Now that your core is rock solid from the kettlebell sit-up, check out my Kettlebell Moves page for a lot more kettlebell exercises!
There are many ways to work the abdominals with kettlebells. In this video, I go over three variations of the kettlebell sit-up with increasing intensity.
Begin by holding the kettlebell by the horns and slightly away from the chest. This forces more abdominal, shoulder, and bicep activation than allowing it to rest against the chest. I’m a big believer in being as efficient as possible, and I think this allows more bang for your buck (more benefit for your time).
- With the kettlebell held by the horns and slightly away from the chest, inhale and use your abdominals to slowly control the lower the back onto the ground. Next, reverse the movement by squeezing the abs as you exhale into a seated position, and sit up nice and tall with neutral spine at the top to decompress. In the beginning, as you are building up core strength, extending the spine at the top of the sit-up will help you develop the habit of not allowing an unhealthy bend in the lower spine. While the abdominals absorb most of the weight, I think it’s a good idea in general to avoid unnecessary compression there.
- Raise the intensity a notch by extending the arms overhead at the laying down position. Pull the kettlebell in front of your face and return it to being barely off the chest in a fluid motion during the sit up portion of the movement. This recruits the lats into the exercise as well as greater abdominal engagement. The rest of the sit-up is completed the same as it was in level 1.
- Take this exercise even further with an overhead press at the top of the sit-up. In addition to abs, and lats, this recruits the shoulders and traps into the exercise so that you end up involving quite a bit of the upper body.