Rhomboids Latissimus Doris (Lats) Trapezium (Traps) Erector Spinal There are many more muscles in the back that are used for stabilization and for assisting with pulling based movements but these are the main prime movers.
Creating a balance between both pushing and pulling exercises is important to avoid any postural or overly dominate movement patterns. When looking at your workouts over a weekly or monthly period be sure to balance out your pulling and pushing based exercises.
The exercise is great as a warm up for the shoulder girdle which includes the upper back. The dead lift movement pattern involves all those exercises where you are picking something up off the floor with a nice flat back.
The single arm dead lift heavily works into the back of the body (posterior chain) starting with the hamstrings and moving up into the Glutes, Lower, Mid and Upper Back Muscles. A second exercise based on the dead lift movement pattern but this time used standing on one leg.
As the exercise is performed the loaded shoulder is connected with the standing hip via a muscular sling. If you play sports or just want to develop a strong core for rotational movements then this is the exercise for you.
As with the kettle bell one arm dead lift you will notice lots of muscular activation throughout the back of the body. Careful consideration needs to be taken when performing this exercise to ensure the back and core muscles are isometrically held tight throughout.
However, once mastered the swing will develop great explosive power at the hips for sports as well as promoting cardio benefits without the need to move the feet. One common mistake made by beginners is to hinge at the lower back rather than using the hips to generate the power.
Hinging incorrectly like this can soon fatigue the lower back and therefore bring an end to the exercise very quickly. The one hand swing will add a little more rotation into the movement as well as increasing the demands on the shoulder stabilizers.
The kettle bell row is more of a traditional muscle building exercise but it will require good core strength to maintain the bent over position without compromising the lower back. If you use just one kettle bell at a time you will get a great anti-rotational stabilization to the movement as the muscles of the core have to work hard to keep the back flat.
The exercise can be made a lot easier by posting with one arm onto a bench / chair in order to take much of the demands off the core muscles. The Kettle bell Row can also be made more challenging by performing the exercise to the side of the body.
Caution must be taken when performing rowing based exercises to avoid hunching at the shoulders. I’ve never experienced such sore upper back muscles (trapezium) as when I first cleaned a 32 kg kettle bell for 60 seconds non-stop on both sides.
The cardio benefits of cleaning a challenging sized kettle bell are something that everyone should experience at some time too! The kettle bell high pull is another dynamic movement that will have your heart racing but it also focuses much of its attention into the mid back.
However, as you dynamically move from one side to the other you dip and lean your upper body forwards from the lower back. The bob and weave is an underrated exercise that will increase your cardio, improve your hip mobility, legs, glutes, and core as well as the back muscles.
One fun challenge using the snatch exercise involves performing as many repetitions as possible for 10 minutes changing hands whenever necessary. The ability to hold a push up plank for 60 seconds is a prerequisite for this exercise.
Let’s start with a simple but highly effective kettle bell back workout for beginners. Exercise variations: the single arm dead lift can also be performed with 2 kettle bells, one in each hand.
Perform these 2 KB back exercises as a superset one after the other without taking a rest in between. Finally, as with all weight training your body’s ability to strengthen and adapt to the load is your worse enemy so constantly look to increase loads or add a few more reps week on week.
Kettlebellexercises tend to focus on movement patterns rather than muscle groups unlike traditional body building type exercises. The Pull and Dead lift movement patterns work into the back of the body as well as other muscles.
Above I’ve listed 10 kettle bell back exercises starting with the easiest and working down to the more advanced. There is also 3 kettle bell back workouts for women and men starting with one for beginners and then progressing to the more advanced.
Caution must be taken not to progress too quickly and to allow time for muscles, ligaments, tendons and motor learning to develop. With the right technique kettle bell training can be a huge benefit to your back as it promotes spinal control and stability and reduces the risk for muscle imbalance.
Mix kettle bells with a balanced diet and you can reduce back fat. Kettle bell swings, goblet squats and the Turkish get up are great exercises.
