Dumbbell Exercises: Stability Ball Bent Over Row

The stability ball bent over row is one of several interesting dumbbell exercises that use the balance challenge of a stability ball or fitness ball, a simple inflated plastic ball, to challenge the core muscles while strengthening the arms. This variation of the bent over row has unique benefits and may be something you’re interested in adding to your fitness program.

Doing the Stability Ball Bent Over Row

To do the stability ball bent over row, start out with your stability ball in front of you on the floor and a single dumbbell in one hand.

  • Get down the ground with your knees bent, one hand holding the dumbbell, and the other hand propped on the stability ball. Your body should be horizontal, with the dumbbell held up close to your chest.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell with your free arm, keeping your overall body position static.
  • Extend your arm somewhat, but reverse the position to bring the dumbbell back up.

This is one repetition of the stability ball bent over row. It’s important that you avoid lowering the dumbbell beyond the point that you can control its weight.

Muscles Worked with the Stability Ball Bent Over Row

The stability ball bent over row works your arm muscles, and it also has some core strengthening benefits. Some experts suggest that the challenge that this exercise provides for the abs can contribute to a slimmer waistline, and that the balance challenge can also improve your balance, poise and overall body response.

Avoiding Injury with the Stability Ball Bent Over Row

Proper form is important for this activity, partly because in the bent over position, your back may be vulnerable to certain stresses. Be sure to keep your body rigid during the exercise so that your arms do the work. Another issue is holding onto the stability ball. By propping yourself against the ball in the wrong way, you could lose contact with it, causing a fall and potential injury. Get comfortable with the stability ball and the weight that you’re holding before you start the actual exercise.

Variations on the Stability Ball Bent Over Row

The stability ball bent over row can be done several different ways. In the classic free weight style, you can simply use a barbell, lowering it from a bent over position and pulling it back up to your chest. There are different schools of thought on the best variations of this exercise to protect your back. Some feel that since the stability ball bent over row works only one arm at a time, it leaves the individual more able to control his or her stance and position, where a barbell bent over row can be very difficult to do while maintaining a static position. Some of this depends on your level of expertise, so find the bent over row variations that work best for you. Always be sure to select weight loads that you can handle, since overloading your limbs or core often leads to injury.


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