Train your core in just three moves with this trainer’s efficient kettlebell workout

The routine takes less than 20 minutes

Woman performs a kettlebell swing
(Image credit: Getty Images)

This three-move kettlebell workout won’t take up much of your day, but you’ll certainly feel the burn afterward. 

The exercises recruit multiple muscles across your body, while also challenging your core. You can do the quick routine on its own or tag it onto the end of your usual training session. 

As the repetitions (reps) are on the higher side, choose a kettlebell weight that you find challenging, but make sure it’s not so heavy that it ruins your form or stops you from completing the required number of reps. You might need different weights for different exercises, as some of the moves target smaller muscles.

Mari Cowie
Mari Cowie

Mari is the studio manager and personal trainer at F45 Mill Hill. She's a qualified chiropractor but has worked in the fitness industry for 15 years.

The workout

  • Kettlebell swing: 3x20
  • Single arm crunch: 3x10 per side
  • Russian twist: 3x15 per side

The exercises

1. Kettlebell swing 

Reps: 20 Sets: 3

  • Place the kettlebell a couple of feet in front of you. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and bend forward to grab the handle of the kettlebell with both hands. Keep your back flat and engage your lats (muscles across your back).
  • Pull the weight between your legs, then drive your hips forward and explosively swing the kettlebell up to shoulder height with arms straight in front of you. 
  • As the weight falls, squat and drive your hips back, allowing the kettlebell to swing back between your legs. That's one rep.

2. Single-arm crunch 

Reps: 10 per side Sets: 3

  • Lie on the floor with your legs out straight, holding a kettlebell in one hand, with your arm straight and held in the air overhead 90° from your chest.
  • Crunch up into a seated position, while moving your shoulder so the kettlebell remains directly over it.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

3. Russian twist 

Reps: 15 per side Sets: 3

  • Sit on the floor, with your knees bent and heels on the floor (you can also keep your heels elevated). Hold a kettlebell on your chest. Lean back at a 45° angle and engage your core.
  • Slowly rotate to one side, twisting through your core and taking the kettlebell towards the floor by your hip. 
  • Return to the center and repeat on the other side. If this is too difficult keep the heels in contact with the floor.

Need help finding a new weight? Our guide to the best kettlebells can help

Lou Mudge
Fitness Writer

Lou Mudge is a Health Writer at Future Plc, working across Fit&Well and Coach. She previously worked for Live Science, and regularly writes for and Pet's Radar. Based in Bath, UK, she has a passion for food, nutrition and health and is eager to demystify diet culture in order to make health and fitness accessible to everybody.

Multiple diagnoses in her early twenties sparked an interest in the gut-brain axis and the impact that diet and exercise can have on both physical and mental health. She was put on the FODMAP elimination diet during this time and learned to adapt recipes to fit these parameters, while retaining core flavors and textures, and now enjoys cooking for gut health.