This funny-looking iron weight may seem intimidating—but a kettlebell is your best friend when it comes to tight, toned abs. That’s because core stabilization exercises (not crunches!)build lean muscle. A kettlebell’s shape is designed to throw you off balance, forcing you to use your middle to keep from tipping over. Bonus: the weight’s handle enables you to perform full-body exercises that will burn loads of calories with each movement.
The eight exercises in this plan will build abdominal strength, burn fat and create a powerful core that will make you a stronger and faster runner. Use a 10- to 20-pound kettlebell (whatever you feel comfortable wielding), and concentrate on engaging your stomach muscles every time you lift the weight off the ground. For maximum benefit, perform one to two sets of each exercise three to four times per week.