My studio gives no opportunity to mount pull up bar, and the pull up station takes too much place. I don't want to purchase any big devices because they take a lot of place.

Can I train my upper back muscles with kettlebells, indian clubs, dip up frames or other relatively small devices? What exercises can I use? I've found a lot of exercises for lower back, shoulders or even legs, but not for the muscle parts used by pull ups (maybe I've searched poorly?).

2 Answers 2


You want to look at rowing motions (horizontal pulling) in all it's forms rather than vertical. So...

  • Bent over rows
  • Gorilla rows
  • Inverted rows (using the dip frames, if they're tall enough)

You might also find that you get a surprising amount of upper back work from things like dips (if you pause at the top and keep a big chest), kettlebell swings (lats act to decelerate the 'bell at the top of the swing and initiate the downward motion), kettlebell windmills, and you can throw in things like L-sit progressions on the dip frames.


You can do pullovers with kettlebell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rV1aBNC2Bg I have seen guys doing pullovers with 32+kg KB.

Also you can buy and use ab wheel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqiTPdK1c_I

As was mentioned before, you can do any kind of rows with KB (there are hundreds of them).

And lastly, bsacially any exercise with KB done with strict hard style form is a upper back exercise (swing, snatch, press ...).

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