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How to Strengthen Core Using a Kettlebell

Get Lifted: Kettlebell Figure Eights

If you're looking for exercises to do using a kettlebell, you can strengthen your thighs and tush by doing swinging kettlebell squats or swinging kettlebell squat lunge. Here's another move to add to your routine that will not only target your thighs, but will also give you a killer workout for your core. I'm using a five-pound kettlebell, but if you want more of a challenge, I'd go for a 10- or 15-pounder.

To learn how to do this move,


  • Stand with your feet wider than hips-width apart, toes slightly pointing out. Squat down and hold a kettlebell with both hands between your legs. Make sure your back is flat and your abs are engaged.
  • Let go of the handle with your right hand and bring your arm behind your right thigh. Pass the kettlebell to your right hand.
  • Swing the kettlebell around the front of your right thigh, through your legs, and behind your left thigh. Transfer the bell to your left hand. Swing it around the front of your left thigh, through your legs and behind your right thigh, transferring the kettlebell to your right hand.
  • Go back and forth, completing these figure eights without pausing for a total of three sets of 15 to 20 reps.
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mschelley mschelley 6 years
Erik and Jay are soooo right. I've been doing k-bell workouts with a RKC certified trainer for about 2 years and we have never done the above move before and I'm sure we never will. Doing just 10 reps (correctly) of the 6 moves Jay listed will get your heart rate up and your muscles toned if you do them frequently. I need to listen to my own to k-bell class I go!
mandaleebee mandaleebee 7 years
Just tried this workout and really like it. I just focused on keeping my knees behind my toes, and my back flat. Thanks for the tip!
Eric-Kenyon-RKC Eric-Kenyon-RKC 7 years
Well, I would not recommend doing a kettlebell figure 8 with the neck cranked up out of alignment or with the back all hunched over like the model shown. Actually I can not think of a good reason to ever do that exercise even if you managed to do it with safe body alignment. There is no sport or natural movement in life where you pass an object from one hand to another between your legs. If you want to “target your thighs,” the kettlebell front squat is perfect, the kettlebell swing is also great. These are very simple, natural movements that will transfer into athletic power and skill that you can use in all your sports and daily life. If you want a “killer workout for your core,” the Kettelbell front squat is excellent, the Turkish get-up is perfect, and for extreme core strength it’s the windmill. Get some instruction from someone who really knows kettlebell training. Making stuff up is dangerous. Contact an RKC or AKC certified instructor, or get a book or video from Pavel Tsatsouline. The movement shown is especially inappropriate for boxers. When was the last time someone passed an object from one hand to the other between his or her legs in a fIght? The swing is the most important and effective kettlebell exercise in the fighting world. It will make your hips lightning fast and powerful, which will mean faster more powerful punches. In fact if the boxer is not doing swings as their main conditioning and speed training drill, there is no point in using kettlebells at all.
trinachka trinachka 7 years
When we do these at my boxing gym, our trainer tells us the following: 1) Don't round your back. 2) Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart and your knees over your heels, not your toes. 3) For major burn, make sure your thighs are about parallel with the floor.
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