When used correctly, kettle bells are extremely effective training tools for providing total-body strength and conditioning. As with any technical movement, lift, or skill, proper coaching is required to maximize the benefits.
It's a two-for-one exercise, meaning you're able to combine strength training and cardiovascular conditioning into one efficient movement. Though it looks easy to perform, the swing can take a significant amount of time, practice, and coaching to perfect.
It teaches you to move fluidly, and when you add the external load (a kettle bell) it requires strength, mobility, and skilled movement. It's a powerful full-body exercise that requires attention to detail and a respect for human movement.
The unique shape of a kettle bell and offset handle allow you to press in the natural plane of motion relative to your shoulder joint. You just feel like you have more power to press efficiently with a kettle bell, mostly because of the more natural plane of motion.
Similar to the kettle bell swing, the clean is another explosive exercise for total-body strength and conditioning. The difference here is that the kettle bell finishes in the rack position as opposed to being projected horizontally away from your body.
The kettle bell snatch is physically demanding and technical, but offers outstanding total-body strength and conditioning benefits. It can help transcend athletic performance to new levels, build explosive strength, and forge strong, powerful shoulders.
The snatch requires proper technique, explosive hip power, and athleticism. This exercise should not be attempted until the kettle bell swing hip-hinge pattern and explosive hip drive are established.
Though watching videos is helpful, the best way to learn how to correctly do these challenging movements is to work with a certified kettle bell instructor. Select the desired weight from the rack, then take a few steps back into an open area.
Take a deep breath and raise the kettle bells to shoulder height using a neutral grip (palms facing in) while keeping the elbows slightly bent. Slowly lower the kettle bells back to the starting position under control.
If you want to keep more tension through the side Delta, don’t allow the weights to touch your sides and control the eccentric (lowering) portion of the movement. Allow the shoulders to move freely but don’t completely lock out the elbows.
Leaning forward may help to enhance rear felt activation. Don’t allow the kettle bells to collide in the bottom of the movement as this may present a potential injury risk.
If you don’t already know, kettlebellexercises are one of the most underrated forms of muscle building methods out there. The fact that they are known as one of the most versatile gym equipment should be a clue to there effectiveness in building muscle and getting stronger.
Because of the kettle bell ’s shape, you can push, pull, and swing it like nothing else, and unlock a new branch of exercises that are pretty much impossible without it. Follow these six kettlebellexercises to add more muscle, melt more fat, boost your endurance, and move better.
You’ll improve your body quickly and build the foundation for every other kettle bell exercise. Stand feet shoulder-width apart with the kettle bell between your legs and the handle inline with the bony part of your ankles.
Squeeze the handle hard, pull your shoulders backward, and crush your armpits. The kettle bell swing is a fantastic exercise to strengthen your body and burn a ton of fat.
Then, hike the kettle bell back between your legs like a center in football and explosively drive your hips forward. At the bottom of the swing, your torso is too upright and your knees are too far forward: It looks like a squat.
With a correct swing, the kettle bell should reach around the height of your belly button or chest, no higher. Use it as a power exercise early in your workout or at the end as a brutal finisher.
The push press is a phenomenal, explosive move that sculpts big shoulders, huge traps, and ripped triceps. It also builds tremendous core stability and forces you to generate power from your lower body, transfer it up the kinetic chain, and out through your arms, which is integral in every sport.
Lower yourself into a very partial squat and explode upward with your legs while driving your arms overhead. At the top, make sure your biceps are next to your ears and your wrists are flat, not bent backward.
It’s also a safe and efficient way to bring the kettle bell to the rack position for your overhead exercises. Then, hike the kettle bell back between your legs like a center in football and explosively drive your hips forward.
Memorize the feeling, and then swing it between your legs and return to the rack position. Use it as a power exercise early in your workout or at the end as a brutal finisher.
Because it travels more distance, the snatch builds more power than the swing or clean. Then, hike the kettle bell back between your legs like a center in football and explosively drive your hips forward.
