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How To Gorilla Row: Complete Guide

The Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise is a dynamic and effective movement that combines elements of the row and kettlebell swing. This compound exercise targets the back muscles while also engaging the shoulders, core, and grip strength.

By incorporating the Gorilla Row Kettlebell into your workout routine, you can develop upper body strength, improve posture, and enhance overall functional fitness.

During the Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise, you'll perform a powerful hip hinge movement, similar to a kettlebell swing, while simultaneously executing a rowing motion.

How To Gorilla Row

This exercise not only strengthens the back muscles, including the lats and rhomboids, but also engages the shoulders and core for stability and control.

The added challenge of controlling the kettlebell's movement enhances grip strength and coordination.

One of the key benefits of the Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise is its versatility. It can be modified to suit different fitness levels and goals.

Whether you're a beginner looking to build strength or an advanced athlete aiming to improve power and muscle definition, the Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise can be adapted to meet your specific needs.

In the following sections, we'll delve into the proper form, variations, and progressions of this exercise, as well as provide a sample workout routine to help you incorporate it into your training regimen.

Get ready to unleash your inner gorilla and take your back training to the next level!

II. Benefits of Gorilla Row Kettlebell

How To Gorilla Row

  • Engages Multiple Muscle Groups: The Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise targets not only the back muscles, such as the lats and rhomboids, but also the shoulders and core. This compound movement allows you to work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, maximizing your training efficiency.

  • Improves Posture and Upper Body Stability: By strengthening the back muscles and promoting proper alignment, the Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise can help improve posture and reduce the risk of postural imbalances. Additionally, the engagement of the core muscles during the exercise enhances upper body stability and control.

  • Enhances Grip Strength: The Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise challenges your grip strength as you hold and control the kettlebell throughout the movement. Over time, this can lead to increased grip strength, which is beneficial for various activities and exercises both inside and outside the gym.

  • Increases Muscle Definition and Power: The combination of the rowing motion and explosive hip hinge in the Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise can contribute to increased muscle definition in the back, shoulders, and core. Additionally, the power generated through the movement can enhance overall athletic performance and functional fitness.

  • Promotes Functional Fitness: The Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise mimics real-life movements and engages multiple muscle groups, making it a functional exercise. By improving your strength, stability, and coordination, this exercise can enhance your ability to perform daily activities and sports with greater ease and efficiency.

Incorporating the Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise into your workout routine can offer a wide range of benefits, from improved posture and muscle definition to enhanced grip strength and functional fitness. It's a versatile exercise that can be customized to suit your fitness level and goals.

In the following sections, we'll delve deeper into the proper form, variations, and training recommendations for the Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise.

III. Proper Form and Technique

Grip and Stance:

  • Hold a kettlebell in each hand with an overhand grip, palms facing your body.

  • Position your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with toes pointed slightly outward.

  • Maintain a strong and stable stance, keeping your knees slightly bent and your core engaged throughout the exercise.

Body Alignment:

  • Begin with a neutral spine by keeping your back straight and shoulders pulled back.

  • Avoid rounding your back or hunching your shoulders, as this can put unnecessary strain on your spine.

  • Keep your head in a neutral position, aligned with your spine.

Movement Pattern:

  • Initiate the movement by hinging at the hips, pushing your hips backward while maintaining a slight bend in your knees.

  • Lower your torso until it is almost parallel to the floor, maintaining a flat back throughout.

  • Pull the kettlebells towards your chest by retracting your shoulder blades and squeezing your back muscles. Keep your elbows close to your body during the pulling motion.

  • Aim to bring the kettlebells as close to your chest as possible while maintaining proper form and control.

  • Pause briefly at the top of the movement, focusing on contracting your back muscles.

  • Slowly lower the kettlebells back to the starting position, extending your arms fully.

Performing the Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise correctly is essential to maximize its benefits and reduce the risk of injury. Focus on maintaining proper form, engaging the target muscles, and controlling the movement throughout.

As you become more comfortable with the exercise, you can increase the weight and intensity to challenge your muscles further. Remember to start with a weight that allows you to perform the exercise with proper form and gradually progress from there.

IV. Variations and Progressions

(credits: OPEX Fitness)

Single-Arm Gorilla Row:

  • Perform the Gorilla Row exercise using only one kettlebell at a time.

  • This variation adds an additional challenge to your core and stability, as you have to resist rotation and maintain balance.

  • Alternate between sides or complete a set on one side before switching to the other.

Staggered Stance Gorilla Row:

  • Assume a staggered stance by positioning one foot slightly in front of the other.

  • This variation adds a rotational element to the exercise, engaging your obliques and enhancing overall core stability.

Progressing the Exercise:

  • Gradually increase the weight of the kettlebell as your strength improves.

  • You can also increase the number of sets and reps to further challenge your muscles.

  • To add intensity, try incorporating tempo variations, such as slowing down the lowering phase or pausing at the top of the movement.

  • Another progression option is to perform the Gorilla Row on an unstable surface, such as a balance board or BOSU ball, to engage more stabilizer muscles.

Remember, it's important to choose variations and progressions that align with your fitness level and goals. Start with proper form and technique, then gradually introduce modifications to continue challenging your body.

As always, listen to your body, and if you're unsure about any modifications or progressions, consult with a qualified fitness professional for guidance.

V. Sample Gorilla Row Kettlebell Workout


  • Perform 5-10 minutes of light cardio to raise your heart rate and warm up your muscles.

  • Perform dynamic stretches for your upper body and hips.

Main Workout:

Gorilla Row Kettlebell: 3 sets of 10-12 reps per arm.

  • Choose a kettlebell weight that challenges you while maintaining proper form.

  • Rest for 60-90 seconds between sets.

Push-Ups: 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

  • Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

  • Lower your chest to the ground while keeping your body in a straight line.

  • Rest for 45-60 seconds between sets.

Goblet Squats: 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

Hold a kettlebell by the horns close to your chest.

  • Lower into a squat position, keeping your heels on the ground and your chest up.

  • Rest for 60-75 seconds between sets.

Plank: 3 sets of 30-45 seconds.

  • Assume a push-up position, but rest on your forearms.

  • Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe.

  • Rest for 30-45 seconds between sets.

Cool Down:

  • Perform static stretches for the major muscle groups worked during the workout.

  • Take deep breaths and allow your heart rate to gradually come down.

Note: Adjust the weight, sets, and reps based on your fitness level and capabilities. If you're a beginner, start with lighter weights and fewer sets/reps, gradually progressing as you become more comfortable and stronger. Always listen to your body and modify the workout as needed.

Pairing the Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise with complementary movements like push-ups, squats, and planks helps create a balanced full-body workout, targeting different muscle groups and promoting overall strength and stability.


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VII. Conclusion

In conclusion, the Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise offers a range of benefits and versatility for your fitness routine. By engaging multiple muscle groups, including the back, shoulders, and core, it promotes strength, stability, and improved posture.

The exercise also enhances grip strength and can contribute to increased muscle definition, power, and functional fitness.

Incorporating the Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise into your training routine can be highly beneficial. However, it is important to prioritize proper technique and form to maximize results and prevent injury.

Gradual progression, increasing the weight or exploring variations, will help you continuously challenge your body and stimulate muscle growth.

Remember to listen to your body and customize the workout to your fitness level and goals. Seek guidance from a qualified fitness professional if needed.

By consistently incorporating the Gorilla Row Kettlebell exercise into your routine and maintaining proper technique, you can enhance your back strength, overall fitness, and achieve your desired results.


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