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Kettlebell Core Strength Circuit - Shearing

Are you ready for a different type of ab workout?

This is going to be a little more technical because the exercises require not only strength... but...

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    And confidence

If you're new to some of these exercises (which you might be)... take some time and practice first.

Then you can hit it hard.

Kettlebell Core Workout Breakdown

The idea behind the workout is simple. It's an AMRAP... as many rounds as possible.

Here's the circuit:

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    16 Standing twists

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    8 Pressed leg raise with pulse (alternate each round)

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    8 KB windmills - 4 per side lighter for speed

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    20 KB Shoulder taps (feet on bell - this is the kicker)

The exercises that are technical are:

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    Shoulder taps with feet on a kettlebell

If you're never done windmills before... definitely practice this exercise.

It's not only a new movement but it requires a good level of mobility. I suggest go bodyweight if you've never done windmills before... learn the movement first.

Shoulder taps with your feet on a kettlebell are a little dangerous.

It's an incredibly unstable exercise.

I'll give you some modifications if you need them.

Dan got 3 full rounds and I got into my third round... so I beat him!

Let's get into the exercise breakdown.

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Kettlebell Core Exercise Breakdown

Standing Kettlebell (Weighted) Twists

Kindal turning one direction with the kettlebell off her chest and a strong stand on the ground. The core will be super engaged.
Kindal turning to the other side and you can really see her wider stance and engaged body as she goes back and forth with speed.

You need a medium weight. You don't want to go too heavy but too light won't engage your abs enough.

Step 1

Grab your kettlebell by the handle as if you're about to do a goblet squat .

If you're going to use a dumbbell... how it on the outside of the bells.

Read my post about how to hold a dumbbell ... look for the Active Palm Grip style of holding the dumbbell. This is what I want you to do.

Your elbows are next to your body and your arms are bent at 90 degrees... the weight is off your body. Your forearms are parallel with the ground.

Finally... take a stance that is wider than your shoulders and keep a slight bend in you knees.

Step 2

Rotate your torso so it's facing about 90 degrees (maybe a little less). Essentially looking sideways... but you're turning with your entire torso. Not only your head.

You're going to rotate to the other side and back and forth FAST. But with control.

Let your legs be the stable base. Your legs can rotate a little to ensure the fast twist is accepted by your body.

You'll immediately feel your abs light up and be forced to hold tight.

Offset Pressed Leg Raises

Kindal in the best hollow hold she can get into as she presses a challenging kettlebell over her chest and holds her abs in and tight.
Kindal raises her legs, keeping them straight, and as she gets to the top she pulses her hips up in the sky. At the same time she continues to press the kettlebell up over her chest.

You'll need a medium weight for this too... don't go too heavy where it over burdens your upper body.

Step 1

Start like you're about to do a floor press and get the weight pressed over your chest... only on one side of your body.

I suggest you start with your weak side.

Next get into a hollow hold...

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    Press the weight in the air so your shoulders are pressed up

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    Press your low back down int the ground HARD

Step 2

With your abs fully engaged and your legs straight (most likely with a slight bend)...

Raise them up so they are perpendicular to the ground.

Then immediately crunch your abs a little harder and pulse your hips up to the sky.

Try to go as high as you can.

What makes this exercise so tough is the weight is pulling your balance in one direction. This pull will force your abs to work harder.

Then the pulse is tough to do. Even I struggled to get as high as I could.

It's a fun exercise.

Kettlebell Windmills

Kindal presses the kettlebell over head and looks at the bell as she gets ready to hip hinge off to the side while bracing her core tight.
Kindal at the bottom of the kettlebell windmill. Her hips are popped out, back leg is straight, and her torso is straight and parallel to the ground. The entire move she remains looking at the kettlebell for balance.

Step 1

Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and your toes facing forward to start.

For the sake of going through these steps... start with the kettlebell in your left arm.

Rotate your feet (a little) so your toes are pointing towards your right.

Press the kettlebell over your head and look at the kettlebell. This will help with balance.

Step 2

Start by hinging your hips off to your left.

Keep your left left straight and let your right leg bend naturally... try not to control it too much.

Keep hinging until your spine is about parallel to the ground. This can vary based on your mobility of your hips and core strength.

Keep looking at your kettlebell the entire time.

form tip

Depending on your mobility... you may be able to hinge and keep your your body in one line...

By this I mean your torso will hinge over to the side.

Dan is not as mobile as me so as he hinges... his torso tends to go more in front of his body.

There is no right or wrong here. But work to increase your mobility so you can do both... that is the ideal solution.

Step 3

Your other arm can fall towards the ground until your fingers hit the ground.


You can lightly hug your torso as you hinge. This ensures your not putting your other arm on your leg for support.

You want to stress your core muscles for both strength and mobility (along with your hips too)!

This is a tough exercise that requires practice. If you're never tried a windmill before... start with no weight and just work on the motion.

Kettlebell Shoulder Taps

Kindal in the top of a pushup plank with her feet on the kettlebell as she balances the bell so the handle is nshe balanced the bell so the handle is not ot resting on the ground.
Kindal if braced very hard as she taps the opposite shoulder and maintains balance on the kettlebell.
Kindal taps her other shoulder as she braces her entire body and still fights hard to maintain balance on the kettlebell the entire time.
Kindal balancing her feet on the kettlebell and using her feet to pull the handle off the ground. This is what creates the instability for this exercise.

Okay... these are tough and - maybe - slightly dangerous.

Let me explain.

Because your balance is going to be pushed to the limit... your hands will tend to land harder on the ground so they can help faster to retain balance.

Don't let them hit too hard. Pay attention to this.

Do normal shoulder taps instead if you feel uncomfortable.

Step 1

Put a pretty big kettlebell behind you. Ideally... if your bell as a rounded side... put the rounded side on the ground.

Your kettlebell is tipped over... on it's side.

Get in the top of a pushup plank and put one foot on the kettlebell. Take your other foot and cross it over the top of your foot.

Lock your legs out as you try to rotate the handle of the kettlebell off the ground.

intensity tip

You don't have to use a kettlebell.

Putting your feet up on anything will force your body to work harder. You can even use a:

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    Medicine ball...

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    Even an empty laundry basket can work...

The idea is to force your body to work a little harder and if you can make your feet less stable... that's perfect!

If you want to go even further... only balance one leg on a kettlebell and hold the other bell in the air.

Step 2

Brace your legs hard.

Brace your abs hard.

Grip the ground hard so your entire arms are turned on because you'll need them to help with balance.

Take one arm and quickly tap (or get really close to) the opposite shoulder before immediately brining the arm back to the ground.

Then immediately repeat with the other arm and shoulder... move as fast as you can (safely).

Fight hard for balance and go as fast but slow down if and when you need to fight to keep your balance. Balance is more important than speed here.

Kindal squating and working out hard to get out of a workout rut. Kindal squating and working out hard to get out of a workout rut.

have your

results stopped?

and now you're...

stuck in a

workout rut?

Get daily workouts for 14 days
and break free
from your workout rut!
Send Me The Workouts!

Are You Ready To Learn Kettlebells And Get Strong?


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Kindal squating and working her way through a tough metabolic strength workout

not getting results? and now you're stuck in a workout rut?

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