You may have read that the kettlebell is an awesome addition to your fitness program for strength, flexibility and endurance, but did you know that you can build incredible abs with this little piece of equipment too?
Your core is important to your overall health and to performing daily activities with ease. And, your core is more than ripped abs – although those are great too! But your true core muscles are from front to back and all around. They help to protect your spine, keep your posture straight and protect your organs in your abdomen from injury.
Let’s look at how you can use the kettlebell to improve the front half of your core muscles.
True core training will help to stabilize your spine and not work it through flexion and extension. Strong abs and back will help you to lift more and reduce your risk of back injury. You can do sit ups with the kettlebell, but more recent research has shown that you get better results without the additional stress on your back through the flexion.
Although this looks like a kids game or a ball handling skill for basketball, it is a great exercise for your range of mobility in your shoulders and engages your abs and core and adds to an isometric squat exercise.
Start by grasping the kettleball with both hands, bent at the hips, knees bent and flat back. Keep your knees inside your feet, weight towards your heels and hips back.
From here you move the kettlebell in a figure 8 around your legs. Reach with each of your hands and really move your upper body while keeping your chest and abs strong and stationary. You will sway a bit as the kettlebell moves around the body.
Stand straight and holding the kettlebell in both hands with your weight back to your heels. Lift your left knee and twist with the kettlebell so that it touches your left hip. Return to neutral position and repeat on your right side. Keep your upper body as stable as possible to reduce torsion on your spine.
Half Get Up
World class trainer Todd Durkin uses this exercise with his NFL players.
Lie on your back with your left knee bent to 90 degrees and your left arm flat to the ground, palm down. Hold the kettlebell in your right arm above your right shoulder. Keeping your arm above your shoulder move up while supporting your weight and balancing with your left elbow.
Return to the starting position and repeat 10 times. Move the kettlebell to the other hand, switch positions and repeat 10 times.