It’s probably going to sound redundant, but it always bears repeating: Your core really is at, well, the core of pretty much everything you do. “Our core strength determines ultimately how strong our entire body is,” says Bob Garon, owner and head coach at Chicagoland’s Synergy Kettlebell Training. “It affects our posture, our back health, and how well we perform daily movements as simple as getting up from a chair.”
And kettlebell training is among the most functional—as in, training to improve body function and movement—types you can do. “The basic kettlebell movement patterns—squat, clean, press, swing, snatch—are loaded either on the front of your body in the racked position or overhead,” adds Samantha Carmean, CSCS, a certified kettlebell instructor and personal trainer in NYC and founder of mindfulmeathead.com. “This unique pattern allows a large amount lot of tension and muscular force to be developed, especially through the core muscles.”
These core-focused workouts, designed by Garon and Carmean, therefore really tax the whole body. Before you jump right in, warm up with some light kettlebell swings, plank walkouts, even some burpees to get your muscles primed—or add one of these routines to the end of your existing routine. Where no rest is noted, rest only as much as needed.