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. In particular the swing works into the lower back as it is required to stabilize isometrically the link between the hips and the upper back.
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. Now onto a more grind based kettlebellback exercise that will add some serious muscle onto the mid back and latissimus Doris.
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. Not only will the bob and weave work into your lower back as you move but also the act of holding the kettle bell up at chest height puts the mid back under strain too.
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.
If you want to work your upper back hard while also challenging your core muscles then this is the kettlebellback exercise for you. The ability to hold a push up plank for 60 seconds is a prerequisite for this exercise.
You will strengthen your lower back and develop good stabilization with the dead lift while conditioning and mobilizing the upper back with the kettle bell halos. Exercise variations: the single arm dead lift can also be performed with 2 kettle bells, one in each hand.
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. The Pull and Dead lift movement patterns work into the back of the body as well as other muscles.
Above I’ve listed 10 kettlebellback exercises starting with the easiest and working down to the more advanced. There is also 3 kettlebellback 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.
The kettle bell : one of my personal favorite workout tools, and one that I feel is underutilized by many. Kettle bells provide for a larger range of mobility than barbells or even dumbbells, helping to maximize the pump and working on different types of muscles or focusing on one in particular.
Besides looking great, strong back muscles can help to improve your posture and align your spine. Bad posture has become quite the epidemic lately due to the large amount of desk jobs and smartphone use that is rampant in our society.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, and hold your kettle bell using both hands in front of your chest, arms straight outwards. Sit into the stance, pushing your butt outwards and moving your chest forwards.
Correcting this will place more emphasis on your shoulder muscles and also your core will have to work overtime to counteract this rotation. A properly performed kettle bell swing will work your entire body, promoting stronger shoulders and back as well as a strong core and more flexible hips.
Bend slightly at the knees but concentrate your movement on hinging your hips, then grasp the kettle bell. You should focus on keeping the same elements to a good kettle bell swing when doing the clean exercise.
Performing a good clean can be somewhat complicated, as there are a lot of moving parts to the exercise. Step out with one leg landing wider than shoulder width apart, squatting at the same time.
Adding a kettle bell means more muscles have to work to stabilize the weight, making it an even more effective exercise. Start in plank position, while keeping your right hand on a sturdy object that won’t easily move, like a bench or chair.
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What you want is the ability to pack your shoulder and stabilize a load, while maintaining vertical proprioception. That’s a fancy word for your muscles and joints ability to right themselves, stabilize, react and interact with the outside world.
The key is vertical stability and the ability to keep your shoulder stable while in motion. Lower back soreness can be greatly reduced by gaining mobility, stability, and strength in the shoulder.
It is best used along with other exercises and techniques that increase range of motion and strength in the hips and upper back. Roll towards the kettle bell, grab the handle with both hands and hug it close to your body keeping our right elbow tight to your side and slowly roll back on your back bring the kettle bell with you.
Take a strong grip on the kettle bell with your right hand, letting it sit deep across the heel of your palm. Bend your right leg and plant your foot flat on the floor with your heel close to your hips.
Keeping your eyes on the kettle bell, reposition your left arm up over your head flat against the floor. Push off your planted foot and slowly roll over, resting your head on your left arm, keeping your arm vertical, turning your hips flat to the ground as you roll over.
Stabilize the kettle bell vertically in this position with a strong grip, knuckles to the ceiling, and your lats locking down towards your hips.