The Rock and NFL Player Aaron Donald Pull Heavy Dumbbell Row Supersets

The pair of muscular giants utilize a split stance to up the weight.

Whether squeezing in a late-night workout between shooting movie scenes inside of his traveling “Iron Paradise” gym or tearing it up with fellow athletes on their home turf, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is keen to show his passion for sweat.

Never has this been more apparent than in his recent workout with the L.A. Rams defensive lineman, Aaron Donald. The two gym beasts got together to go all out on split-stance dumbbell rows.


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Johnson, a former football player, a 10-time WWE champion, and current box office juggernaut, visited the L.A. Rams training facility ahead of the new football season. Some seriously impressive videos have appeared online, showing that “The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment” still loves to compete to prove he’s the “hardest worker in the room.”

“We’re always hungry. Never full,” wrote Johnson in a recent Instagram post, praising Donald, who acted as his training partner for the day.

We’re cut from the same intense cloth with our passion for training… there is no substitute for hard work.

Indeed, Johnson was certainly put through his paces at the facility. In the words of “The Great One,” his session with the L.A. Rams number 99 was: “…easily one of the most intense workouts I have ever had in my career, and that is through my years of playing football, pro wrestling, [and] athletics. I mean it was one for the record books.”

These superstars grew up with muscular fathers who encouraged them to train every morning. Before school, when both athletes were old enough, lifted weights with their dads.

“My dad always talked about ‘hard work pays off,” said Donald. In 2014, the football player was selected by the L.A. Rams in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft and is considered one of the greatest defensive players of all time. In one clip, Donald and Johnson are seen working their cores with some well-synced ab wheel rollouts.


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In Donald’s most recent post from the same workout, Johnson let the world see their dumbbell row sets — working with 100-pound (45.4-kilogram) dumbbells. Johnson and Donald execute three sets of 20 reps with each arm.

For the record, these were the opening supersets that [Aaron Donald] wanted to START our workout with.

As the video shows, both men stay in time with each other to perform the reps. They operate with a split stance, using one hand on the rack for support as they haul iron.

Benefits of Split-Stance Dumbbell Rows?

As a free weight exercise, split stance dumbbell rows require little equipment and can be completed with a single dumbbell. This exercise primarily targets the mid-back and lats with assistance from the shoulders, biceps, and lower back.

As a pulling exercise, the dumbbell row can increase strength and add width to the back. Rows are also generally easier to perform than deadlifts, allowing for more reps and sets. If the legs are recruited as the weight is increased, the demands for stability could add value, assuming the athlete isn’t trying to remove stability as a limiting factor.

As with most exercises, form is everything. If you need to work on your stability, you should consider starting out with a bench where one knee and one hand are placed for support.

Featured image: @therock on Instagram