Upper Body Kettlebell Workout Series Part 3 – Back & Spinal Rotation

upper body kettlebell workout

Affiliate disclosureUpper Body Kettlebell Workout Series Part 3 – Back & Spinal Rotation.

We are already on part three of this kettlebell series, which is focusing on the upper body. In this workout we will be doing more back work, along with some spinal rotation techniques.

As always, we are trying different movements with the kettlebell, to conventional exercises, which incorporate more functional fitness rather than the usual swinging workouts you have seen before.

Epilogue on Previous Workouts

As mentioned, this is the third installment of the widely popular kettlebell series we have done at Sport CBDs.

The philosophy behind all of them is to use the body as it is intended, moving the body with the weights, which compliment mobility of the various skeletal parts.

Nothing is meant to be moving as it shouldn’t, a healthy flow of movement are what the doctor ordered here. If you have missed the previous workouts and wanted to give them a try, then check them out below:


Keeping it Real

If it isn’t broke, then don’t fix it right?

That’s kinda the thinking here with workout number 3. What I mean by that is that we have once again gone with 6 exercises, which last for 60 seconds at a time, with 15 seconds off to prepare for the next exercise.

With the workout being two rounds, which means this workout will last just under 25 minutes. We have found this to be the optimum time frame for these types of workouts.

We have also gone with just the one kettlebell again for this workout, as most people only have the one piece of kit and you still get a great workout from it and its better for beginners and safety in mind.

We will be looking at two kettlebell workouts in the future, but for now were only using one.

By all means, if you are a seasoned kettlebell pro, then start the workout from the beginning and go the extra round, or you could use a heavier kettlebell. Just make sure you don’t use a kettelbell that’s too heavy, we don’t want any injuries here people.

P.E Kit at the Ready

Lets get our favourite sports gear on and dust off the kettlebell from the other day and get ready to rumble!

Now that we have got the introduction out of the way, lets look in a little more detail at the exercises we are doing here.

As previously stated, we have decided to focus on the back and spinal rotation, so make sure you are well warmed up before attempting this workout (that goes without saying anyway really).

If you wanted to follow the workout in real time, then click on the image below. 

Hips Raised Chest Press

The first exercise requires you to lay with your feet and back flat on the floor with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Take the KB and hold it on your chest with both hands. Lift your hips off the ground and push them as high up as possible, keeping your feet flat on the floor, so you are balancing on both your feet and your Acromion process (upper part of your back) or trapizius (the section below your neck or back of your shoulders).

While holding this pose, we press the KB out as we would in a bench press movement, hold it out till your arms are extended and then lower back down to your chest. Repeat this movement for duration of exercise.

Muscles worked – Lower Pecs, Triceps, Glutes, Core, Quads & Hamstrings.

Kettlebell Full Rotation

This exercise utilizes a little spinal cord rotation in both directions, and works various muscle groups. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold the KB by the horns (this means holding it on the side handles, with your palms facing in) with your arms parallel to the floor, with elbows tucked in. We smoothly rotate and lift the KB to the right in a sweeping motion and lift it over our head, then smoothly lower the KB back to the starting position. This exercise works as if you are drawing a circle with the KB.

Make sure as you are lifting the KB you rotate your body in the direction of the side you are lifting, then rotate to the other side as you lower the KB back down. This gives the spinal cord the full rotation movement when done correctly.

Then repeat exercise back to the left and over your head, back to the starting point in a circular motion. Repeat going left and right with KB for the duration of the exercise.

Muscles used – Biceps, Upper back, Lower back, Abs, Shoulders & Core.


Suitcase Deadlift

Here we are standing with our legs shoulder width apart with the KB in your right hand.

We bend forward and down as you would a normal deadlift, keeping the arm straight that’s holding the KB straight and the other arm is used for balance.

When the KB touches the floor you lift back up to standing using your lower back muscles, core and quads to stand up straight. Repeat movement for duration of the exercise and then switch hands.

Muscles used – Core, Quads, Lower back (Rotation) & Glutes.

Rotation Press

Here we are doing a standard shoulder press with a racked KB. However, as you extend your left arm to press, you are going to rotate your body 90 degrees to the right side (or as much as you can), while you push off the floor with your left foot when you rotate to push the press out as you pivot. Rotate your left side back to parallel position, drop your left foot back to the floor and rack the KB on your forearm, then lower to the ground, then repeat exercise for duration of exercise.

Then swap hands and repeat exercise.

Muscles used – Shoulders, Upper back, Lower back (Rotation), Core, Hamstrings & Calves.

Hand Clean & Press Out

Have the KB on the floor between your legs, with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend down, bending your knees and leaning forward, while keeping your back straight, using your lower back, take hold of the KB and then lift back up to standing and pulling the KB up to waist height, as you would a normal clean, adjust your grip to hold by the horns and then press out having your arms parallel to the floor. Once your arms are extended, pull KB back into your chest and then lower the KB to the ground bending your knees and leaning with your lower back keeping your back straight.

Repeat this movement for exercise duration.

Muscles used – Hamstrings, Glutes, Lower back, Upper back, Chest & Core.

Bent Over One Arm Row

The final exercise involves you bending your left knee and stepping backwards with your right leg and having your back leg straight. Rest your arm on the front knee, keep your body in a straight a line as possible and then lift the KB off the floor and pull the KB up to your chest, having your elbow pointing up to the sky, hold for a second and then slowly lower the KB to the floor and repeat the exercise.

Once time is up, change sides to work the other arm.

Now, that’s round one complete. Take some deep breaths and get ready to go again! YOU CAN DO IT!

Well Done You!

If you have tried this upper body kettlebell workout and found it useful, then please comment below and let me know your thoughts as I would love to hear them. If you wanted to get your hands on a new kettlebell or have never had one, then click here to get yours now.

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