Over the past decade the fitness industry has moved more towards basing itself around functional movements that mimic real life as opposed to using machines to mimic the movement of only one joint. The kettlebell is at the front of this new wave of functionality.
Learning to lift a weight off the ground properly is a cornerstone of movement. You’ll train your gluts and hamstrings to take most of the stress off your lower back.
Place the kettlebell on the ground and straddle it with the handle in line with your arches. Push your hips back, and, keeping your chest up, reach down for the handle. Pause to set your posture. Pull your shoulders down and brace your stomach. Driving your heels into the ground, stand up, opening your hips and knees to full extension. Stay long through your spine and engage your core.
These have all the usual squat benefits with an even stronger core challenge.
Hold the kettlebell on either side of the handle, close to your chest. Puff out your chest, draw your shoulders down to engage your lats and brace your core. Push your hips back, keep the weight through your heels, and squat. Staying tall through your torso, lower until your elbows touch your thighs. Stand up, keeping your torso firm.