We all know how important it is to strengthen the core muscles of our athletes. A strong core will not only improve performance but also help to reduce injuries. In season or out of season implementing a well balanced core strengthening component to your strength training program is essential.
In the video clip below Tim McClellan (M.S., C.S.C.S.),former Arizona State University Strength Coach, demonstrates six different effective core strengthening exercises utilizing a kettlebell. The kettlebell is a simple way to add difficulty to core exercises. This clip is from a DVD that demonstrates a complete training program using kettlebells. For more information about that DVD click the link 120 Exercises for Kettlebell Training
The YouTube video below has sound, so please make sure that your sound is turned on and that you have access to the site. (Some schools block access to YouTube)
Exercise 1 – Russian Twist
The athlete sits on the ground with their feet in the air. Knees slightly bent. Holding a kettlebell with the two hands the athlete slowly rotates side to side lowering the kettlebell near the ground.
Exercise 2 – Toe Touch Crunch
Position athlete on their back with their legs pointing up at 90-degrees. Holding the kettlebell at arms length straight up, the athlete will “crunch up” moving the kettlebell towards her toes.The movement should be slow up and down with no momentum involved.
Exercise 3 – Alternating Toe Touch Crunch
Same as number 2 except that one leg is up at 90-degrees while the other is straight out slight off the ground. The athlete will “crunch up” towards the toes of the leg that is up and the slowly lower their shoulders while slowly switching legs. The athlete will then “crunch up” to touch the other leg and the repeat.
Exercise 4 – One leg Out One leg Up Toe Touch Crunch.
Same as exercise three except now you do not alternate legs. Simply “crunch up” to the leg that is up for multiple reps and then switch legs.
Exercise 5 – Side Bends
Standing straight up with the knees slightly bent and holding a kettlebell in one hand, the athlete will lean to one side slowly. The kettlebell should be lowered to about knee level. The athlete will then straighten up and bring the kettelbell back to the original position. Do multiple reps on bothe sides.
Exercise 6 – Hollow Body Hold
This is an isometric contraction. With their back on the floor, the athlete will hold a kettlebell aove their head. Their legs should be off the ground at approximately 45-degrees. Hold for anywhere btween 20-60 seconds.