7 best kettlebell exercises to get a bigger upper back

Kettlebell exercises are great for toning your upper back. (Photo by Ketut Subiyanto via pexels)
Kettlebell exercises are great for toning your upper back. (Photo by Ketut Subiyanto via pexels)

Kettlebell exercises are an amazing workout routine that targets several muscles in your body. If used particularly for your back, these ensure that you get a stronger and bigger upper back. Additionally, a good quality kettlebell workout also gives you:

  • An improved posture
  • Prevents back pain
  • Develop and build muscles

A kettlebell workout is portable and effective and can help you burn more calories. However, just like other exercises, if done incorrectly, they can cause severe injury and pain. Therefore, proper control and right form are of paramount importance when performing any kettlebell exercises.

Here are some of the best kettlebell exercises you can do to get a bigger upper back:

#1 Kettlebell Halo

Muscles worked: rhomboids, deltoids and trapezius.

  • Stand straight on a flat surface with your feet hip-width apart. Keep a good balance, and secure yourself as you move the kettlebell around your head.
  • Use a neutral grip, and grab the kettlebell with both your hands.
  • Hold the kettlebell at your chest level while keeping your elbows bent at a 45-degree angle.
  • Make sure your neck is upright, and your back is straight when performing this exercise.

#2 Kettlebell single-arm deadlift

Muscles worked: Back stabilisers, deltoids and trapezius.

  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your knees should face forward.
  • Make sure your head is facing forward, and your neck is in a straight line with your spine.
  • Place the kettlebell between your feet and in a direct line with your chin.
  • Now slowly lower yourself by dropping your hips back and slightly bending your knees.
  • Hold the kettlebell by its horn with your left hand, and hold your right hand out to your sides for better balance.

#3 Kettlebell upright row

Muscles worked: trapezius, deltoids, teres minor and serratus anterior.

  • Stand straight with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Your toes should be pointing out.
  • Place the kettlebells between your feet, and grab the handles of the kettlebells in each hand.
  • Slowly lift them up above your knees, and lower them down to the starting position.

#4 Kettlebell pushup with row

Muscles worked: deltoids, obliques, trapezius, rectus, pectorals and latissimus dorsi.

  • Take a high plank position. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and your neck in a straight line with your spine.
  • Place the kettlebells over shoulder-width apart, so you can have easy access to them.
  • With a neutral grip, hold each kettlebell handle, and make sure to keep your balance.
  • Engage your core, and keep a stable position.
  • Now slowly extend your armsm so they are shoulder-width apart. Both the kettlebells should be beneath your shoulders.

#5 Supine kettlebell pullover

Muscles worked: latissimus dorsi, serratus anterior.

  • Sit up straight with both your legs on either side of the exercise mat. Your knees should be slightly bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • With a neutral grip, hold the kettlebell by its horn with each hand.
  • Now while keeping the kettlebells securely against your chest, slowly lower your torso to the floor.
  • Make sure your shoulders are pressed into the mat, and your neck is straight.
  • Press the kettlebell by extending your arms over your chest. Make a firm grip before you begin to move the kettlebell. Also, ensure your abs are engaged.

#6 Two-handed kettlebell high pull

Muscles worked: erector spinae and traps.

  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Place the kettlebell on the ground.
  • Squat down slowly, and grab the handle of the kettlebell with both hands with an overhand grip.
  • Pull your shoulders back and down; straighten your arm; lift up your chest, and bend your lower back a little.
  • Now stand up quickl,y and use that push to help you pull the kettlebell up to the front of your body and up to your chin level. Make sure you also shrug your shoulders upwards, so that it increases your upper trap movement.
  • Slowly lower the kettlebell down to your hips, and return it to the ground.
  • Engage your core, and repeat the exercise.

#7 Alternating bent-over fly

Muscles worked: middle traps, erector spinae, rhomboids and posterior deltoids.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  • Hold a kettlebell in one hand and lean a bit forward from your hips.
  • Your arms should hang down from your shoulders.
  • Now slowly raise the kettlebell up and out to your side in a way that your arm and floor are parallel to each other.
  • Lower your arm, and hold the kettlebell from your opposite hand.
  • Repeat the exercise with both hands.


Your back is much more than just appearance; it is the utmost foundation of all your movements and postures. Doing the above-mentioned kettlebell exercises regularly will ensure that your back is strong and big, and you get an overall toned and strengthened physique.

Edited by Bhargav
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