Use it as a power exercise early in your workout or at the end as a brutal finisher. This is a phenomenal dynamic exercise that blasts your obliques, strengthens your shoulders, and activates your hips too.
Use it early in your workout to light up your core, warm up your joints, and increase your flexibility. We've all turned up to the gym, short on time and motivation, only to find every piece of equipment we need for our workout isn't free.
Faced with this scenario, you have two options: ditch the workout and go home or find a piece of versatile equipment that is underused and undervalued by most of the gym-going community. Packing the same weighty punch as dumbbells, kettle bells are likely to be found in a dusty corner of the gym.
Much like the humble rowing machine and versa climber, most gym bros steer clear of the cast-iron 'bells, helping you get an effective, time-efficient workout in, without having to worry about your kit getting pinched. This and the growing popularity of sports such as CrossFit and Strongman have helped drive kettle bell training and workouts into the mainstream.
On top of this, owing to their design, kettle bells are one of the easiest weights to move around during your workout in a short timeframe and can be stored away easily, from your car boot to your garden shed or garage. “Kettle bells give you the opportunity to move athletically with additional resistance from a variety of angles and more challenging positions,” explains Jon Lewis, a personal trainer with fitness outlet Industrial Strength.
Not only that, but exercises such as kettle bell swings can help increase your heart rate, burn extra fat and tone muscle, but where they really come into their own is in building strength throughout your posterior chain. As these are your body’s biggest muscles, you’ll also torch calories,” says Rob Blair, PT at The Commando Temple.
Additionally, kettle bells are an incredibly useful tool for those looking to build their base of strength and mobility, so if you're struggling with your barbell back squat, for example, utilizing the kettle bell goblet squat is a good way of practicing proper form with a safer exercise that can then be upgraded as your strength increases. Well-suited for swings, presses and carries, kettle bells also lend themselves to more dynamic movements, where a dumbbell or barbell may be more difficult to use.
Usually, kettle bell workouts are built on a high-rep range, meaning that several muscles are worked at once and, if kept at a consistent pace, can offer similar aerobic benefits to HIIT training. Similarly, by performing kettle bell circuits three times a week, you’ll pump up your VO2 max by 6 per cent in just under a month, according to the NSA’s Sac Report.
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research also found that kettle bell training contributes to a healthier lower back, owing to the loading and movement patterns. “Kettle bells are arguably one of the most versatile bits of equipment you can find in a gym,” says Sam Wrigley, a London Bridge-based PT.
“This exaggerated flexion and extension at the hip puts a lot of force through the lower back.” When it comes to getting injuries from poor form, the “arching of the back and not engaging the glutes in an overhead press or folding in a goblet position” can put you at risk of busting your lower back. Stand with feet set wider than shoulder-width and bend your knees to grab the kettle bell with both hands.
Drive your hips, keep your back flat swing the weight up to shoulder height. Initiated by a powerful hip thrust from your hamstring and glutes, opting for heavier weights (once the move is mastered, of course) for up to 90 seconds a set will vastly improve your anaerobic fitness, accelerating your heart-rate and ignite a fat-burn that the bench press can only dream of.
Instead, by combining a front squat with an overhead press, you're transforming a drab move into a compound, multi-joint exercise that demands full-body power. In one swift movement, slightly jump off the ground and raise your arms to extend above your head.
Land softly on your feet with your knees bent as though you're doing a squat and extend your arms straight above you shoulder-width apart. Powerlifting moves needn't be restricted to barbells bending under crippling weight loads.
Instead, the kettle bell clean and press offers the opportunity to increase grip strength, become stronger in overhead movements (your shoulder press will thank you) and will help you learn the lesson of maintaining a rigid core during all lifts. Plus, the researchers found that participants performing the kettle bell snatch usually maintained 86 to 99 per cent of their maximum heart rate, making it an essential move for easy weightless.
Drive through the heel and bring yourself back up to standing position, without letting your leg touch the floor. Functional and an easy gym brag, the kettle bell pistol squat is the king of mobility moves.
Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, clasping a kettle bell in each hand in front of your chest with palms facing each other. Bend your knees and lower yourself into a squat, keeping the kettle bells in the same position and ensuring you don't round your back by tensing your glutes throughout.
Keep your arms strong and walk short, quick steps as fast as possible. Ideal for building grip and plugging onto the end of a tough workout, farmer's walks also pack heavy-duty muscle onto your upper-back while fighting lower-back pain and being a useful conditioning tool and fat-loss.
Drive your hips, keep your back flat swing the weight up to shoulder height. Increase the demand you place on the shoulder stabilizing muscles by doing kettle bell swings with one arm.
Sign up to the Men's Health newsletter and kick start your home body plan. Make positive steps to become healthier and mentally strong with all the best fitness, muscle-building and nutrition advice delivered to your inbox.
For effective home workouts, uplifting stories, easy recipes and advice you can trust, subscribe to Men's Health UK. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
If your overall goals are fat loss, gaining strength, shaping your lower body or improving your ability to move faster or more efficiently then kettle bell leg exercises are vital. The hamstring muscles attach to the bottom of the pelvis and help to extend the hips and flex the lower legs.
Strengthening the hamstrings is very important to help maintain balance between the front and back of the legs and vital for preventing future injuries. Keep your weight back on your heels and slowly push the hips backwards as you breathe out.
Refrain from using a heavy kettle bell during this exercise and treat it merely as an introduction to hamstring training. Due to the high amount of muscle activation used for this exercise you can expect to lift some quite substantial loads, so don’t be afraid to increase the weight once you have mastered the movement.
Practicing this tricky kettle bell leg exercise will challenge your balance and core muscles as well as your hamstrings. Again the back needs to be kept flat throughout the entire exercise and all movement needs to come from a hinging at the hips.
Keeping your weight back on your heels rather than your toes will help to further activate the hamstring muscles. Again weight is kept on the heels rather than the toes as you push the hips backwards and descend towards the floor.
When you can reach the opposite foot with good technique then you know you have great mobility in your hips and flexibility in the hamstrings. Just like the hamstring muscles they attach to the bottom front of the pelvis and help flex the hips and extend the lower leg.
The Quadriceps, on many people, tend to be disproportionately stronger than the hamstrings and can therefore affect the position of the pelvis resulting in a forward tilt. A 90 degree bend in the knee is important for many exercises to also activate the glutes or buttock muscles.
Failure to move through this 90 degree range can result in an over dominance of the quads over the glutes and ultimately a muscle imbalance. The kettle bell goblet squat is the ultimate beginners leg exercise and involves activation of the quads, hamstring and glutes.
Squatting down so the thighs are at least parallel with the floor will ensure that the buttock muscles are activated fully. As with the hamstring exercises keeping your weight back on your heels rather than your toes will ensure better activation of the leg muscles.
For many people this natural squatting movement is challenging so practicing without a kettle bell first, holding onto a post or back of a chair can also be helpful. You will achieve the same quad, hamstring and glute activation as with the goblet squat but challenge the core muscles a little more than you battle for stability.
As more advanced kettle bell athletes will know the racked squat provides a beautiful segue into so many other exercises like the thruster, snatch, one handed swing, clean, high pull, lunge and more. Try to kiss or get as close as possible with the back knee to the floor in order to fully activate all the muscles involved and also maintain good mobility in the hips.
You will also achieve a surprisingly good lower body cardio workout from the kettle bell lunge exercise. The kettle bell bob and weave is our first lateral moving leg exercise and serves as a great introduction into training sideways (frontal plane).
It is important to keep the chest up and rib cage lifted throughout the movement to prevent straining the back muscles. Work up to a total of 20 alternating reps gently getting deeper into the movement each time.
Just as with the bob and weave the objective is to get as deep as possible to maximize activation of the quads and glutes. Again keeping your weight back on your heels rather than the toes will help to further activate the leg and buttock muscles.
