KettlebellThe kettlebell craze has gripped many of Australia’s fitness enthusiasts, and for good reason. Although it is bulkier than a dumbbell, its odd shape makes it the perfect exercise implement for swinging lifts and cardio. Working out with kettlebells develops some of your least used muscles, and promotes a much more balanced, flexible, and functional physique.

One area where the kettlebell excels is in core training. Most gyms that have kettlebell programs, like, implement these exercises in their routines. Give them a burl, and treat your midsection to a harder workout than it has ever experienced before.

1. The kettlebell swing – This is usually the first exercise that you will learn, and it happens to be fantastic for your midsection as well. But that’s only if you do it right; most beginners swing with the arms, rather than utilising their lower body to move the weight. Think of it like a deadlift, where your legs and hips do the work, and your arms are just there to hold it in place.

2. Push press – Although most people use this to develop their shoulders, the kettlebell push press is also an excellent way to strengthen your core muscles, especially the obliques. Since most people neglect the sides of their core, this is a must-have exercise in your routine. 3. Kettlebell halo – This is one of those moves that look incredibly simple until you actually try it yourself. The kettlebell halo is a highly underrated exercise that will give your core a brutal beating, especially when you do it in a half kneeling position. Make sure that the weight is moving, though, and not your head.

4. Single leg deadlift – Want to improve your balance, work your entire posterior chain, and develop your core all at the same time? If so, the single leg kettlebell deadlift is your best friend. Add a row to the end of every rep for maximum benefit.

5. Offset squat – While normal squatting exercises train the core, putting the kettlebell on one side of the body works it even harder. This instability forces your midsection to compensate in order to keep the right form, taxing your muscles greatly.

You might notice that these lifts are not isolation exercises at all. Unlike dumbbells, kettlebells work best when you utilise your entire body. This is a good thing, as it means you get better results, and develop your functional strength.

As with all forms of lifting, keep in mind that having perfect form is crucial for all these exercises. Start with a weight you can easily manage while learning the movements, and then work your way up from there. Poor form will not just sabotage your results, but can easily lead to injuries.

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