One move can build core strength and stronger legs, and all you need is a kettlebell

Improve your balance, enhance your performance, and train your legs with this weighted squat variation

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

If you're after an exercise to target multiple muscle groups, especially your core and lower body, the kettlebell squat and jump is a great place to start. The compound move improves your cardio health, requires core strength, and works your legs.

You don't need weights to get started, but adding one of the best kettlebells increases the load and improves the muscle-building effect. These versatile weights are also an ideal companion for at-home training, including kettlebell swings, lunges, and rows.

It might sound like a single move, but the kettlebell squat and jump is a combination exercise. The first step is to stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart and place a kettlebell between your feet.

Lower into a squat, grip the kettlebell and return to standing. While holding the weight, lower back into a squat, place the kettlebell on the ground, and then explosively jump into the air, landing in a standing position.

Fortunately, you can also practice your form using Workout With Gina's kettlebell squat demo on TikTok. The personal trainer's short video is shot from the side so that you can easily see the position you need to take.

Watch Workout With Gina's kettlebell squat

@workout.with.gina

♬ Work Out (Talkbox) - Adam Tahere

Although it's a workout staple, it's worth a quick refresher on how to do a squat correctly. This helps you focus on your form—essential when working with weights to avoid injury—and get the best results from your training.

Despite its relative simplicity, the kettlebell squat and jump is an effective way to build muscle and improve your cardio fitness. However, if you don't have a kettlebell handy, you can use this 10-move dumbbell workout to build core strength instead.

What are the benefits of core strength?

Squats are a popular way to work your lower body, but they can also help develop core strength. Your core is an area of mid-body muscle that includes your abs and lower back. While many people aim for six-pack abs, there's more to your core than visually appealing muscle.

Developing a stronger core improves balance, enhances exercise and workout performance, and promotes good blood circulation. One study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science even found that core strength helps reduce lower back pain.

If you're after alternative ways to train your core, the best workouts for abs are a great place to start. You can use them together as a routine or add them to your workout. Plus, you can do these bodyweight moves from anywhere too.

James Frew
James Frew

James is a London-based journalist and Staff Writer 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.