7 Kettlebell Exercises That Will Make Your Back Huge!

Whenever I ask someone what the most important part of their workout is, I can almost guarantee the response will be the same:

“My arms” or “My chest makes my physique look best”.

And I don’t blame them, I mean, they are the parts we notice in the mirror.

However, I would always argue that the back muscles are a lot more important.

The back is the center of your strength, improves your range of motion, and helps to prevent injuries in the gym or at home.

Also, who doesn’t want lats that look like wings and make your upper body look massive!

As I have said many times before, working out from home works extremely well for most people, and a kettlebell can level this method up.

This specific type of weight tends to use exercises that fall in line with the natural movement of your body.

This is way safer and more effective than using a machine at a gym!

I get a ton of clients asking me what the best type of back workout is with a kettlebell, and choosing exercises that will work can be overwhelming – especially for newbies!

This is why I am about to share with you my top 7 exercises you can perform to define your back.

What Parts of The Back Must We Workout? (According To Science)

Before we get into the good bit, we must first understand the anatomy of the back.

To build a strong and defined back, we must work out each part of it with pulling exercises equally.

The back consists of a sheer amount of complex muscles, and without going into too much depth, these are:


Found in the upper back, these consist of 2 bilateral muscles called Rhomboid major and Rhomboid minor that connect the scapula to the vertebrae.

These muscles are extremely important for posture as their primary function is to retract the shoulder. 

Erector Spinae

These muscles extend all the way up the back, running either side of the spine.

The primary function is the extension of the spine while stabilizing and supporting your lower back to avoid pain and injuries.


Located in your upper back, this is a pair of large triangular muscles that start at the base of your neck, move across to the shoulders, and extend to your mid-back.

The main functions are shrugging, and rolling the shoulders back and forth.

Latissimus Dorsi(Lats)

As I said before, these muscles are what give you the wing-like structure in your back.

They extend from the midback to the armpits, allowing for shoulder extension, adduction, and rotation.

Everyone wants a good set of lats that can be seen from the front!

The Big Reveal – My Top 7 Exercises for Your Kettlebell Back Workout!

#1 – Two-Hand Kettlebell Swings

kettlebell back workout - man-performing-a-kettlebell-swing

A staple in a kettlebell workout, I fell in love with this exercise during lockdown!

Not just because it works every muscle in your back, it works almost every muscle in your body, while also increasing strength and being a great tool for fitness.

Check out this article here to find out more about why you should include it in your workout. Every. Single. Time!

Flybird Fitness

How To Do It

  1. Place your kettlebell on the floor beneath you, standing with your legs shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Bend your knees, not your back, and lift the kettlebell between your legs with two hands.
  3. Stand up tall, keep your arms loose but engage your core.
  4. Shift your weight to your heels and begin to lower down, like you’re performing a deadlift and hinging at the hips.
  5. Pushing with your glutes, and your hips, swing the weight from between your legs to almost horizontal with your chest, keeping your arms straight.
  6. Hold this position for a second while tensing your back and glutes.
  7. The kettlebell’s weight should result in it descending back between your legs. Shift your weight back onto your heels, and get into that deadlift position again.
  8. As the kettlebell returns to the original position, drive-through and repeat the movement.

#2 – Kettlebell Renegade Row (Plank Row)

kettlebell back workout - Woman-doing-kettlebell-renegade-rows

One of the toughest exercises on this list, the renegade row, more commonly known as the plank row, is a test of strength and conditioning.

Planking is already hard enough, but inputting the extra element of rowing the kettlebells – it’s going to burn!

You are likely to feel this exercise in every muscle of your back, with it most commonly working your lats and Erector Spinae!

How To Do It

  1. A fairly simple exercise on paper, start with the kettlebells shoulder-width apart on the floor.
  2. Drop to the pushup position, with a kettlebell in each hand.
  3. Engaging your core for stability, shift your weight onto your left hand and both feet.
  4. As you do this, pull the kettlebell up to your side. Imagine you are trying to pull your elbow to the ceiling. The motion should be similar to starting a lawnmower!
  5. Hold this position for a second, then slowly lower the kettlebell back to the ground.
  6. Switch your weight onto the other kettlebell, then repeat the exercise. Aim for around 8-12 reps for hypertrophy.

#3 – Kettlebell Upright Row

kettlebell back workout - woman-training-in-the-gym-and-using-kettlebell

So far, I have listed some back exercises that work the whole back, which is great!

However, we need to start targeting some specific muscles to guarantee that they are all getting hit.

The upright row is a common exercise – you may have even performed it with a barbell in the gym.

Primarily an upper back exercise, the pulling movement towards your shoulders puts some serious size on your traps!

Note – Proper form is required with this exercise, or you can be at risk of serious shoulder injury!

How To Do It

  1. Stand with a kettlebell in both hands, in a comfortable stance shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Let the kettlebell hang loosely between your legs while keeping your back straight, feet planted, and engaging your core.
  3. Drive the kettlebell upwards towards the ceiling, allowing your elbows to flair. Pull back your shoulders and raise the kettlebell until your hands are level with your chin.
  4. Hold the position for a second, then slowly drop the weight as controlled as possible to increase time under tension. Repeat the exercise for 8-12 reps for hypertrophy.

