Kettlebell Single Arm Row – Exercise Tutorial
The Kettlebell Single Arm Row is an excellent pulling exercise for both beginners and those with only one Kettlebell. When using correct form, you will primarily work your upper back muscles, the shoulder muscles, but you will also use your core to stabilise yourself, your grip, forearm and biceps. Additionally, you will statically exercise your supporting leg throughout the movement.
When designing a workout, you should look to create balance between muscle groups and pulling exercises are often forgotten. In order to open up the posture and help strengthen the back (which is commonly one of the weakest areas), we must remember to exercise it in every workout if possible. And the best way to exercise the upper back is by pulling.
The main teaching points are:
- First place one foot pointing forward, leg bent as if in a lunge, put the Kettlebell beside the inner part of that foot.
- Place the other foot straight out the back (knee locked for anchorage), this foot should be at a near right angle compared to the forward foot.
- Keep the back straight, and the shoulders back and down with the head in line with the spine, lean forward and rest the same forearm onto the top of the forward leg. Brace the core.
- Reach down with the other hand and grip the forward corner of the Kettlebells handle.
- Ensure the body is stable, then pull the Kettlebell from the foot towards the hip, keeping the elbow as close to the side of the body as possible.
- At the top of the movement squeeze the shoulder blade inwards, to recruit more of the muscle fibres.
- Reverse the movement under tension.
- Don’t look up or down as this will encourage the spine to over extend or flex – you must keep the back straight and the head in line. Pick a spot out in front and focus on it.
- Don’t use the whole body to assist the lift, only use the arm you are rowing with, the rest of the body is static and stable.
- Elbow close to the side. This will enable the correct muscles to fire and the proper range of movement.
- Keeping the reverse movement under tension will properly use all the muscle fibres and help with strength and muscle development.
- To make it harder, perform the reps slower.
- Rest the body weight onto the front leg, this will take pressure off the lower back and provide stability.
Typically a heavier weight can be used for this exercise as the body is rested on the front leg and the back muscles are stronger than we normally think.
If you do a lot of push ups, then start adding in more pulling exercises to add balance to your upper body.
Thanks everyone. This is only the first of my Kettlebell Rowing exercises.