While most if not all of the ‘basic’ kettlebell movements hit the muscles of your back, the kettlebell row, and its different variations, will give you a direct shot to your lats, rhomboids, and middle/lower traps that should leave you sore for days if your form is on point. Let’s talk about how to perform a few different variations of this great exercise.
No different than a swing, the starting position must come from pushing the hips back behind you – loading up the glutes and hamstrings takes the stress off the lower back. The first and most basic version of the KB row is the two-hand variety. To perform this exercise, start with a wide stance and the hips pushed back. Both kettlebells will go between your feet. Start the movement by pulling both ‘bells up to your stomach. Make sure to visualize using your back doing the work and squeeze the shoulder blades together at the top.
The second version of the exercise is the one arm kettlebell row. You’ll start this one with a staggered stance and the kettlebell directly next to the front foot. Simply grab the ‘bell, row it up towards the same shoulder, and get a slight twist in your torso as the kettlebell reaches the top of the movement. Here’s a quick video demo of the exercise:
The third variation of the kettlebell row is the alternating version. This one is identical to the two arm row with regards to set up and positioning, except for the fact that we’ll be alternating arms – hold the ‘resting’ side’s ‘bell up to the body while you row with the other side.
The last variation of the kettlebell row is the ‘renegade’ row. This is much like a push up and row combined – this one is an awesome full – body smoker. This video provides a good description of the movement:
The row is a great kettlebell drill that can add some nice variation into your training routine. Try incorporating some or all of these variations of the drill into your existing program. Keep training hard and good luck!
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