#4 – Single-arm Kettlebell Deadlift

kettlebell back workout - man-doing-a-kettlebell-deadlift

We all know what a deadlift is.

It is one of the pillars of gym exercises, and the most important movement in a gym-goers back routine!

This exercise works the majority of your back, but mainly hits your upper back and the Erector Spinae.

It’s also a pretty good exercise to strengthen your glutes and hamstrings, so don’t take it lightly!

A common problem with this exercise is the form is difficult to get right.

Try to start with a light weight to perfect it, and take note of avoiding an arching back, or not lowering the weight enough to complete a rep.

How To Do It

  1. With the kettlebell on the floor beneath you, line your ankles with the kettlebell handle, with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes facing forward.
  2. By hinging at the hips, and dropping your knees slightly, bend forward toward the kettlebell.
  3. Clasp your fingers of one hand tightly around the handle, engage your core and plant your feet.
  4. Drive through your feet and stand tall. Keep your back straight and chin up. Hold the kettlebell in front of you and squeeze your glutes.
  5. With full control, slowly lower the weight back to the ground. Repeat the exercise, keeping the glutes and abs strong with each rep. After 8-12 reps in one hand, switch to the other hand.

#5 – Kettlebell Single-Arm Bent Over Row

kettlebell back workout - women-performing-dumbbell-bent-over-row

Wing-like lats you can see from the front are desired by anyone trying to get into shape.

The single-arm bent-over row is the most important exercise for you to achieve it!

Swapping out the dumbbell in favor of the kettlebell can drastically increase the effectiveness of this exercise.

To find out whether using a kettlebell is better than a dumbbell, feel free to check out this article here.

How To Do It

  1. With a single kettlebell on the floor, stand slightly behind and to the side of it.
  2. The stance you can choose is up to you, some prefer a shoulder-width apart stance, whereas others go with a foot in front of the other. Whichever you choose, plant your feet and keep your back straight.
  3. Slightly bend your knees, and use your hip to hinge forward. 
  4. Grab the kettlebell in one hand, and pull it back and up towards your hip. Imagine you are pulling your elbow to the ceiling, or like you are starting up a chainsaw!
  5. Hold this position for a second. Try to ensure you are feeling it in your back, rather than your arms. Try to picture your back muscles doing the work, which usually helps me to target them accurately!
  6. Slowly, and controlled, drop the weight until your arm is fully extended. Repeat 8-12 times for hypertrophy, then switch to the other arm.

#6 – Kettlebell Clean and Press

kettlebell back workout - man-pushing-kettlebell

For an exercise that can be performed with 1 or 2 kettlebells, for simplicity, we are going to use 1.

With it being such a complex movement, we achieve significant full-body results, with excellent full-back gains.

The movement requires a lot of practice, but it’s worth it, trust me!

How To Do It

  1. A mix between a deadlift, shoulder press, and squat, stand in a comfortable position shoulder-width apart, with the kettlebell between your legs.
  2. Plant your feet, engage your core, and hinge at your hip.
  3. Keeping your back straight, grip the handle of the kettlebell with an overhand grip. 
  4. Clean the kettlebell by driving the weight up using your glutes and straightening your back. Swivel your wrist so your hand is now under the weight. Keep driving until the kettlebell is lined up with your shoulder, known as the rack position.
  5. This is the tricky bit. Press the weight above your head, while also bending your knees into a squat. Keep your back straight and core engaged!
  6. With the kettlebell fully extended above your head, drive through your glutes to complete the squat and stand up tall.
  7. After holding for a second, slowly drop the weight back into the rack position, then control it back between your legs.
  8. Repeat for 8-12 reps with that arm, then switch to complete the set.

#7 – Kettlebell Reverse Fly

kettlebell back workout - man-on-weight-bench-doing-reverse-flies-with-dumbbells

To complete my set of outstanding back exercises, we are throwing in an exercise that can drastically increase the volume.

The deltoids are one of the largest parts of the back, and the standing reverse fly can be the perfect exercise to target them.

Depending on the stance, it can also be effective for the traps and the lats!

How To Do It

  1. This exercise begins fairly similar to the bent-over row. With 2 kettlebells in each hand with an overhand grip, stand with your feet planted shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hinging at the hip, bend forward with your knees slightly bent, core engaged, and back straight.
  3. Let the kettlebells hang below you, with your palms facing each other. 
  4. Swing the kettlebells outward, like you are trying to use your arms as wings to fly. When your arms are horizontal to the floor, you should feel the tension in your upper back.
  5. Hold this position for a second, then control the kettlebells back down to increase time under tension.
  6. Repeat for 8-12 reps in a set.

Final Words

Wrapping up this article, you have now got the perfect kettlebell back workout filled with exercises that target every part of your back.

Now everything is left up to you.

Do you want a workout that could change your back into something you can be proud of in as little as 30 days, or not?

Some of you may have your own preferences for what could round off a perfect back workout, and that’s fine!

I would love to hear what your favorite back exercise is, so get in touch below!

If you want to know more about how you can train when and where you want, then make sure you get your FREE copy of my EBook – Train Wherever The F*ck You Want.