6 Best Kettlebell Lat Exercises For Stronger Back

The solid, broader, and defined lats improve the appearance of your physique, help lift big during pull movements and increase torso strength.

The lats or latissimus dorsi is a thicker and larger muscle of the back that extends from the upper arm bone to the lower back and pelvis. It looks triangular in shape and is responsible for the V-shape back.

The lats primarily work when you pull and adduct something. The pull-up and rowing are excellent examples of exercises that engage the latissimus dorsi effectively.

So, it’s important to work on your latissimus dorsi to build a sizeable back and sturdy physique.

You can perform myriad exercises to bolster your lats, but if you want to strengthen it with kettlebells, this guide is for you.

I’ve shared the best kettlebell lat exercises in this article to help you build a symmetrical and firm back.

These exercises are suitable for all fitness enthusiasts, from beginners to intermediate and males to females.

Whether you work out at home or in the gym, you can incorporate these kettlebell lats exercises in your workout regime to improve your upper body strength and definition.

How do you train your lats with kettlebells?

Lats workout with kettlebells
Back workout with a kettlebell

Kettlebell is an excellent piece of equipment that allows you to perform various exercises with a complete range of motion.

You can do multiple exercises to target your lats specifically and effectively.

Bent-over row, gorilla row, pullover, and superman pull are some of the best exercises you can do to build stronger lats and back with kettlebells.

However, they aren’t as effective as barbells and machines for developing a bigger and broader back.

The best thing you can do is to combine lat kettlebell exercises with other resistance workouts to smoke your back gains.

The Best Kettlebell Lat Exercises to Forge Your Back

You can do the following lat workouts with kettlebells to bolster your back at home.

  1. KB Single Arm Bent-Over Row
  2. Kettlebell Pullover
  3. Gorilla Row
  4. KB Renegade Row
  5. Lying Kettlebell Superman Pull
  6. KB Suitcase Row

1. KB Single Arm Bent-Over Row

The single-arm rowing is an isolation exercise that helps you to target your lats specifically.

It allows you to work on each side of your lats unilaterally and help even out strength imbalance.

All it requires is one kettlebell and a little space in your home.

How to do single-arm KB bent-over row:

  1. Grab a kettlebell with your right hand with a neutral grip and stand in the split or staggered stance.
  2. Keep your right arm straight underneath your shoulder.
  3. Bend your knees and lean your torso forward until your chest is parallel to the ground.
  4. Place your left hand on your left knee for support.
  5. Brace your core, look downward, and maintain a neutral spine position. This is your starting position.
  6. Drive your elbow up at your sides (in a rowing motion) until your lat is fully engaged.
  7. Contracting your lat, hold the weight for a couple of seconds, and then return your arm to the start.
  8. Do three sets of 8 to 10 repetitions each (both sides) with 1-2 minute intervals between sets.

2. Kettlebell Pullover

The pullover is a compound movement that simultaneously works on your lats and chest and provides firmness to the upper body.

How to do a pullover with a kettlebell:

  1. Holding a kettlebell with both hands, lie on a flat bench with your feet firmly on the ground.
  2. Extend your arms behind your head with your elbows slightly bent.
  3. Keep your arms close to your ears so your elbows won’t flare outward when you pull the weight.
  4. Brace your abdominal muscles, inhale, and pull the kettlebell upward (across from head to chest) until your arms are straight over your lower chest. Focus on your lats during the movement.
  5. Hold for a moment, then return the weight to the starting position. That’s your one rep.
  6. Do three sets of 8 to 10 repetitions each with 1-2 minute rest between sets.

3. KB Gorilla Row

The alternate gorilla row is an excellent exercise to target your lat and enhance your back strength.

It is a unilateral back exercise, meaning you can work more on your weaker side to fix strength and muscle imbalance with this exercise.

This movement also targets the posterior delt and upper traps and improves the symmetry of the back muscles.

You can see the steps below:

  1. Grab one kettlebell in each hand and stand in the two-times wider than shoulder-width stance.
  2. Hing at your hips and lean your torso forward until your chest is parallel to the ground.
  3. Keep your arms straight below your chest with palms facing each other.
  4. Brace your core, look downward, and maintain a neutral spine position. This is your starting position.
  5. Driving your elbows, pull your elbows at your sides until you feel the contraction in your lat muscles. Return your arm to the start and repeat on the opposite side to complete one rep.
  6. Do three sets of 8 to 10 repetitions each with 1-2 minute intervals between sets.

