Build Your Lats & Upper Back With Kettlebells
You thought kettlebells were only for functional training? They are phenomenal for body building and aesthetic training as well. You can get some incredible results with kettlebells added to your routine. When training for aesthetics you want to maximize the pump and focus on particular muscles, which you can with kettlebells, even more so than you can with dumbbells and barbells because of the mobility they allow compared to other training.
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.
Who Is Mind Pump?
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 about workout programs, supplements and faux science. They are all experienced, certified professionals and are unique even in their own space because of their approach to training by incorporating tools like kettlebells into a space in which they are under utilized.
Building Your Back With Kettlebells
Everyone has seen the famous kettlebell swing. 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. However, few people have thought of the swing as something to combine with other exercises as a muscle builder.
Below is a unique super set that you can do for your back with kettlebells utilizing rows and kettlebell swings.
- Start with a staggered or split stance (one leg in front of the other), with the kettlebell to one side of you and hinge your hips back to get into position with a nice level back
- start with a pronated hand grip (the back of your hand is facing foward gripping the kettlebell) in order to add some rotation, grab the kettlebell and look forward with your eyes
- pull the kettlebell up toward using your back while rotating it in (shown below)
- squeeze the shoulder blade in at the top and let it down
- utilize the rotation of the bell to work the rhomboids, the lats, and mid traps when you squeeze at the top
- Aim for 10-15 reps and immediately switch to the close grip upright row
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. Then, immediately go into the next movement, working the same side of the body.