Practice 5 reps on each side keeping the chest up and working on increasing the depth of the movement. The kettle bell pistol squat is a true strength based exercise that will max out the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
You can practice by holding onto a door frame, post or using a band or Tax attached in front of you. Move slow and steady on the way down keeping your weight back on your heel.
Holding onto a light kettle bell can help with counterbalance to stop you from rolling backwards. The kettle bell lunge with rotation adds a more functional training element to the exercise.
Holding the knee above the floor during the twist adds an isometric part to the movement making it a lot more challenging and fatiguing on the quads and glutes. It is important to take your time as you move through the exercise and not rush the rotational element.
Practice the movement by alternating sides as you lunge forwards with the opposite leg. Due to the seamless transitions between the movements you will find this exercise very cardiovascular as well as fatiguing on the legs.
As with all lunge exercises keep your chest up and focus on getting your knee as close to the floor as possible. One of the great benefits of kettle bell training is that you can activate over 600 muscles with certain exercises so not only are you working the legs but the rest of the body too.
If your ultimate goals are fat loss then using full body exercises more frequently can be a real game changer. The movement should not be rushed especially from the racked position, with the kettle bell against the chest, to the overhead press exercise.
Not only will the clean and press work into the legs and glutes but also your cardio will be challenged too. Not only are the legs worked during the squatting portion of the exercise but the core and upper body is also challenged together with your cardio.
Practitioners should master the racked squat exercise first before adding the pressing element onto the movement. As the overhead pressing part of the exercise is facilitated by the momentum of the squat, heavier kettle bells can be used.
Practice 10 – 15 reps on each side at a medium tempo for a full body workout. The kettle bell lunge and press is a demanding exercise that not only challenges the quads, hamstrings and glutes but also the core and shoulder too.
The exercise begins in the same way as the regular reverse lunge except as you return to the standing position you drive the kettle bell up and overhead. The kettle bell snatch is a big full body movement that also works into the hamstrings and glutes.
A good quality kettle bell swing as well as being comfortable with the overhead press will certainly help. As a very dynamic exercise the kettle bell moves at a good pace from top to bottom so expect your heart rate to rise quickly.
The legs and buttocks are the strongest muscles in the body so often you need to use two kettle bells in order to really challenge them. Using two kettle bells is not always necessary, anyone who has mastered the Pistol Squat can attest to the sheer intensity of this exercise without the need for too much load.
The kettle bells can also be held either down by your sides with arms straight or up in the racked position as shown in the image above. Remember to lower the back knee carefully towards the floor and work on nice deep lunges in order to activate as many muscles as possible.
The double kettle bell clean, squat and press is the ultimate full body exercise. You will not only activate over 600 muscles of the body but also elevate your heart rate very quickly.
You can either repeat the same leg circuit for a total of 2 – 4 sets or change exercises each round. Training your lower body using kettle bells is a great choice for fat loss, adding muscle, gaining strength, improving movement skills as well as preventing future injuries.
Kettle bell swings are considered one of the best hip hinge exercises and similar to the traditional dead lift. More emphasis is placed on the posterior chain using the kettle bell swing, these muscles include the hamstrings, glutes, back and hips.
Kettle bell swings, goblet squats and the Turkish get up are great exercises. Everyone recovers from exercise differently but if the intensity and your overall well-being match you can train with kettle bells every day.
Part Three in our collaboration with the team at Mind Pump Media is all about building the back muscles for aesthetic training. If this is your first time reading, we previously covered leg building exercises as well as shoulders.
The guys at Mind Pump have a really popular podcast in which they shed truth on health, fitness and a host of other topics by providing unique perspectives on workout programs, supplements and faux science. The movement that burst onto the mainstream fitness scene within the last 15 years (though it has been around for a long time) is an awesome functional movement for building the posterior chain, building power and muscle endurance.
