than bb rows as with db i can save my back erectors and focalize on lats,sometimes just for ego purposes i did bb rowz but very imo the fact that you use just one db really put the MMC on ,plus you can use a heavier load as your SNC (CNS)is less engaged,yes trunk muscles work more but just to stabilize the tripod (legs,hand on the bench),the fact is that the lat work even more with db rows..


DB Rows, performed unilaterally, of course, engage the core in an anti-rotational manner.
This is good and helps lay the foundation for a stronger core, thereby serving as prehab for spine issues, especially lower back ones.
Additionally, the lats have a stabilizing effect on the spine, too.

Performed correctly, this exercise is pure win.

As to the 'trunk widening' effect: as already has been stated in this thread, your lats grow wider (and thicker), too.
Besides, I daresay most people asking about such stuff aren't really at risk of having their whole packages ruined by widened trunks :wink:

If your spine, especially your lower back, isn't stable enough, your body will not allow maximum force output of muscles anchored (directly and indirectly) by the spine.


Good post, FF.


I've found with proper form my core/pbliques/trunk/whatever isn't engaged as much as if I just decide to go heavy.


This. Also consider the limited hypertrophy potential of your obliques and abdominals in general, how 'wide' do you really think your trunk is going to get? Ignoring the distended abdomens of some Pro BB'ers how big have you actually seen obliques get? I dont think abs are a muscle you have to worry about 'overdeveloping' from an aesthetic point of view.


You show me someone with overdeveloped obliques, and I'll show you a Greek statue.