Kettlebell Workout for a Stronger Core

STACK Expert Alex Isaly shows you how to build core strength in six minutes with four kettlebell exercises.

Kettlebell Core Workout

A strong core is essential for stability, speed and agility, and it can also reduce your risk of injury and increase your speed of recovery.

One of the best ways to achieve a strong core is to incorporate a kettlebell workout into your training program. Here are four of my favorite kettlebell core exercises:

1. Kettlebell Reverse Crunch

  • Lie flat on your back with your legs fully extended.
  • Hold the kettlebell with both hands and extend your arms above your head.
  • Engage your core.
  • Bring your knees and the kettlebell together just above your abdomen.
  • Hold for one second and reverse the movement back to starting position.
  • Keep your lower back in contact with the floor throughout the move.

2. Kettlebell Windmill

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width.
  • Hold the kettlebell in your left hand.
  • Raise your left arm straight up in the air directly over your left shoulder.
  • Pivot your feet so your toes point to the right.
  • Place your right hand alongside your body.
  • Slowly lower your right hand toward the ground parallel to your right leg until you have reached full range of motion.
  • Engage your core and reverse the move back to starting position, maintaining straight arms throughout the move.
  • Perform on the opposite side.

Options for performing the windmill:

  1. Hold a kettlebell in each hand.
  2. Hold one kettlebell in the hand closest to the floor only.

3. Kettlebell Russian Twist

  • Sit on the floor with your knees slightly bent and your feet on the floor. (To increase the intensity, lift your feet approximately 6 inches off the floor.)
  • Hold the kettlebell with both hands at chest height.
  • Rotate your torso, attempting to touch the floor with your elbows.
  • Keep your chest elevated and your shoulders back, not rounded forward.
  • To increase the intensity from this position, lower your back, minimizing the angle between your back and the floor.

4. Turkish 1/2 Get-Up

  • Lie on your back with a kettlebell in your right hand.
  • Place your left leg flat on the ground and your right knee off the floor at a 90-degree angle.
  • Straighten your right arm, holding the kettlebell directly over your right shoulder.
  • Your left arm should lie straight and flat on the floor away from your body, palm down.
  • Using only your abs, come to a sitting position, raising the kettlebell up toward the ceiling.
  • Using your left arm for balance and support, sit up to where your left arm is straight and only your left hand is on the floor.
  • Raise your hips toward the ceiling using your abs while squeezing your glutes.
  • Once you have reached your maximum range of motion, slowly lower your hips back to the ground and reverse the movement back to the starting position.

You don't need to spend hours a day doing core exercises. In just six short minutes you can strengthen your core and elevate your athletic performance by integrating the following workout into your training program. You are guaranteed to feel the burn with this one.

TIME

(Minutes)

EXERCISE

RPE

(1-10)

0-1:00

Kettlebell Reverse Crunch

7-8

1:00-1:15

Active Recovery/Transition

4-5

1:15-2:15

Kettlebell Windmill

(30 seconds on right; 30 seconds on left)

8-9

2:15-2:30

Active Recovery/Transition

4-5

2:30-3:30

Kettlebell Russian Twist

7-8

3:30-3:45

Active Recovery/Transition

4-5

3:45-4:45

Turkish 1/2 Get-Up

7-8

4:45-6:00

Cool Down

Lie flat on your back with your arms and legs fully extended (30 seconds) / Pull your knees toward your chest, hug your knees with both arms and pull your knees into your body (hold for 30 seconds)

3-4

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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: CORE | CHEST | KETTLEBELL EXERCISES | WORKOUTS | EXERCISE | RECOVERY | INTENSITY | CRUNCH | RANGE OF MOTION | KETTLEBELL | CORE EXERCISES