Kettlebell Workout for Your Back

USAF Public Domain

Heavy weights are not just for the fellows. Women can definitely benefit from weight exercises without worrying about growing bulging muscles. Kettlebells are easier to use than you might think. Momentum is the key to a successful kettlebell workout. Grab a pair and swing your way to a firmer, stronger body by the time Spring is over. You can snatch, press, swing and row your way to a firm, toned back with kettlebells. A good kettlebell workout will include 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise. Kettlebell swings can be done with one arm or two. You should start with a two-arm swing and move up to a one-arm swing when your upper back and arms are stronger. Kettlebell rows are similar to dumbbell rows. The kettlebell clean is an advanced movement that requires a degree of coordination that can come only with training and practice. Deadlifts are easy but effective to strengthen your arms, shoulders, back and legs. The Turkish get-up exercises improves your functional strength, while emphasizing load balance as you lie down on the floor and then stand up again while holding a kettlebell over your head.

 Kettlebell exercises are generally whole body workouts, but some exercises work your back muscles more than others. Alternating kettlebell rows, renegade rows, one-arm and two-arm rows target your back muscles. Grab a couple of kettlebells and bend over at the waist until your back is parallel to the floor. To do alternating kettlebells, lift one kettlebell upward toward your chest by bending your left elbow and extend your right arm toward the floor. Alternate by lowering your left arm and lifting the kettlebell with your right arm. Renegade rows are more advanced. Extend your body in a push-up position. Place your hands on the handles of two kettlebells. Alternate lifting one kettlebell up toward your shoulder and then lowering it back to the floor. Remember to exercise both arms by switching sides when doing one-arm swings or rows.

Kettlebells aren’t just for the hulks in the gym. The uninitiated can definitely benefit from kettlebell exercises. You will get a better core and back workout with kettlebells than with any other type of free weight because the kettlebell weight is off center. This makes your core work harder and it challenges every muscle in your body. According to the American Council on Exercise (ace.org), you will burn up to 272 calories in a mere 20 minutes while strengthening your muscles. Swings, cleans and snatches are easy, but effective exercises that beginners can do on the first day. Overhead presses, rows and windmills are also an option for beginners. Start with a lighter weight, about 5 to 10 pounds and gradually add more weight or do more repetitions.

 Warm-up your muscles before you grab a 25-pound kettlebell and start swinging. A thorough warm-up will reduce your risk of injuring your cold muscles and joints. Five to 10 minutes of light cardio should be enough to get your heart rate up and start you sweating. Stretch your muscles before you start doing kettlebell workouts to increase your flexibility and improve your range of motion. After your cardio and stretching warm-up make sure your shoulders, arms, neck and back are ready for the weights. Do some kettlebell exercises using a light weight to get your muscles ready for a more vigorous workout with the heavy weights.

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About Robin R.
I’m an AFPA certified personal trainer & nutrition consultant, NASM certified corrective exercise specialist, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, online fitness coach and freelance writer specializing in health and fitness. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. I specialize in weight loss, functional strength training, total body toning, aerobic conditioning, plyometric training, nutrition planning, and home-based boot camp style workouts for women. My goal is to make every personal training session fun and effective for my clients. My services include both in-home personal training and online fitness coaching.

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