Kettlebell Bent Over Row + Variations – Exercise Tutorial
The bent over row is a more advanced pulling exercise than the Kettlebell Single Arm Row. It can be performed with either one or two Kettlebells. The main difference is that instead of have a split stance and resting your upper body on your forward leg, you ground yourself in a semi squat position and brace more with your quads, glutes and core. Because you are in a bent over position, proper form is vital in preventing strain to the lower back.
Along with both legs, glutes and the core, the main muscles used in this variation are again the upper back, biceps, forearms and grip.
- Stand with the feet shoulder width apart and place the Kettlebell or kettlebells between your feet.
- Sit back into a partial squat, but bend the upper body forward more, keeping the core, glutes and quads tense.
- Ensure the back is still straight and the head in line with the spine looking slightly forward.
- Reach down and grip the kettlebell(s), brace yourself for the lift, and pull the kettlebell close to the side of the body, until the kettlebell touches the area just above the top of the pelvis (hip bone).
- Squeeze the shoulder blades together at the top of the movement, and lower the kettlebell under tension.
- Keep the hips bent, not the back.
- Support the lift with the core, glutes and quads.
- Row only with the back and arm muscles, do not rock the whole body to assist you.
- Don’t look at your feet, or up in the air – the head should be in a neutral position.
- If only using one Kettlebell, ensure shoulder alignment is straight and the weight does not pull you to one side.
- Single Kettlebell Bent over row (one set each arm)
- Alternating Bent over Row (one rep each arm), swap arms at the bottom of the movement after lowering the bell.
- Double Kettlebell Bent Over Row
- Kettlebell Ballistic Row *
* More explosive exercise using one Kettlebell – Movement is one explosive pull with one arm, catch at the top with the other arm and lower, then pull with this side and swap. Remember the swap is at the top this time.
NOTE : This exercise can also be performed with a narrow stance and the kettlebells are pulled from the outside of the legs. However depending on the size of the Kettlebells, this can knock of the direction of the row andis more awkward. I prefer the wider stance as you have better support and balance