Rows are a bit hard on my back, particularly if I use the barbell. I liked to use dumbbells for a classic row, until I discovered kettlebells, that is.
The beauty of using kettlebells for rows is that you have to pull them a bit higher to get the same effect. This takes more energy, and gives your upper back muscles a good workout. The higher you pull the weights, the more muscles you hit with the rows.
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Here's how to rock it:
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, your back straight and head up.
Bend forward at the waist, keeping that back perfectly straight. Bend your knees a bit (the focus is on your back, not your hamstrings).
Grasp the kettlebell handles, and pull them toward your upper stomach (not your chest). Make sure to keep your elbows tucked in tight by your side and your back straight.
Extend your arms to lower the weights, and repeat.
Reps as desired
Definitely one of the best upper back exercises to do!