Kettlebell Exercises that Work the Core/Midsection/Abdominals

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Any time you are working with a kettlebell in a standing position you are in some form or manner working your core. Your core is the torso. The lower half (midsection) of the torso at the front is the area where the abdominals and obliques are located. The muscles that give that nice look of a six-pack and V-cut abs are the superficial muscles:

  • Rectus abdominis (six-pack)
    • Lower abs
    • Upper abs
  • External obliques
  • Internal obliques

Transversus Abdominis

The transversus abdominis is a deeper muscle that is also part of the core. You work this muscle just about any time (if you do it right) when you’re lifting weights while standing and bracing the core.

To target the abs and obliques, you want to look at exercises that target these muscles through flexion, rotation, and lateral flexion, and in particular, the aforementioned movements within the thoracic spine.

Rectus Abdominis

Kettlebell Exercises for the Core

  1. Kettlebell exercises that include Thoracic Spine Rotation Opposing Side

  2. Kettlebell exercises that include Thoracic Spine Rotation

  3. Kettlebell exercises that include Thoracic Spine Lateral Flexion Opposing Side

  4. Kettlebell exercises that include Thoracic Spine Lateral Flexion

  5. Kettlebell exercises that include Thoracic Spine Flexion

External Obliques

The external obliques are located on both sides of the body. When they work bilaterally, they compress the abdomen and flex the thoracic spine. When they work unilaterally, they laterally flex the spine to the same side and rotate the trunk to the opposite side.

The internal obliques are a muscle of the
abdomen that lies internal to and is thinner
and smaller than the external oblique. They perform the same actions as the external obliqeus.

External Obliques

Note: to not just work the core for aesthetics (looks), you also want to include exercises that target thoracic spine extension. For a strong and supportive core, you want to look at the full package of thoracic spine lateral flexion, flexion, extension, and rotation. You also want to add the hip joints to work the gluteals and other muscles like the psoas, etc., as they all play a major role in spinal strength and stability.

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