Getting a ripped set of washboard abs not only looks good but is an important part of building your core strength.  Strong abdominals bring balance to the front and back of your body and help to prevent injury.

In order to keep your core muscles strong and flexible, you should include abdominal exercises in your fitness routine.  Using kettlebells is a great way to get a full body workout that includes strengthening your core.

Why Use kettlebells

Kettlebell routines allow you to get a cardio and strength workout done at the same time while being gentle on the body.  Many kettlebell exercises involve swinging the weights in different positions, quickly elevating your heart rate to the same level as a traditional cardio workout.  Because you are lifting weights at the same time, you burn more calories than you would if you were just doing cardio.

The added bonus of a kettlebell routine is that one exercise flows into the next, similar to yoga.  These fluid transitions are easier on the joints and pose less risk of injury than some forms of aerobic exercise and strength training.

The size and shape of kettlebells make them a versatile tool that can be incorporated into a variety of exercise programs from high-intensity interval training (HITT) to traditional cardio workouts.  Be creative and use them to add variety to almost any workout routine.

Kettlebells are a great way to improve your functional strength.  This develops the muscles we need to get through our daily activities like climbing stairs, bending down to pick something up, and even standing for extended periods of time.  When you swing a kettlebell, you are building muscles and improving joint mobility, coordination, and balance.

If you are serious about your kettlebell workout but don’t have the time to design your own program, the Ultimate Kettlebell Challenge Workout is an excellent option. This program will help you get started with kettlebell training by teaching you how to perform a variety of exercises safely and effectively.

It includes 41 kettlebell exercises, 33 kettlebell challenge workouts, and an eight-week training plan.  The program comes with videos and illustrated guides providing detailed instruction, coaching, cues, technique corrections, and drills.

Kettlebell Core Exercises

The following exercises will help to build strength, power, stability, and coordination while at the same time creating a strong and balanced core.

  • Single-Arm Front Squat – Start with your feet shoulder width With your left arm raised in front of you, hold a kettlebell in your right hand and bend your elbow so the weight is even with your right shoulder. Lower into a squat position, pause, and return to the starting position. Complete your set and repeat with the other arm.
  • Single-Arm Floor Press – Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a kettlebell in one hand with your arm on the floor and elbow bent. Push your arm straight up, pause, and return to the starting position. Complete your set and repeat with the other arm.
  • Kettlebell Swing – Start with the feet shoulder width apart, holding the kettlebell by the handle with both hands, arms relaxed. Lean forward and get into a squat position.  Quickly moving into a standing position, while swinging the weight up to chest level, hold, then return to the squat position, hold, and repeat.
  • Batwing Row – Begin by bending forward at your hips while holding a kettlebell in each hand with your arms fully extended. Pull the right kettlebell up to your ribs focusing on the shoulder muscles.  Pause and return to the starting position.Complete your set and repeat with the other arm.
  • Kneeling Single-Arm Hold and Stand –Start in a kneeling position, holding a kettlebell in your left hand while keeping your arm straight above your head. Move your right leg in front of you and come into a half kneel, then stand all the way up. Bring your right leg back and then your left to return to the original kneeling position. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Complete your set and repeat with the other arm.

Core Circuit

The above exercises can be combined into one workout session to create a complete core circuit.  Don’t forget to include a five-minute warm up and cool down as part of your workout to prevent injuries. Repeat each exercise for 30 seconds and rest for 15 seconds between sets.

Once you have completed all of the exercises, take a two-minute break before beginning again.  Repeat the entire circuit four times and you’ll shred your core in no time!

If you’re the type of person that likes to follow along with a video, this is a great one with the top 6 kettlebell core exercises!