Build core strength with this five-move kettlebell workout

The short routine works your lower body and strengthens your core to improve stability and performance

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

There are plenty of ways to train your abs if you're after six-pack muscle. Workout staples like push ups, sit ups, and crunches are practical bodyweight abs exercises, but this short kettlebell workout can help shake things up and build lower body muscle too.

Unlike gym-based routines, all you need for this session is one of the best kettlebells at a challenging weight, but that you can still lift for at least 10-15 repetitions before taking a break.

The workout, courtesy of personal trainer Alice Liveing, makes good use of the kettlebell to raise your heart rate, work your core, and get your leg muscles working. There's no time limit, as the focus is on completing as many rounds as you can instead.

This is a form of AMRAP workout, an exercise style similar to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), but without prescribed rests between moves. This helps keep the intensity up for an efficient but effective workout.

Watch Alice Liveing's five-move kettlebell workout

Although many of us enjoy building upper body strength, particularly around our arms and chests, your leg muscles are just as important. Stronger legs make running easier and provide a more stable base for other exercises, particularly weight lifting.

By adding the kettlebell into the routine, you also increase the demand on your core. This area of mid-body muscle also plays a crucial role in your stability and balance, helps prevent injury, and improves your posture.

It might be a short routine, but you get an intense workout, leaving one Instagram user to comment, "My legs are shaking!!" Although Alice demonstrates each exercise, the moves you need are listed below if you want to complete the circuit yourself.

Alice Liveing's kettlebell workout moves

  • Goblet squats (x10-12⁣)
  • Single leg Romanian deadlift (x10-12 each side)
  • Lateral lunges (x8-10 each side⁣)
  • Front racked reverse lunges (x8-10 each side)
  • Kettlebell swings (x12-15)

The kettlebell swing is an effective exercise on its own, which is why some people take up the one-month kettlebell swings challenge. It's a difficult target, 100 swings each day, but it trains your glutes, hamstrings, core, upper back in just a single move.

If your goal is to develop core strength, it's worth adding the best workouts for abs into your routine alongside Alice Liveing's dumbbell session. You just need a set of the best adjustable dumbbells to get started.

James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.

In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.