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Kettlebell Gorilla Rows

Kettlebell Gorilla Rows
Table Of Contents

Exercise Description

Main Target Muscles

Shoulders, Core, Back

Secondary Target Muscles

Abs, Adductors, Biceps, Forearms, Glutes, Hamstrings, Shoulders, Traps, Triceps, Upper and Lower Back

Workout Type

Olympic Weightlifting

Gym Gear


Fitness Level


Target Muscle Group: Back/Core

Kettlebell Gorilla Overview

Gorilla rows, as you would expect, are an excellent back-builder and a welcome alternative for the common bent-over, T bar, single-arm dumbbell and single-arm dumbbell row that most exercisers rely upon.

The gorilla row is the perfect option if you are tired of the same old back exercises, and want to increase your strength and size to the silverback level.

How to Do It?

  • Two kettlebells should be placed on the ground, about hip-width apart. The handles should be parallel. Your kettlebells should be parallel to your feet.
  • To grasp the handles, bend your knees slightly and hinge forward from your hips. To make room for the weights, push your knees forward.
  • Keep your core firm and ensure your lower back is not round.
  • Keep one kettlebell in your hand and row the other weight back towards your hip. Keep your wrist straight and lead with your elbow.
  • The kettlebell should be lowered to the ground, and you can then do the same thing on the other side.
  • For the remaining set, continue to alternate your arms.

Kettlebell Gorilla Tips

  • Experiment with head position and see which option (looking forward vs. packing the neck) works better for you.
  • Keep same tone through your abdominals as you pull the kettlebells into your body to ensure you don’t arch excessively through your spine.
  • Don’t allow momentum to dictate the movement, control the kettlebells throughout each rep.
  • If you feel your biceps are overused and your back remains underactive, consider utilizing a false grip (i.e. don’t wrap the thumb around the handle).
  • Don’t allow the head to jut forward as you pull.

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