The importance of enhancing core strength through care training needs no new emphasis. A strong core not only enhances athletic performance, but also helps the day to day tasks easier and that’s way core training is an integral part of the best workout routines. But are there any effective and functional alternatives to crunches for building the power-packed core? The answer lies in kettlebell core exercises that engage multiple muscle groups at the same time and make for a killer workout for the midsection. The powerful kettlebell moves include swings, snatches, windmill, snatches, Turkish get up and many more.
5 Basic Rules for Core Training
The core is one of most important part of the body that controls the full range of movement right from heavy weight lifting to sprinting. So it is important to follow a few rules by training the core muscles.
- Train Abs toward the End of the Workout session – The core muscles are required for each and every exercise right from squats and jumping jacks to spot jogging. And abs training at the beginning or middle of the workout session is bound to burn and exhaust the abs which will cause the workout to suffer. Therefore, it is best to do ab training exercises at the end of the exercise session.
- Give Rest To the Core – Just as any other muscle group, the core also requires rest in order to recover from the stress of the workout and repair the muscles and tissues so that they can get stronger. So, it is best to train the core on alternate days.
- Core Workouts are Ideal for Active Rest – We are often told that the rest period between two circuits should never be static. There must always be some movement of the body. Medium intensity core workouts such as planks and leg raises are the best option for staying active between exercises.
- Core is not only Abs – When it comes to core training, most of us thing of abdominal muscles, but the core is much more than the abs, it is the entire trunk that also includes the back muscles. Therefore, in order to have a balanced core training program, there must be equal emphasis on the abs and the back that will help in yielding faster results and reduce the risk of injuries.
- Bring Variation – The most effective way to get fast results from core training is by challenging the muscles with new exercises and bringing variation to the workout routine. Challenging workouts will put stress on the muscle fibers and make them stronger and denser.
10 Best Kettlebell Exercises for Advanced Core Training
Kettlebells are the perfect core strengthening equipments that can be used for isolation exercises as well as full body exercises. Working out with kettlebells helps in increasing the strength and conditioning of the major muscle groups and the best thing about these exercises is that they show quick results.
Single Arm Kettlebell Swing
The kettlebell single arm swings are the master of all kettlebell core exercises that not only burns fat, but also enhances the stability of the entire body. The powerful moves involved in this exercise require powerful hip thrust using the glutes and hamstring muscles that generate submaximal muscular contractions for a long period of time which is amazing for enhancing muscular endurance. It is a full body training exercise that engages almost all the major groups of muscles.
Stand with your feet placed shoulder width apart holding a kettlebell in your right hand. Now, lower your torso forward, swing the kettlebell under your hips and then thrust it up in front of you so that it rises to the level of your head, and then swing it back to the starting position. Repeat with the left hand as well.
The goblet squats are one of the easiest kettlebell moves that help in perfecting the squat exercise and improves core strength. The upright position of this exercise puts greater emphasis on the quads and also works the hamstrings and glutes. This kettlebells workout helps in strengthening the back and also boosts up the metabolism process to promote fat burning.
Grab the kettlebell with both hands and keep the handle facing towards the floor. Keep your feet placed shoulder width apart and squat down until your elbows touch your knees and then push your body up by driving through the heels.
Kettlebell windmill is the ultimate core strengthening exercise to develop brutal core strength. This exercise works the deep core muscles, lower back and obliques along with the glutes. It works each glute individually and activates the muscles to reduce lower back pain and enhance athletic performance.
Hold a kettlebell overhead with your right hand bend your torso towards the left so that your left hand touches the left foot. Keep the right arm raised and straight and keep your eyes fixed at the kettlebells. Now, come back to the starting position and repeat the move on the other side by switching the kettlebell to your left hand.
The halo is one of the best kettlebell exercises that help in building muscles throughout the upper body. It is an amazing cardiovascular and resistance exercise that keeps the muscles engaged at all times in order to keep the kettlebell under control. This exercise targets the shoulder muscles that includes the deltoids, trapezius and upper back muscles. It also works the pectoral muscles along with the triceps.
Stand with your feet placed shoulder width apart holding the horns of the kettlebell with both hands. Now, raise the kettlebell above your head and move it around the head in a circular motion – clockwise and then anti-clockwise.
The overhead lunge is the ultimate kettlebell workout for abs that shreds all the muscles of the body and pushes the abs to the overdrive. This exercise helps in building both upper and lower body strength at the same time and enhances power of the quads, glutes and core.
Stand with your feet placed shoulder width apart and hold a kettlebell directly over your head. Now, take a step forward and lower your body to a deep lunge position and see to it that the forward knee stays over the forward foot. Return to the standing position by forcefully driving the forward heel into the ground. Repeat the same on the other side.
The single arm thruster using kettlebells is one of the most effective core training exercises that involves total body movement and also allows isolation training of one arm at a time. It also works the leg muscles and helps in developing stronger and larger leg muscles.
Keep your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart and hold the dumbbell with your right hand and keep it in front of your shoulder. Now, squat down completely till your elbows are near your knees. Stand up by pressing the kettlebell overhead by extending your right hand. Repeat the same by switching the kettlebell to the left hand.
Kettlebell Sit Up
The kettlebell sit ups in a power packed kettlebell ab exercises that are included in the best workout routines for enhancing core strength. It also engages the shoulder muscles and strengthens the entire torso, upper back and hip flexors.
Lie down with your knees bent and heels pressed on the floor, holding a kettlebell with both hands and hooking the thumbs inside the handle. Bring the kettlebell over your chest keeping the arms straight and do a sit up by engaging the core. Slowly roll up your body and sit straight and then gradually roll back to the starting position.
Kettlebell Ab Extension
The ab extension is the ultimate kettlebell ab workout for core conditioning that not only enhances core strength, but also works the shoulders, back and legs at the top of each repetition.
Lie down holding a kettlebell with both hands, hooking the thumbs inside the handle. Now, curl your knees up towards your chest and lift the shoulders of the ground at the same time. Crunch the kettlebell between your arms and legs. Next, slowly extend your arms and legs and try to straighten your limbs but keep your feet and the kettlebells 2 to 4 inches up from the ground and then crunch your abs again to repeat the movement.
The batwing row is a common part of the kettlebell workout routine that works the rhomboids – the rhomboid major and rhomboid minor and tones and enhances the shoulder muscles.
Hold two kettlebells of equal weight in both hands and bend your torso forward so that it is almost parallel to the floor by bending at the hips. Now, move the weight in the right hand up to your ribs by pulling the shoulder blade back. Hold the position for few seconds and then lower the weight and lift the weight in our left hand up to your ribs by pulling the shoulder blade back. Hold the position for few seconds and then lower the weight. Continue to repeat the row on alternate sides.
Kneeling Single-Arm Hold and Stand
The kneeling single-arm hold and stand is a dynamite kettlebells workout that helps in developing iron strong core, well-defined shoulders and ripped arms. This is a full body exercise that engages all the major muscle groups of the body.
Kneel down on the floor holding a kettlebell in your right hand and raise it over your head by extending the hand up above your shoulder. Keep the left arm at your side and bring your left foot forward to come to a half kneeling position. Brace your core and stand up. Return to the starting position using a reverse movement and repeat the exercise by switching the kettlebell to the left hand.
Bring a variation to your core training by coming out of push ups and crunches and incorporating kettlebells in your core strengthening exercises.