Photography By Dave Laus | Shot on location at Elite Performance Center | Model Nichelle Laus

Have we mentioned we love kettlebells? If so, it bares repeating. We love these stabilizer-summoning, core-carving creations of 18th century Russia about as much as anyone can love a hunk of iron (that isn’t that guy who played Thor).

We stole these abdominal moves from the king of the cast-iron workout, personal trainer and instructor Tony Wallace. (This guy’s routines are so killer he packs 60 classes a month with clients looking to get their butts kicked.)

While you can’t find a kettlebell exercise that doesn’t seriously activate your core—that’s part of what makes them so great—these were our top picks for targeting the area and really burning out those abs. Tack them on to the end of your kettlebell training (or any workout for that matter) for an intense core finisher, incorporate them into your current abs routine, or do them alone when you’re strapped for time.

How to: Perform the following as a circuit, moving from one exercise to the next without rest. You should only need to do one set of each (trust us, you’ll be feeling it), but if you’re itching to do more, drop the rep range down a bit.

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ONE-ARM SIT UP

10 REPS PER SIDE

Set Up: Holding a kettlebell in your right hand hand, lie on your back with your right leg bent and the other extended. Place your free arm straight out to the side and extend the kettlebell directly above your chest with your arm locked.
Action: Use your core to sit up quickly, pressing the weight straight up overhead. Lower back down very slowly, and repeat for all reps, then switch sides.

WOODCHOPPER

10 REPS PER SIDE

Set Up: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart holding the kettlebell with both hands. Bend both knees to load your legs with your weight, bringing the kettlebell down to one side.
Action: Explode, squeezing your glutes, and bring the bell up to the opposite side in a diagonal motion, keeping your arms straight. Be careful not to over rotate.

CRUNCH

15 REPS

Set Up: Lie on your back with a kettlebell behind your head on the floor. Extend your legs and arms, and grab the kettlebell by the horns with a neutral grip (palms facing each other).
Action: Contract your core to bring your knees, chest, shoulders and head up off the floor, bringing the kettlebell to meet your knees in the middle of your body. Very slowly lower back down and repeat.

RUSSIAN TWIST

10 REPS PER SIDE

Set Up: Sit on the ground holding a kettlebell by the horns in front of you. Bend your knees slightly and raise your feet off the ground a few inches. You can cross your feet at your ankles for balance.
Action: Using your core (not your arms) twist your torso from one side to the other, bringing the kettlebell down towards your hip as you twist. Continue alternating for all reps.

Find an amazing, full-body kettlebell workout in the July/August 2014 issue of STRONG Fitness Magazine!