You Only Need One Kettlebell And These 10 Moves To Build Core Strength

Woman performs Russian twist exercise at home using a kettlebell
(Image credit: miljko / Getty Images)

If you’re looking for a quick and easy-to-follow core-strengthening workout to add to your routine, look no further. This no-repeat session runs through 10 exercises in 10 minutes, making it ideal if your week is looking a little busy or you want to add some dedicated core training to the end of a gym workout. 

The workout was put together by personal trainer Roxanne Russell and contains what she says are all of her favorite core exercises, and plenty of our favorites too, such as the dead bug

“A strong core is the foundation of a strong body,” says Russell. “Training your core will help you complete daily tasks with ease, such as picking up heavy objects and performing manual tasks. You will also gain many benefits including injury prevention, reduction of back pain, improved lifting mechanics, balance, stability and posture, as well as improved athletic performance.”

You’ll need a kettlebell (if you don’t own one, check out our guide to the best kettlebells) and, since all the exercises are done on the floor, an exercise mat.

It’s a follow-along workout, so once you have your equipment ready, press play and match Russell’s movements. 

The routine targets all areas of the core and Russell says it is inspired by Pilates. “I love to incorporate Pilates movements into weighted exercises,” she says. “I have included leg-lowering exercises that will target more of the ‘lower abs’, abs curl variations that will focus on more of the ‘upper abs’, twisting and rotating movements that will target the obliques, and planking and static holds that are going to strengthen the whole core.”

Russell also shared some form tips to keep in mind as you complete the workout. “With these exercises you want to make sure you are actively engaging your core throughout the movement. To engage your core, focus on keeping your ribs tucked in, draw your navel to your spine and tense your pelvic floor muscles. 

“If you are still struggling to engage your core, imagine you are going to be punched in the stomach and brace for the hit. To tense your pelvic floor, imagine you need to go to the toilet and need to hold it in.”

She also provided tips on how to position your spine. “If your feet are off the floor in an exercise while on your back, then you will want your spine to be imprinted. To imprint your spine, make your back completely flat to the floor, with your ribs tucked in and core engaged. You will have a slight posterior pelvic tilt, using your abdominals to draw the lower back toward the floor. If your feet are on the floor, you want to start with a neutral spine. A neutral spine is when your lumbar [lower] spine has a normal curve and your core is engaged.”

If you’re looking for more kettlebell workouts, this 10-minute kettlebell workout is a great full-body sweat, or for another session that targets your midsection try this kettlebell abs workout. Or if you use your gym’s kettlebells and are looking for no-equipment routines to do at home, there’s this bodyweight core workout or this home Pilates workout.

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness writer

Lois Mackenzie is a fitness writer working on news, features, reviews and buying guides for Coach and sister site Fit&Well. Lois is a hill walker and avid runner who has just completed her first marathon. Before joining Coach, Lois worked as a senior SEO reporter at Newsquest Media Group.