Equipment

6 Best Lower Back Kettlebell Exercises + Sample Workout

6 Best Lower Back Kettlebell Exercises + Sample Workout

As someone who's worked with patients and athletes for the past 8 years, I often use lower back kettlebell exercises to enhance the quality of life and performance of my clients.

The 6 best lower back kettlebell exercises are:


  • Kettlebell back extensions
  • Kettlebell deadlifts
  • Kettlebell good mornings
  • Kettlebell J curl
  • Kettlebell single-leg RDL
  • Kettlebell goblet squat
  • To maximize training your lower back with kettlebells, I’ll guide you through each of these exercises and provide you with a sample 4-week workout that you start implementing today.

    Key Takeaways


  • Lower back kettlebell exercises can help improve daily function, reduce the risk of injury, and increase sports performance.

  • The kettlebell deadlift is the best exercise for building and strengthening the lower back.

  • The Gymreapers kettlebells are my favorite option on the market for performing my comprehensive lower back routines.

  • Anatomy of the Lower Back Muscles

    anatomy of the lower back muscles


    The lower back muscles are attached to the ribs, vertebrae, spine, and sacrum. These muscles include:

    • Multifidus
    • Erector spinae
    • Spinalis
    • Latissimus dorsi

    The lower back includes large muscles that help hold up the spine. These muscles allow us to flex, bend forward, lift, and arch the lower back. 

    Lower back strength is fundamental for daily life (picking up objects off the floor, reaching overhead), and high-performance movements such as the squat and deadlift.

    Benefits of Training the Lower Back With Kettlebells

    benefits of training the lower back with kettlebells

    The benefits of training your lower back with kettlebells include:


  • Prevents and treats lower back pain. Lower back pain is highly prevalent and is often associated with poor posture, muscle imbalances, herniated discs, and arthritis. 
  • Strengthening the lower back muscles can help minimize low back pain by improving posture, increasing stability, and increasing mobility


  • Strengthens and mobilizes the core. A strong core allows you to stabilize your entire body, which allows for better balance and posture. Also, a strong core increases the efficiency at which muscles are recruited throughout the body.

  • Improves your squats and deadlifts. Having a strong lower back is fundamental to improving other lifts as well. The barbell squat and deadlift rely on the strength of the lower back for proper execution at heavier loads.
  • Related Article: Best Kettlebell Back Exercises + Sample Workouts

    6 Best Lower Back Kettlebell Exercises

    The best kettlebell exercises for your lower back are:

    1. Kettlebell Back Extensions

    Kettlebell back extensions are great for strengthening the muscles of the lower back to improve posture and mobility, which translates to better athletic performance and a reduced risk of injury.

    How To

    • Securely fasten your feet to the leg lock of the back extension.

    • Hold a kettlebell in both your hands to make this exercise more difficult.

    • Start with the hips fully extended and an upright torso.

    • In a controlled fashion lower yourself until your hips are flexed to 90 degrees or you are close to the ground.

    • Raise your torso to return to the starting position.

    • Repeat these steps for the desired amount of repetitions.

    Pro Tip

    Tempo repetitions can increase the challenge of this exercise. Increased time under tension places more stress on the lower back muscles, which encourages muscle growth. 

    Here is how I would program tempo kettlebell back extensions:

    • 4-count lower kettlebell back extensions 4 x 5 @50%

    2. Kettlebell Deadlifts

    Kettlebell deadlifts are my favorite exercise for strengthening the lower back muscles and for total body muscular development.

    How To

    • Stand over the kettlebell with your feet hip-width apart.

    • Let the arms hang as long as possible while sitting the hips back to load the glutes and hamstrings.

    • Build as much tension as possible in your upper back by focusing on squeezing the armpits.

    • Grab the corners of the kettlebell with both hands.

    • Pull yourself into the kettlebell as you stand up with the weight.

    • In a controlled fashion, push the hips back and let the kettlebell come back to the floor.

    Pro Tip

    Kettlebell deadlifts can be modified in difficulty by placing the kettlebell on a box (to make it easier) or standing on an elevated platform (to make it more difficult)

    Furthermore, you can use bands to increase the resistance, while changing the nature of the movement to focus on speed off the floor.

    3. Kettlebell Good Mornings

    Kettlebell good mornings are a hinge movement pattern that directly targets and strengthens the lower back muscles.

    How To

    • Hold the kettlebell in front of your upper chest with both hands. 

    • While maintaining a neutral spine, initiate the rep by pushing the hips back until the upper torso is almost parallel with the floor.

    • Lift the torso to return to the starting position.

    Pro Tip

    Good mornings can be performed either explosively (quickly) or with a tempo (slowly). A slower tempo can result in a muscle-building focus, while faster repetitions can place a greater emphasis on explosiveness.

    4. Kettlebell J Curl

    The kettlebell J curl is a more advanced unconventional exercise that can simultaneously stretch and strengthen the muscles of the back.

    How To

    • Stand over the kettlebell with your feet hip-width apart.

    • Let the arms hang as long as possible.

    • Reach for the kettlebell by pushing your hips back and rounding the back as much as possible.

    • Grab the corners of the kettlebell with both hands.

    • Pull yourself into the kettlebell as you stand up with the weight.

