30 minute advanced upper back workout with kettlebells at home

Here's everything you need to try our 30 minute advanced upper back workout with kettlebells at home. For each circuit, complete each exercise one after the other and repeat it for 3 rounds before continuing on to the next circuit.

30 min read
Sean Klein Photo
Created by
Sean Klein
Last updated
09/02/24
In This Workout
  • Circuit 1
  • KB Bent Over Row
  • Double KB Gorilla Row
  • Circuit 2
  • Alternating Gorilla Row
  • KB Crush Grip Bent Over Row

Circuit 1

Complete this round 3 times.

KB Bent Over Row

Complete 14 repetitions

Coaching Tips For KB Bent Over Row

Follow these cues to perform KB Bent Over Row correctly:

  • Don't use any momentum
  • Keep chest as horizontal as possible
  • Do not flare out the elbows.

Double KB Gorilla Row

Complete 18 repetitions

The double kettlebell gorilla row is an excellent horizontal pulling variation, especially for those with kettlebell only set ups.

Benefits of Double KB Gorilla Row

The primary benefit of the double kettlebell gorilla row is building muscle in the back muscles and increasing strength in the horizontal pull movement pattern. The secondary benefit of the double kettlebell gorilla row is improvements in core stability due to the work that is required from the lumbar spine. This movement requires a lot of stabilisation from the lumbar spine though this shouldn’t be the limiting factor.

How To Do Double KB Gorilla Row

  1. Start with a wide base, with the feet wider than the hips.
  2. Deadlift the weight up to the hips, then hinge down to the starting position, this will make maintaining a good hinge position throughout much easier.
  3. Pull the kettlebells so that the hands are inline with the belly button.
  4. Slowly lower the kettlebells back to the starting position.

Coaching Tips For Double KB Gorilla Row

Follow these cues to perform Double KB Gorilla Row correctly:

  • Maintain an arch in the lower back
  • Keep shoulders and hips square
  • Pull slowly with control keeping the elbows close to the body.

Circuit 2

Complete this round 3 times.

Alternating Gorilla Row

Complete 10 repetitions

The alternating gorilla row is one of the most technically and positionally difficult horizontal pull variations available with a kettlebell.

Benefits of Alternating Gorilla Row

It is excellent at working both pulling strength and lumbar stability. The uni-lateral pull element mixed with the static hold makes this a complete exercise, working the upper back, lower back and the entire posterior chain and core musculature. This exercise is primarily for more advanced individuals who have mastered the hinge technique and can hold this position without generating too much fatigue.

How To Do Alternating Gorilla Row

  1. Deadlift the weights to the hips as you would in a wide stance kettlebell deadlift.
  2. Bend at the knees and hips, lowering the kettlebells so they are just hovering above the floor. It is important that you do not lower them too far as this will force you to round at the back at take all the weight of the kettlebells through the spine.
  3. Pull one kettlebell so that the hand is inline with the belly button, while keeping the other fixed in the starting position.
  4. Lower the weight back to the starting position and alternate to the other side. Perform the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Coaching Tips For Alternating Gorilla Row

Follow these cues to perform Alternating Gorilla Row correctly:

  • Maintain an arch in the lower back
  • Keep shoulders and hips square
  • Pull slowly with control.

KB Crush Grip Bent Over Row

Complete 16 repetitions

Coaching Tips For KB Crush Grip Bent Over Row

Follow these cues to perform KB Crush Grip Bent Over Row correctly:

  • Hold the KB in a position you find comfortable
  • Keep an arch in the lower back and tension in the hamstrings
  • Don't use any momentum
  • Pull the weight slowly to your belly button.

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This workout was made by Sean Klein

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