Yes, you can do a similar row with a dumbbell, but the difference here is how it feels and affects your back muscles because the weight is further down from your hand due to the shape which creates a longer lever when you pull upward. Just like the other movements we have shown, the key here is the center of gravity of the weight and the mobility it allows for your muscles.
One Arm Kettle bell Swing Immediately go to this movement after the first and do it one the same side you just worked with the row Make sure to focus on the hip movement and use your hips to thrust the kettle bell forward Let the momentum of your hip thrust take the kettle bell upward and use your posterior train to stabilize it (demonstrated above) Do 10-15 repetitions for maximum pump, rest and then repeat both movements on the other side Make sure to watch out for the next few videos in our series with Mind Pump, we will be creating more posts just like this one to designed to teach you about different ways you can use kettle bells for building muscle, whether it be for yourself or for physique competitions.
Our goal is always to create helpful, informative and safe content for you to explore the world of kettlebells, and we think using kettle bells for building muscle mass is an untapped area in our world and that of body building and aesthetic training. We recommend you read more about receiving a quick, free, dynamic kettle bell workout every week you can click below.
Also, we recommend you subscribe to our posts so you can be notified when we publish helpful content for kettle bell workouts. You can find more from Mind Pump on iTunes, Sticker, Podcast Republic or Google Play.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a kettle bell by the handle with both hands with an overhand grip, arms long. Pull kettle bell up to chest, bending arms wide to sides and keeping wrists in line with forearms, pausing for 2 seconds at top.
Take 3 seconds to slowly lower to starting position. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a kettle bell by handle with both hands with palms facing each other, arms long.
Hinge flat torso forward from hips to start. Shift kettle bell into right hand and, with straight arm, pull weight laterally toward right and up to shoulder height with palm facing down.
Start on floor in side plank on right forearm about an arm's-length away from a kettle bell, with left arm extended perpendicular from body and holding kettle bell handle with an overhand grip. Keeping left arm straight, raise weight to over left shoulder (your chest will open and kettle bell will flip so bottom of bell is facing ceiling).
Sit on floor with legs extended, holding a kettle bell by horns with both hands at chest, arms bent by sides. Sit up, pressing weight overhead (biceps will hug ears).
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a kettle bell by bell with both hands, arms extended in front of you at shoulder height. Keeping arms straight, rotate weight toward right until hands are stacked.
Start in plank position with right hand on a sturdy chair, box, or bench and left hand holding a kettle bell by handle with arm long and palm facing right. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a kettle bell by bell with both hands at chest, arms bent by sides.
Keeping torso still and arms straight, raise weight overhead until biceps hug ears. For flatter abs and a faster metabolism, show your shoulder and back muscles some training love.
“Most people have crappy posture, thanks to desk jobs,” says Matthew R. Steiner, the owner of Blueprint Health Studios in Destiny, Florida. But if you strengthen your back and shoulders, some of those muscles pull back and down to help you hunch, which lifts your chest and aligns your spine, making you appear stronger, longer, leaner through your core, and more confident, Steiner says.
Plus, your latissimi Doris, which span most of your back, are the widest muscles in the body. Working these biggies will earn you a greater burn during your routine and help your body melt more calories 24/7.
Steiner created this mix of kettle bell moves to sculpt every muscle in your back and shoulders from every angle. “Focus on maintaining control through the entire range of motion of each exercise,” he says.
And pick a weight that makes the last two reps of each set difficult to crank out. David Okay, C.S.C.S, is a member of the Men's Health Advisory Board.
But if you really want to that perfect superhero physique, you have to build a ripped and chiseled back, too. Specifically, you have to hit your lats, the wide, fan-shaped muscles that loom large along your back.
The perfect physique doesn’t really come together without a muscular back that tapers in width from shoulders to waist. In order to work your lats you have to understand them at least a little: They’re the large, triangle-shaped muscles on the back, creating a thick taper from shoulder to waist.
This all means that traditional rowing motions with your arms by your sides pulling straight back will impact your lats. Get too wide with your grip on a row though, and you begin to see more involvement from the rear deltoid and middle traps.
