how to do the Two Arm Kettlebell Row

Today we are going to look at some more kettlebell training that you can add to your fitness routines.

Building a strong, powerful back is not only aesthetically pleasing but reduces your chance of injury in daily activities. A broad back also just screams power to anyone who ends up walking behind you.

Rows are one of the best ways to add thickness to your back. Which explains why Arnold was and probably still is always performing some form of the row in most of his training

How to Guide

While this is one of the best exercises there is for blasting your lats, if you have any history of back problems you should consult a physician and make sure it is ok to include this lift in your training program.

Image Example Traditional

how to do the 2 Arm Kettlebell Row

Step by Step Description

Step 1: Stand up with your feet approximately shoulder width apart. Put two kettlebells on the floor on the outsides of your feet.

Step 2: Bend at your knees and push your butt out as much as possible(like when you are performing squats or pretend you are going to sit down) make sure to keep a flat back and do not let the lower part of your back to round. Grab a kettlebell handle with each of your hands. To perform the traditional row, you are going to have you back parallel to the floor, or you can use the YATES variation where your body forms a 45-degree angle with the ground.

You are now in the starting position for the exercise.

Step 3: Keep your torso fixed, breath out and pull the kettlebells toward your body while keeping your elbows tucked close to your sides. There are two different ways that you can move the weight towards your body. You can either pull towards the waist (higher focus on the lats) or your chest (focuses mainly on the traps and posterior deltoids).

When performing this lift, your arms should form a 45 to 90-degree angle with your body.

As you are pulling the weight towards your body, concentrate on bringing your shoulder blades together and pushing the chest out. Keep pulling until your elbows move slightly pass the torso. Hold in this position and squeeze your back muscles for one to three seconds.

Step 4: Use a slow and controlled movement and lower the kettlebells back down.

Congratulations you have completed one repetition of the Kettlebell Bent Over Two-Arm Row. Repeat for the number of reps you have selected.

Image Example Yates Row

how to do the Yates 2 Arm Kettlebell Row

Difficulty Level

The Two-Arm Kettlebell Row is a strength training exercise that gets rated at an intermediate difficulty level.

Equipment Required

As the title states to perform this variation of rows, you are going to need a pair of kettlebells.

However, you can perform the same exercise with dumbbells or a barbell if you do not have access to a pair of kettlebells.

Muscles Worked

Back Muscles Worked

The bent over row works many muscles in our back. The primary muscles targeted in your back are the trapezius and the rhomboids.

Shoulder and Trunk Muscles Worked

The deltoids(responsible for the rounded look of your shoulders) and latissimus dorsi are the primary muscles in the shoulder used. The secondary muscles in your shoulders used are the infraspinatus in your rotator cuff, the teres major(supports the latissimus dorsi), and our pectoralis major(pecs). Your chest works as a stabilizing muscle During the lowering of the barbell.

Arm Muscles Worked

Your Biceps are the primary arm muscles that get worked by this lift. The biceps control the flexion in our elbows when we pull the barbell towards our body the biceps contract. When lowering the weight, our triceps are acting as the stabilizer muscle.


Many of us spend a lot of our time hunched forward when we are driving home, watching tv or working on the computer. Building our back with lifts like rows helps our body pull the shoulders back naturally, helping to reduce and sometimes entirely correct our forward hunching posture.

Bent over barbell rows work the opposite muscles to the bench press. Using rows will help you prevent developing muscle imbalances between our pushing and pressing muscles. Always make sure you are completing as many sets and reps with your rows as you perform with benchpress to prevent forward hunching posture.

Rows are a Compound exercise that work multiple muscles groups together training them to become stronger as a unit. Since many muscles are involved with this lift, you will burn a significant number of calories while you are performing it. Lifting heavy will also set your metabolism to burn a higher number of calories for up to 48 hours after you have completed the exercise.

Training Tips

Make sure that you focus on using your back muscles to move the weight towards your body and not the biceps. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together as you are pulling the weight.

Keep your elbows tucked in close to your body. Having your arms in this position will help to recruit your back muscles while you are pulling the weight.

Your breathing is important. Make sure that you exhale as you are pulling the kettlebells towards your body, and inhale while you are lowering them back down.

If you feel pain in your lower back from the traditional version try using the Yates(body forms a 45-degree angle) variation since it places less strain on your lower back.

Two Arm Kettlebell Rows and CrossFit

CrossFit exercises get separated into three different categories(gymnastics, metabolic conditioning, and Weightlifting).

If you are designing a Crossfit routine and want to include this exercise, it gets classified under the Weightlifting category.

The exercise works very well with either a set number of repetitions or for a specific duration of time. With either method, make sure your form does not deteriorate.

Once your form begins to break down, stop performing this exercise. Performing the exercise with proper form will reduce your chances of receiving an injury.

In Closing

Building a strong back will reduce your chances of getting an injury in the gym and throughout your daily tasks.

It will also increase your performance in the weight room while making you better aesthetically.

Remember to perform rows the same number of times(or more, preferably two to one) you bench press through the week. Performing rows will help prevent you from developing any muscle imbalances between your pressing and pulling muscles.

Similar Exercises

Plank Row
Bent Over Two Arm Long Bar Row
Bent Over Barbell Row
Kettlebell Renegade Row

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