    • In a controlled fashion, push the hips back, round the back, and let the kettlebell come back to the floor.

    Pro Tip

    When performing the J curl the primary focus should be technique and not load. Too much load too soon can increase the risk of injury, therefore really emphasize body mechanics before adding weight.

    5. Kettlebell Single Leg RDL

    The kettlebell single-leg RDL is a more functional option that develops balance and stability while building strength and muscle through the hips and lower back.

    How To

    • Hold a kettlebell in one hand.

    • Let the arm hang in front of the opposite balancing leg.

    • Initiate by pushing the hips back and letting the non-balancing leg kick back.

    • Sit back until the dumbbell is just below the knee.

    • Extend at the hips and return to a standing position to complete the rep.

    Pro Tip

    If you struggle to maintain your balance, try holding onto a PVC pipe or something stable to focus more on loading rather than balance.

    Single-leg RDLs with assistance are one of my favorite exercises because this variation helps to address muscle imbalances.

    6. Kettlebell Goblet Squat

    Kettlebell goblet squats are my favorite kettlebell exercise that increases total body musculature alongside the kettlebell deadlift. 

    How To

    • Hold a kettlebell at chest level with both hands.

    • Initiate with the hips and bend the knees to sit back until the thighs are at or below parallel to the ground.

    • Try not to let the weight drop or allow your chest to cave during the rep.

    • Stand up until your hips and knees are completely extended.

    Pro Tip

    Kettlebell goblet squats are extremely versatile. This means that you can change the nature of this exercise in a variety of ways to influence the performance outcome.

    If you want to build explosiveness you can perform faster reps, while slower reps will allow you to place a greater emphasis on building muscle. Here is an example of how you would program them differently:

    Kettlebell Goblet Squats for Hypertrophy:

    • 4-count lowering: 5 x 5 @65%

    Kettlebell Goblet Squats for Explosiveness:

    • Speed reps: 10 x 3 @70%

    Sample Lower Back Workout Routine With Kettlebells

    Here is a sample week-to-week kettlebell lower back workout that you can implement:

    Week 1

    • Monday
      • Kettlebell goblet squat: 3 x 5 @75%
      • Kettlebell single leg RDL: 3 x 8 each side @60%
      • Kettlebell good mornings: 2 x 12 @30-40%

    • Thursday
      • Kettlebell deadlift: 4 x 10 @60%
      • Kettlebell back extensions: 4 x 5 @50%
      • Kettlebell J curl: 4 x 6 @20%

    Week 2

    • Monday
      • Kettlebell goblet squat: 4 x 5 @75% + 5-10 lbs
      • Kettlebell single leg RDL: 3 x 8 each side @60% + 5-10 lbs
      • Kettlebell good mornings: 3 x 12 @30-40% + 5-10 lbs

      • Thursday
        • Kettlebell deadlift: 4 x 10 @60% + 5-10 lbs
        • Kettlebell back extensions: 4 x 5 @50% + 5-10 lbs
        • Kettlebell J curl: 4 x 6 @20% + 2.5-5 lbs

      Week 3

      • Monday
        • Kettlebell goblet squat: 4 x 5 @75% + 5-10 lbs
        • Kettlebell single leg RDL: 3 x 8 each side @60% + 5-10 lbs
        • Kettlebell good mornings: 3 x 12 @30-40% + 5-10 lbs

        • Thursday
          • Kettlebell deadlift: 4 x 10 @60% + 5-10 lbs
          • Kettlebell back extensions: 4 x 5 @50% + 5-10 lbs
          • Kettlebell J curl: 4 x 6 @20% + 2.5-5

        Week 4

        • Monday
          • Kettlebell goblet squat: 4 x 5 @75% + 5-10 lbs
          • Kettlebell single leg RDL: 3 x 8 each side @60% + 5-10 lbs
          • Kettlebell good mornings: 3 x 12 @30-40% + 5-10 lbs

          • Thursday
            • Kettlebell deadlift: 4 x 10 @60% + 5-10 lbs
            • Kettlebell back extensions: 4 x 5 @50% + 5-10 lbs
            • Kettlebell J curl: 4 x 6 @20% + 2.5-5

          Best Kettlebells For Training Your Lower Back

          best kettlebells for training your lower back

          SHOP KETTLEBELLS

          The Gymreapers kettlebells are my all-time favorite kettlebells to use for a comprehensive lower back routine. These kettlebells are extremely durable, and affordable, and come in a variety of loads.

          These kettlebells are available in the following increments:

          • 4 kg (9 lbs)
          • 8 kg (18 lbs)
          • 10 kg (22 lbs)
          • 12 kg (26 lbs)
          • 14 kg (31 lbs)
          • 16 kg (35 lbs)
          • 18 kg (40 lbs)
          • 20 kg (44 lbs)
          • 40 kg (88 lbs)

          The range of loads available allows you to perform a variety of exercises and encourages progression over time.

          Additionally, the ergonomic design of the Gymreapers kettlebell allows you to comfortably perform all of the exercises necessary to build a strong lower back. I highly recommend purchasing a set of these to take your training to the next level.

          Reading next

          8 Best Arm Blaster Exercises
          Best Hamstring Kettlebell Exercises

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