Kettlebell back workouts

5 Tough Kettlebell Back Workouts for All CrossFit Athletes

These kettlebell workouts will help you to improve your conditioning, strength and mental toughness. Have fun(?) and enhance your physical abilities.

Kettlebell back workouts are a great way to build strength and full body conditioning. A strong back is absolutely essential for any athlete that is serious about their long term health.

Kettlebell Back Workouts 

Use these technique tips to try the first of the Kettlebell back workouts. This brutal WOD is from Kettlebell master Taco Fleur. 

Kettlebell-workouts lose fat

Kettlebell Workout – Kneeling Alternating Press

“The kneeling presses will be the one that you’ll need to pay the most attention to when it comes to instructions. Kneeling on a rough surface is not going to work, but any other surface, whether soft or hard will do. You should not be rushing this movement, pressing from this position correctly will not be easy, so, if you rush this, you’ll not only get sore knees, but you’ll also fatigue before you complete the full 6 minutes.

As I said, kneeling can be done on any hard surface, it’s all about finesse. Lunge back, gently touch the knee to the ground, now bring the other knee down to come into full kneeling position, extend the hips, brace the core, and press till you achieve a good overhead lockout on one side. Scaled version listed below.

Kettlebell Workout – Gorilla Cleans

The other new exercise is the gorilla clean, you’re going to love this exercise, it raises the heart rate like Crossfit burpees with a weight vest on. It’s not only an awesome exercise, but it will also make you look incredibly cool if you do this right. It’s basically an alternating hang clean, it requires timing, and explosiveness.

Start in double kettlebell racking position, let one bell drop straight into a hang, reduce velocity with the legs, from the hang, clean it straight up with a pull powered by the legs, land into rack, repeat straight away on the other side.

Kettlebell Workout – Clean And Jerk

You might, or might not already be familiar with the kettlebell clean and jerk, it’s very similar to the barbell clean and jerk, except that the kettlebells swing through the legs for the clean, and the weights don’t go dead to the ground upon each rep.

The jerk is going to be a bit different at the top, because you’ll be dealing with a unilateral exercise tool—the kettlebell. The rack is also different compared to a barbell rack, you do not want wrist hyperextension in the rack, ever! Your objective is to rest the elbows on the hips, whereas with the barbell your weight is resting more on the shoulders. With the barbell, the power travels from the legs, through the torso, into the weight; with the kettlebells, the power travels from the legs, through the elbows, forearms, into the weight.”


I’ve covered some of the exercises, let’s dive into the whole WOD.

Your First Task:

  • CrossFit Burpees
  • 4 Min. AMRAP
  • Write down your reps.
  • Time: 0 to 4 minutes, 2 minutes rest.

Your Second Task:

  • Alternating kneeling press
  • 6 Min. AMRAP
  • Write down your reps. Left equals 1, right equals 2, and so on.
  • Time: 6 to 12 minutes, 2 minutes rest.

Your Third Task:

  • 4 Gorilla Cleans
  • 4 Front Squats
  • 4 Clean and Jerk

All 12 reps equals one round. One Gorilla clean is usually left and right, but to make counting easier for this workout we’ll do left = 1, right = 2, etc.
Break the set of 12 (all three exercises) and you’re required to pay with 10 ‘any’ push-ups. After each completed set you can put the weights down on the ground without penalty.
Time: 14 to 30 minutes, 3 minutes rest.

Your Fourth And Final Task:

  • CrossFit Burpees
  • 4 Min. AMRAP

Time: 33 to 37 minutes.

The kicker here is: the athlete will pay with penalties if he/she does not reach the same or more amount of burpees as in the first task. To check how many, calculate the difference between task 1 and task 4, multiply this by four, so if the athlete did 40 burpees in task 1, and 30 in task 4, the difference is 10, multiplied by 4 equals an additional 40 burpees. There will obviously be no penalties if the athlete does more or the same as in task one.

Watch a video of the exercises in action:

Your Score

Calculate your score by adding everything but the penalty reps up, the penalties do not count towards the score.


Some of the main things to learn when it comes to kettlebell cleans: bell to body proximity on the clean, and drop; opening up for a proper hand insert; appropriate power generation, generate too little and you’ll need to muscle the weight, generate too much, and you’ll be banging the weight.

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