Researchers have also found there could be some mild advantages from pulling with a medium grip width specifically in the vertical plane. In both the upward and downward path of the movement there were some small advantages from a muscular recruitment standpoint the medium grip which seemed to be just right.
The classic barbell dead lift is often thought of as a hamstring and glute developer, but it’ll smoke your lats too. Think about it: Whether you’re lifting or lowering that barbell with a heavy weight, it’s hanging from your arms, and your back muscles have to pull.
How to: Load a barbell with weight on the ground and stand close to it, so it nearly touches your shins. With feet shoulder-width apart and arms just outside the legs, push the hips back as far as possible as bend the knee far enough to reach the bar.
The great thing about the barbell row is, due to required stability in the spine and core muscles (keeping a neutral spine) and isometric hamstring activity (hinging the hips in a bent position), the action becomes a global pull exercise,” says athlete performance and development specialist Curtis Shannon, C.S.C.S. “You can program this as a primary or accessory movement or add as a superset exercise,” Shannon continues.
Hinge upwards, raising your torso to a 45-degree angle with the ground and lifting the barbell. Keeping your core tight and your shoulder blades squeezed, bend your elbows and pull the barbell to your lower chest.
Aim to keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle relative to your torso as you do this, and try to touch the bar to your rib cage. Keep your torso steady as you bend your elbow and use your back muscles to pull the dumbbell up toward your rib cage.
Dumbbell rows involve a host of back muscles, but if you want to focus on your lats here, aim to get a good stretch at the bottom of the motion. To really hit your lats, avoid the so-called “kip,” a CrossFit idea that has you explosively swinging your hips to create momentum that drives your chest to the bar.
Keeping your core tight, bend at the elbows and shoulders and pull your chest to the bar. Freed of grip concerns and the need to manage your lower body perfectly, you can really focus on your lats and finish off every rep with a good squeeze.
How to: Sit in a lat pull down station and grab the bar above with a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width. Pull the bar down toward your chest, bending at your elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades.
“The key to getting the biggest 'bang for your buck' is keeping your torso not completely erect, but at about a 60 percent angle,” says Shannon. The landmine row, with the barbell anchored behind you, lets you get more of a squeeze with your lats.
Squeeze your shoulder blades and row the weighted end of the barbell toward your chest; pause, then return to the start. But as you pull the weight back above your torso, your upper arms mimic a row motion.
And the best part comes before that: your lats wind up getting a great stretch as you lower the weight. How to: Lie with your back on a bench, holding a single dumbbell overhead with both hands, gripping the weight instead of the bar.
Keep your arms straight as you lower the weight in an arc behind your head. Once you feel a stretch in your chest, pause, then pull it back to the starting position.
The angle forces the resistance to travel both up and away, challenging you to pull explosively near the top. Hinge forward so your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the ground, and rest your outside hand on your outside leg.
Renegade Row This CrossFit staple lets you train your lats while building shoulder stability at the same time. How to: Get in push up position, with your hands on a pair of dumbbells in a neutral grip, and your feet about shoulder-width apart.
As you raise your torso, lift one dumbbell off the ground and row it toward your belly button; you’ll need to support your weight with your other shoulder. The good news: It’s an incredibly scale-able body weight move: Make it easier by raising the bar higher and assuming a position closer to standing.
Or make it easier by bending your knees and planting your heels into the floor (instead of maintaining a fully straight line from shoulders through feet). How to: Lie under a barbell or Smith machine and grab the bar with an underhand grip slightly wider than shoulder-width.
Now pull your torso and body upwards, aiming to touch the bar between belly button and chest. The result: You move more weight, but without sacrificing form or risking injury.
Tighten your core, and make sure your hips are slightly lower than your shoulders. Keeping your core tight and your shoulder blades squeezed, bend your elbows and pull the barbell to your lower chest.
Aim to keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle relative to your torso as you do this, and try to touch the bar to your rib cage. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.