Kettlebell Exercises for Core Strength | MuscleSquad

icon Aug 16, 2023 - Stephanie Underwood

Injury Prevention + Rehabilitation Series Part 2: Stabilising Your Core

When someone mentions training your core, the most common thing that comes to mind is training your “abs,” but the core is made up of a few more muscles that often get overlooked. Along with the Rectus Abdominis (the six pack visible abs) and lower spinalis muscles (the lower back muscles) we also have the Transverse Abdominis (which is the deeper lying muscle beneath everything else responsible for stability and bracing), and the Obliques (the muscles that wrap around our sides).

Kettlebells are a great way to train the core and kettlebell swings are one of the most popular posterior chain exercises around. However, we’ve put together a few different exercises you may want to try to target those often-overlooked areas of the core – the Transverse Abdominis and Obliques.

Single Arm Kettlebell Carries

Any single arm exercise requires a degree of core stability, but when you add the extra movement into it the demand on the core increases. By holding a moderately heavy weight in one hand your obliques on the opposite side of your body kick into gear to try and keep your torso upright. Then to walk at the same time you need to use the transverse abdominis to brace whilst moving with the weight. Moves like this are great for spotting any weaknesses and helping with postural imbalances.

Single Arm KB Carry

Intensifier: To make this exercise harder try holding the kettlebell in the “racked” position by your shoulder, or to make it harder still try holding the kettlebell in an overhead position with your arm straight up above your head, but this one isn’t for the faint of heart as not only your core but your shoulder stability will also be challenged!

Kettlebell Side Bends

Side Bends are a fantastic way to train the Obliques. The movement is fairly simple, but highly effective so start with a comfortable weight to get the technique down. Along with co-ordination and balance the side bend helps with posture, whilst improving your flexibility.

KB Side Bends Oblique

Variations: You can also do this movement with a dumbbell if you don’t have a kettlebell, or even on a cable machine. To make it more challenging simply add more weight to the movement.

Kettlebell Pass Arounds

The Kettlebell Pass Around or “Around the Worlds” is a great core stability challenge as you pass the kettlebell around the body from one hand to the other. The aim is to keep the core tight and have as little movement in the hips or body as possible. Not only is this a great core challenging exercise but it’s also a great one for shoulder mobility too. Sitting at a desk or being sedentary can lead to a lot of stiffness in the body so this can act as a great warmup movement before you start a workout!

KB Pass Around Workout

Intensifier: If you want an extra challenge try doing this on one leg!

Add these movements to your weekly workouts for some extra core work and watch your posture and core stability improve!


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