Kettlebell Single Arm Row
by Sam Franklin
How to Master The Kettlebell Single Arm Row: The Go-To Back Builder
A swift and compact kettlebell exercise for building back muscle, the kettlebell row should be an essential part of your regular workout routine.
While performing this movement might appear simple, getting your form just right is the only way to reap the body-boosting rewards of the kettlebell row
To help you do just that, here’s a handy kettlebell rowing guide for your reading pleasure.
How to do a kettlebell single arm row: video tutorial
Before we dive into the benefits of kettlebell single arm row, watch our quick tutorial video by Luke Baden, Kettlebell Master Trainer.
Luke will take you step by step through the entire movement, ensuring your form is correct and you get the absolute maximum out of the exercise.
The body-boosting benefits of the kettlebell row
The kettlebell row is a very targeted exercise, drilling down deep into the core and back muscles. Here are main the body-boosting benefits of the legendary kettlebell row:
- Back strength: The classic kettlebell row works out all major back muscle groups, offering greater back strength, suppleness, and tone in the process. Working on your back muscles significantly increases your overall posture, stability, and core strength.
- Cardio & fat burning: As an incredibly effective core-boosting exercise, the kettlebell row can assist in streamlining the torso and shredding belly fat while giving the abs a solid workout. Cardio and strength in one neat package.
- Upper body power: As kettlebell rows also target the shoulders, performing this exercise regularly will enhance your upper body power, strength, and durability.
What muscle groups does the kettlebell single arm row work?
The rowing exercise is a real kettlebell powerhouse—here are the major muscle groups it works out:
- Latissimus dorsi muscles: Your lats are the big v-shaped muscles that connect your arms to your vertebral column. Strengthening your lats will provide your spine with more stability which, in turn, will improve your posture while enhancing your overall arm and shoulder movement.
- Trapezius muscles: A pair of surface muscles found in the centre of the upper back, your trapezius' are essential to your general top strength and stability.
- Rear deltoids: your rear deltoids assist back & shoulder strength, stamina, and mobility so working these muscles out regularly is very important.
- Abs: Giving your abdominals muscles a regular workout will boost your core strength significantly, make your torso more powerful, and as mentioned even help you burn fat around your belly.
Kettlebell single arm row form tips
What to do
In terms of steps and stages, the kettlebell row is simpler than many kettlebell exercises. That said, you must get your form just right if you want to enjoy any of the body-boosting benefits mentioned above. Here are some tips that apply to both the singular and double-armed kettlebell row.
- Starting placement: Start off with the kettlebell placed on the floor slightly in front of you. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing forward.
- The pick-up: Bend and flex your knees slightly, driving your hips back and placing your body weight on your heels. Hinge your hips and lean down with a straight back at a roughly 45-degree angle, picking up your kettlebell with slightly bent arms.
- The flex or row: Once you’re in position, make sure that your back is straight and your chest is pushed out. Using your back muscles, pull the kettlebell up towards you so that the handle is level with your sides before slowly dropping back down in a rowing movement. Get into a rhythm and repeat.
- The roundup: Once you’ve completed a satisfactory amount of repetitions, you should hinge your hips back towards the floor, placing your kettlebell or kettlebells back on the floor slowly while flexing your knees.
What to avoid
- Don’t be careless when picking up or putting down your kettlebell. Follow the form tips exactly and treat your kettlebells with care.
- Don’t hunch your back or roll your shoulders forwards when performing the kettlebell row. Doing so will make the exercise less effective and increase your chances of injury.
- Don’t pull or jerk the kettlebell with your biceps or forearms. Remember, this is largely a back and core exercise.
- Don’t start with too much weight. Get to grips with the rowing movement first and once you’re confident, you can increase your kettlebell size.
Related kettlebell single arm row exercises
To supercharge your kettlebell row workout, here are some related kettlebell exercises that you should add to your fitness regime:
- Kettlebell swing
- Kettlebell windmill
- Kettlebell high pull