304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Monday to Friday: 7AM - 7PM
Weekend: 10AM - 5PM
Kettlebells can provide a great back workout which makes your back stronger and is good for your posture. What are the best kettlebell exercises you can do for your back?
The five best kettlebell back exercises are:
Below are the five best kettlebell exercises to train your back. Most of the exercises are almost full body exercises that involve the lower body, back, core and some of the arms as well. This is what kettlebells are great for and means that your workouts can be very efficient. At the bottom, you can find an example workout.
The undisputed best kettlebell exercise for your back and frankly in general is the kettlebell swing. It is a great combination of a lower body and back exercise. Because so many different bigger and smaller muscles are used for the movement (up to 600 different muscles), it’s also a great cardiovascular movement since so many muscles will get the heart pumping for sure.
It’s called the swing because you basically swing the kettlebell from under you body between your legs to about shoulder height.
It’s a pretty easy movement but you do have to know how to hip hinge properly. This is a movement you should learn anyways because it’s very important for many other movements and lifting things safely in daily life. Once you know how to do it (if you can squat or deadlift properly, you know how to do it), you won’t forget anytime soon. If you don’t know how to do the hip hinge, starting with the squat or deadlift will be a bit easier.
Kettlebell Swing Setup:
How to do the kettlebell swing:
The vast majority of the power for the swing comes from your hips. The arms stay straight throughout the movement. The shoulders will do a little bit but it’s not an arm exercise.
One of the most famous exercises is the deadlift. It’s relatively simple although it can be a bit difficult to get the technique exactly right. The deadlift is a great exercise for the whole back (lower and upper), and the lower body, especially the glutes and hamstrings.
Kettlebell Deadlift Setup:
How to do a kettlebell deadlift:
Good form is especially important on the deadlift. Getting the hip hinge right while keeping the back and neck in a neutral position is a must. Don’t worry about starting with a lighter weight first until you feel comfortable. The deadlift is on the the exercises that people are able to lift the heaviest weights, kettlebells or not so once you get it right, it’s a great strength builder.
The first two exercises are full body exercises. The row is more focussed towards the back even though you still have to use the lower body. The row is a dynamic movement for the upper back while the lower back and lower body are in a static position throughout the set.
Kettlebell Row Setup:
How to do the kettlebell row:
The pullover is a good exercise for the ‘lats’. Those muscles that create the wide look of your back. You’ll need a relatively heavy kettlebell for this exercise. It also targets the chest muscles to some degree. You can do it on the floor but if you’ve got a weightlifting bench, you can get a little extra range of motion by laying on it.
Kettlebell pullover Setup:
How to do the kettlebell pullover:
And to finish off, one more exercise that targets biceps, triceps, back and core at the same time. It combines a push up and a row. The push up part targets the chest, triceps and front of the shoulder. The row targets the biceps, back and rear of the shoulder. And at the same time your core has to work hard to stabilize everything.
It does require you to balance your body on the kettlebells. If you’re not completely certain you have the balance and strength to do this, you can either use a single kettlebell under one hand or don’t rest on the kettlebells at all for the push up part and just do the row with the kettlebell.
Kettlebell push-up with row setup:
How to do the Kettlebell Push-up:
As said above, not everyone can/feels comfortable balancing on the kettlebells. Just do the push up part the traditional way. Then grab a kettlebell for the row part.
Here is an example of a quick back workout you can do with kettlebells in less than 10 minutes. There are two different workouts you can alternate. Two workouts a week should be enough if you also do other types of workouts throughout the week.
|Workout 1||Workout 2||Notes|
|KB Swing||4×20||4×20||1 min rest between sets|
|KB Deadlift||3×12||Superset the deadlift and row. |
Do one set of both exercises
before taking a rest.
|KB Pullover||3×15||Superset the deadlift and row. |
Do one set of both exercises
before taking a rest.
|KB Push-ups with row||3×10|
A kettlebell can be plenty to grow bigger, stronger back. To get muscles to grow, you need to provide enough training volume at a proper resistance level. The training volume is quite easy to do with kettlebells. They are small so you can have one at home and quickly bang out a 15 minute arm workout that will produce quite a burn.
The resistance level depends on the weight of the kettlebell. It’s a good idea to have a few different weights of kettlebells available. How heavy exactly obviously depends on you. For some movements like squats, swings and deadlifts, a heavy kettlebell is more appropriate. For things like curls and lateral raises, lighter weights are better. Or another way to look at it; for exercises with two hands; use a heavy kettlebell, for exercises with one hand, use a lighter one.
What heavy and light means really depends on the person. For women 6-8 kg is a good starting point for two handed exercises. For men a starting point of 12-14 kg is good. The lighter kettlebell should be about 60% of the heavier weight. Of course when training, you will get stronger after a while. Be prepared to upgrade to a heavier weight kettlebell after a while.