Kettlebell is a total-body workout that has huge benefits for your core. Using the weight in controlled movements around the body, every muscle in the core is working together to balance you as you move. Here are three beginner kettlebell exercises to work the core and gain strength.
When choosing the weight of the kettlebell as a beginner, always err on the side of caution and begin with a lower weight. Practice the movement with the lower weight until you feel confident in your control of the weight during the movement. Once your confidence builds, you can always increase the weight.
In a standing position, engage your core and hold the kettlebell in the two-handed “racked” position. The racked position is where the kettlebell is held at chest-height with your elbows tucked by your side. Continue to hold the kettlebell high just under the chin, keep your elbows tucked tight to the side body. Lower down into a squat and raise up to standing keeping the kettlebell in the same position. As you squat and stabilize the weight, focus on slow, controlled movement and staying rooted through your heels. This engages the entire frontal plain and core. Through the squat, the core provides balance and connection between the lower body and loaded upper body. Advanced Move: Take it the next level with a front press or overhead press at the bottom of the squat.
The deadlift is a foundational kettlebell movement. Place the kettlebell to the side of one foot on the ground. Stand with feet hips-width apart. Root into your heels as you lower your seat back into a hinge position with a bend in the knees and a neutral back. Lift the weight and rise to standing by engaging your glutes and core. By placing the weight on one side of the body, it forces the core to engage and stabilize the body. The one-handed variety requires linkage through the obliques and latissimus dorsi. Advanced Move: Take this movement to the next level with the one-legged deadlift.
Stand with feet hips-distance apart and hold the kettlebell with two hands in the racked position with the bottom of the kettlebell up. Lift the kettlebell over one shoulder, to the side of the head, move the weight around to the back of the head with a rolling motion to make a “halo” or a circle around the head, and end back in racked position at your chest. Next rep will alternate the movement on the opposite side. The core engages as the weight is lifted over shoulder height and stabilizes the body as the weight moves from one side of the body to the other. Advanced Move: When confident, try a back lunge/halo combo.