5 Kettlebell Exercises to Sculpt Lean Back Muscles

Soniya
Kettlebell back exercises help create a strong and stable core foundation. (Image via Pexels /Alexa Popovich)
Kettlebell back exercises help create a strong and stable core foundation. (Image via Pexels /Alexa Popovich)

Improving your back is an essential thing that every bodybuilder or strength trainer should do. Your back muscles hold you up against the pull of gravity. They also create a strong and stable core foundation, which is essential for building stronger arms and a better physique.

Here are some kettlebell exercises that can help you build lean muscles in your back:


Five Kettlebell Exercises to Help You Sculpt Lean Back Muscles

When you train with the same exercises all the time, your muscles get bored. You may be able to lift more weights than ever, but you’ll also feel weaker and less energized than when you use a variety of different training methods.

1) Inclined Overhead Press

The bench press is a traditional exercise for the chest and shoulders. But it's also a great exercise for your upper back, which you don't often see in the gym. Start as a lightweight until you get the feel of this exercise. It's much harder than it looks!

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How to do it?

  • Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, and place the kettlebell in front of your chest by the vertical handles.
  • Lean your upper body forward until it is at about a 45-degree angle.
  • Keep your shoulders down and back; don't round your lower back.
  • Squeeze your abs and pull yourself up so that your arms form a straight line with your body.
  • Lower yourself back to start, keeping control over the weight the whole time.

2) Single-Arm Clean

Cleans are one of the Olympic weightlifting events and are traditionally done using a barbell. The single-arm kettlebell version is a great way to add variety and make your back stronger.

This exercise can be modified according to your ability level, making it a great choice for beginners looking to improve their form.

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How to do it?

  • Stand astride your kettlebell with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Reach down, grab the handle with an overhand grip and squat.
  • Keep your hips tucked in, chest lifted, and lower back slightly arched.
  • Stand up quickly and use this momentum to help you pull the kettlebell up the front of your body.
  • As you approach your shoulder, rotate your arm so that it rests on the back of your forearm.
  • Lower your arms to the ground and repeat.

3) Alternating Bent-Over Fly

This exercise isolates your middle traps, rhomboids, posterior deltoids and erector spinae.This exercise requires very little weight. A light kettlebell will do.

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How to do it?

  • Bend your knees slightly, and place your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your upper body inclined at about a 45-degree angle.
  • Hang your arms loosely at your sides.
  • Raise the kettlebell until it is next to your shoulder.
  • Transfer the weight to your opposite hand and repeat.
  • Keep going until you finish an entire set of repetitions on each side (total of two sets).

4) Two-Handed Kettlebell High Pull

The two-handed kettlebell high-pull is a variation of the barbell sumo deadlift high-pull, but it requires less space and is better for home exercisers. This exercise works your back muscles, especially your traps and erector spinae.

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How to do it?

  • Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and hold an overhand grip on a kettlebell.
  • Gently grasp the kettlebell handle with two hands.
  • Straighten your knees, pull your shoulders down and back, brace your hips, lift your chest, and slightly arch your lower back.
  • Stand up quickly and use this momentum to help you pull the kettlebell up the front of your body to above your chin.
  • Lead with your elbows and keep them above your hands as you shrug them upwards to maximize upper trap recruitment.
  • Bend down and lift the weight to hip-level, then lower it to the floor.
  • Reset your core and repeat.
  • You can also do this exercise at the height of your knees.

5) Single-Arm Deadlift

Deadlifts are a fantastic exercise to build muscle in your back. You can do them with just a barbell or even with a kettlebell. Using just one weight forces you to stabilize your spine, which increases activation in your core and lower back muscles.

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How to do it?

  • Stand astride your kettlebell with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Squat down, grab the handle with an overhand grip, and straighten your arm to lift the weight.
  • Keep your shoulders down and back as you slowly stand up, using your lats to pull the weight close to your legs as you rise.
  • Return the weight to the floor and repeat.

Takeaway

In the end, even though kettlebells are primarily used to build muscle mass and strength, the unique way in which they challenge you can help ward off plateaus. These exercises target different angles of your back in a new way, helping you work through existing sticking points and keeping them from reoccurring.

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Edited by Soniya