Tag: windmills

3 Core Kettlebell Training Exercises You’ve Never Done Before

3 core kettlebell training exercises for a strong, lean mid-section

we must progress beyond the plank


The 3 exercises we are laying out in this post will not only challenge your core in ways it likely hasn’t been challenged, but it will also challenge your body’s mobility. You see, your core, or trunk as we like to call it, is designed to be able to transfer energy while your limb’s and joints move around it. You’ll begin to understand what we’re talking about as soon as you begin learning how to do windmills in your kettlebell training. If your mobility is good, you’ll feel the tension and strength stimulus applied to your obliques and entire lateral subsystem, which is incredibly important and often neglected. If your mobility is poor, you’ll quickly realize how limited your range of motion is in this movement pattern, and if you are very limited, imagine just how limited your core’s function and strength is? 

As you can see in this picture below, this movement, while incredible for your trunk, will require hip mobility, hamstring mobility, and shoulder mobility.

After watching the video, I’m sure you can tell this isn’t a walk in the park kettlebell training exercise. This typically develops a love-hate relationship with the kettlebell slanger, but what they learn to love about it is how much stronger and mobile they feel as they improve in this lift. You can get remarkably strong with consistent practice of this movement, and you can imagine which muscle may begin to show more because of your consistent effort.

Gladiator Holds

Any kettlebell training exercise that has the adjective “gladiator” attached to it must be tried, am I right? This core exercise is a piece of the gladiator get-up kettlebell training exercise that is awesome as well; however, it is the sequence that we are focusing on right now. Once again, the lateral subsystem of the core is forced to work hard in this position. You likely know what a side plank feels like, and perhaps you’ve mastered that movement. Well, it’s time to move on and advance the movement and add some resistance and abduct (lift) the leg from the stacked position. Check out the video:

As you’ll soon realize, the difficulty quickly amplifies once you abduct the leg off of your other leg. Not only do you feel the increased stress on your obliques and lats, but you’ll also feel your glute medius fire up like no tomorrow!

Like many kettlebell training exercises, we can also take this exercise one step further by holding this position from our hand with our arm extended, and if you’re truly crazy, add a kettlebell to the top hand for some added resistance. 

As you’re beginning to see, this is how kettlebell abs are formed.

tick tocks

The first two kettlebell training exercises were more static in nature, which after all, stability is the main function of the trunk, and while tick tocks will seem more like a motion based trunk exercise, the trunk is largely stabilizing and resisting motion in the rotational plane. Check out this video and pay attention to the mid-section:

As you can see, the trunk stays relatively “quiet” in this movement. Some key cues are to “keep your shoulder blades glued to the ground” and “own the movement, don’t let momentum own you.” The goal in this movement isn’t to flop over and touch the ground with your legs and try and bounce back to the middle. No, no, the goal is to control every inch of this movement. Once again, you’ll feel your mid-section get ripped up in this kettlebell training movement.

wait, this isn’t how i’ve traditionally trained my abs!