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Intense Kettlebell Workout for the Posterior Chain

Intense workout complex for the posterior chain (back, glutes and hamstrings). You can also use dumbbells instead of kettlebells!

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ere is an intense kettlebell complex for the posterior chain. Complex merely means that you do a series of exercises in succession in one set (or a "round") without any rest between the exercises while using the same weight(s). 

This complex workout is designed to target the posterior side of the body (also known as "the posterior chain").

You will hit the entire back (upper, middle and lower), glutes and hamstrings with the kettlebell swing and you will train the lats, traps and core with the renegade row.

We talked more about the benefits of complex training in the previous kettlebell workout:

Complex training will allow you to save plenty of workout time and hit many birds with one stone.​ It's efficient, effective and something athletes have been utilizing for a long time.

In complex sets you are frequently switching the exercise, the exercises are often big compound exercises and you are not grinding one body part to death, which makes the complex workouts much easier and faster to recover from.​

Complex training is especially beneficial for athletes and martial artists who want to develop strength and power, but not become overly fatigued or sore from the workouts (which could disturb their main practice).​

Like mentioned above, a complex like this is fantastic for athletes and martial artists: 

  1. You will maintain and develop strength without getting too sore from the workout (because you don't blast any body part till failure).
  2. You work on conditioning.
  3. It's efficient and saves time.
  4. You use your entire body and core in the compound exercises.

The workout can be done in a very short time but with very good results. You will develop strength while also working on your conditioning. If traditional forms of cardio are boring, try a complex like this.

See also our previous kettlebell workouts:

Posterior Chain Workout

Round 1

Double kettlebell swing: 4 x 4 repetitions

Renegade row: 4 x 2 repetitions (second with a core twist)

Round 2

Double kettlebell swing: 5 x 4 repetitions

Renegade row: 5 x 2 repetitions (second with a core twist)

Round 3

Double kettlebell swing: 5 x 4 repetitions

Renegade row: 5 x 2 repetitions (second with a core twist)

Rest 1-2 minutes between rounds. No rest between exercises during the rounds.

Double Kettlebell Swing

double kettlebell swing workout

Double kettlebell swing is a great explosive exercise for the entire posterior chain. You will nicely work the entire back, glutes and hamstrings.

Kettlebell swing is as old school as it gets (in the early 1900s Western strongmen would do the swing with dumbbells) and you can do it with 1 or 2 kettlebells at the time.

Kettlebell swing is also a great alternative to deadlifts and the great thing is that you don't need to use a lot of weight (great to do at home with a light dumbbell). In fact, too much weight can ruin the explosive nature of the lift and make the exercise less effective in that regard.

In case you decide to use an adjustable dumbbell, placing 5-10% more weight to the lower side makes the swing smoother and places less stress on the wrist when using the neutral grip.

Using two kettlebells forces you to use a bit wider stance and it's slightly harder to hold onto the weights. Otherwise the difference isn't that crucial. 

Renegade Row

renegade row with a core twist

Renegade row is a special row variation where you do the dumbbell/kettlebell row from a plank position. 

You will mainly work the lats and traps from the back muscles​ because the arm travels so close to your body (less engagement from the posterior deltoids, teres major etc.)

Holding the plank will develop the abs but also the obliques because of the anti rotation (stability). You can further increase the obliques activation by adding a core twist to the movement.

Renegade row with a core twist is more a core exercise, whereas the conventional renegade row will train the back muscles more effectively (because the core isn't creating any momentum). For this reason, both variations should be utilized.