4. KB Renegade Row

Kettlebell Lat Exercises For Stronger Back
Kettlebell Renegade Row

The renegade row, also called plank rowing, is a great exercise to develop strength, mobility, and muscle mass.

It targets multiple muscles at once, including the latissimus dorsi, abs, obliques, and arms, as well as burns decent calories and improves cardiovascular fitness.

How to do KB renegade row:

  1. Grab a pair of kettlebells with a neutral grip and get into a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keep your arms below your shoulders and your body straight from head to heels.
  3. Position your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. It will help you perform rowing effectively. This is your start.
  4. Brace your core, inhale, slowly lower your chest toward the floor as low as possible, and press back to the start.
  5. Now, lift the right kettlebell off the floor and row at your side so your lats can engage.
  6. Engaging your lats, pause for a second or two, and then lower the kettlebell on the floor.
  7. Now, row at your left side to complete one rep. Aim for two to three sets of 8 to 10 repetitions each.

5. Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift

When it comes to targeting the posterior muscles of your body, there is no better exercise than a deadlift.

The deadlift hit many muscles simultaneously, including the lats, thighs, lower back, and glutes.

It can be an excellent addition to your kettlebell lat workout routine.

Here are the steps to perform a KB sumo deadlift:

  1. Grab one kettlebell in each hand and stand in a wider stance with your toes pointing slightly out.
  2. Keep your arms straight against your thighs with your palms facing in. That’s the start.
  3. Pushing your hips back and bending your knees, lower the kettlebells until they are close to the floor.
  4. Pushing your feet into the floor and contracting your lats muscles, pull the weight as you return to the standing position.
  5. Shoot for three to four sets of eight to ten reps.

6. Kettlebell Suitcase Row

The suitcase row is another rowing exercise you can do to hammer your lats with the kettlebell.

The suitcase row can be done using one arm, both arms, or an alternate arm. You can do them interchangeably to target your latissimus dorsi effectively.

How to do single-arm KB suitcase row:

  1. Grab a kettlebell with your right hand and stand upright with your feet together.
  2. Push your hips backward and slightly bend your knees to lean forward until your chest is parallel to the ground.
  3. Keep your right arm straight at your side and your left arm in any comfortable position.
  4. Brace your core, maintain a neutral spine position, and look downward. This is your starting position.
  5. Pull the weight by pulling your elbow back and upward as high as you can pull.
  6. Contacting your lats, hold in that position for a couple of seconds and then return your arms to the start. That’s one rep for one side.
  7. Perform two sets of 8 to 10 reps with a 1-2 minute rest between sets.

Can you Build Your Lats with kettlebells only?

Yes, kettlebell exercises can be useful for strengthening and toning back muscles. It also helps build lean mass in beginners who are performing resistance exercises for the first time.

Besides muscle building and strength benefits, kettlebell exercises also increase explosiveness and cardiovascular fitness.

However, you must lift barbells and use machines if you want to build sizable and broader lats.

How to Integrate lats workout into your kettlebell training?

You can pair kettlebell lat workouts with legs, shoulder, or core exercises or train your lats individually.

This is how you can integrate lats exercises into your kettlebell workout routine:

1. Shoulder and Lats Workout

  • Z Press: 10 reps x 3
  • Alternate Gorilla Row: 10 reps/side x 2
  • Lateral Swings: 10 reps/side x 2
  • Single-arm Bent-over Row: 12 reps/side x 2
  • Kettlebell Halo: 10 reps x 3
  • Pullover: 12 reps x 3

2. Legs and Lats Workout

  • Front Racked Squat: 12 x 3
  • Single-arm Bent-over Row: 12 x 3
  • Front Racked Lunges: 10 x 3
  • KB Renegade Row: 5/side x 3
  • Romanian Deadlift: 10 x 3
  • Gorilla Row: 10 x 3

3. Lats Workout with Kettlebells Only

  • Sumo Deadlift: 12 x 3
  • Renegade Row: 12 x 3
  • Gorilla Row: 12 x 3
  • Pullover: 12 x 3
  • Single-arm Bent-Over Row: 10 x 3

You can also explore the following exercises and workout routines to improve your fitness with kettlebells:

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Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.
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