Strength, definition, power and control – get it all with this kettlebell ab workout. Five of the best kettlebell exercises for abs are combined in an engaging no-repeats format, challenging the core from all angles. This quick and intense kettlebell workout builds muscle in the entire core, including the upper abs, lower abs, obliques, lower back and glutes.
Today’s workout challenges the core in a new way by adding a kettlebell.
Kettlebells are one of the best tools for building deep core strength. Kettlebell workouts often involve dynamic and unilateral movements, meaning you use one side of your body at a time and move in various planes of motion.
This challenges your core muscles to stabilize and control the movement, leading to improved core strength, balance, and coordination.
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Today’s core workout includes functional movements, such as twists, rotations, pulls and presses. Performing these kettlebell exercises with proper form in a controlled setting is one way to increase load tolerance and reduce injury risk.
These kettlebell exercises strengthen your core in an extremely practical way, supporting your body through the movement patterns you do daily.
What Is The Best Kettlebell Exercise for Belly Fat?
The kettlebell swing is one of the best kettlebell exercises for losing belly fat. That’s because it’s a powerful, compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups at once, including the abs and core. Kettlebell swings burn calories and build muscle, which can help reduce belly fat.
What Are The Benefits of Kettlebell Training?
Kettlebell workouts provide full body strength, cardio conditioning, balance, stability, flexibility and mobility all in one workout. Since kettlebell workouts engage multiple muscle groups at once they are great for gaining muscle mass, losing weight and improving overall physical fitness. I specifically love using kettlebells in pregnancy workouts and postpartum workouts because the exercises are high intensity but low impact.
5-Minute Kettlebell Ab Workout
Five kettlebell ab exercises to strengthen your core and add muscle definition to your midsection.
Add this kettlebell abs workout to your weekly workout routine 1-2 times a week to build muscle and improve endurance. I recommend alternating this workout with our other ab workouts to avoid workout boredom.
Medium Kettlebell or Single Heavy Dumbbell. I’m using a 25 lb kettlebell for this workout and Rachel is using a single 15 lb dumbbell.
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I’m using a 25 lb kettlebell in this weighted ab workout.
Targets: Deep transverse abdominals, obliques, lower abs, upper abs, biceps, hips and glutes.
How To Do An Around The World, Clean and Uneven March
Start standing with feet hip-width distance apart, shoulders stacked over hips and pelvis slightly tucked to engage the core.
Hold a kettlebell by the handle in your right hand outside of your right hip. Keep core muscles tight, aiming to keep your upper body as still as possible.
Then, pass the kettlebell behind your body, transferring it to your left hand behind your back.
Now holding the kettlebell in your left hand, “clean” across your body, bringing your right hand up to help catch it at your right shoulder.
Hold this clean position as you drive your left knee up so that left thigh is parallel to the ground, performing an uneven march.
Then, reverse the movement, keeping the kettlebell in your left hand as you return your left leg to the ground and bring the kettlebell towards your left hip.
Pass the kettlebell behind your back, transferring from left hand to right hand midway behind your back.
Then, “clean” the kettlebell up across your body, bringing your left hand up to help catch it at your left shoulder.
Hold this clean position as you drive your right knee up, performing an uneven march on the right side of the body.
Modification: Option to omit the “around the world” transfer, performing instead alternating cleans and uneven marches.
Plank, Bear Crawl Hold and Kettlebell Pull Through
Targets: The deep transversus abdominus muscles, oblique muscles, legs, hips, back and shoulders.
How To Do A Plank, Bear Crawl Hold and Kettlebell Pull Through
Start in a high plank position, shoulders stacked over wrists, core engaged. Place the kettlebell outside of your right hip.
Bracing your core to keep your body as stable as possible, reach your left hand across your body to grab the kettlebell handle and pull it across the floor, ending with the kettlebell outside of your left hip.
Return your left hand to the floor, then step your feet in to find bear crawl position; knees bent at 90 degrees and hovering off the mat, core engaged to keep your back flat.
Now perform two kettlebell pull throughs, first reaching your right hand across your body to drag the kettlebell outside of the right hip. Then, replanting your right hand on the floor and reaching your left hand across the body to drag the kettlebell outside of the left hip.
Then, place both hands on the floor as you step back into a high plank, returning to starting position.
Modification: Perform alternating bird dog pulls, kicking back the opposite leg as you pull the weight side to side.
Kettlebell Leg Lift and Crunch
Targets: Upper abs, lower abs, obliques, hips and triceps.
How To Do A Kettlebell Leg Lift and Crunch
Start in a seated position, hands planted on the floor behind your hips, legs extended long. Place the kettlebell on the floor in front of you, near your ankles.
Bend your elbows as you lean back, engaging the core. The further you lean back, the more difficult this exercise will be.
Place both feet on the left of your kettlebell, then float your heels off the ground, keeping legs straight with a slight bend in the knees.
Lift your legs in an arc over the kettlebell, bringing them to float above the ground on the right side of the kettlebell.
Then, pull your knees in towards your chest, performing a crunch before straightening them to hover on the right of the kettlebell.
Then, lift the legs over the kettlebell, this time floating on the left side of the kettlebell.
Pull your knees in towards your chest, performing another crunch.
Modification: Omit the crunch. Option to lift one leg over the kettlebell at a time, resting the other on the ground.
Overhead Pull and Glute Bridge March
Targets: Gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, hips, hamstrings, back and core.
How To Do An Overhead Pull and Glute Bridge March
Lie flat on the floor on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees and feet flat on the ground. Hold the kettlebell by the horns between your hands, elbows slightly bent, hands shoulder width apart, palms facing in.
Press through the heels to raise your hips off the ground. This is a glute bridge. As you lift your hips, press the kettlebell straight overhead, wrists in line with shoulders.
Hold this glute bridge position, then slowly lower the kettlebell overhead towards the ground. Keep your arms straight, with a slight bend in the elbows.
Engage the lats to pull the kettlebell back towards your chest. As you raise the kettlebell, balance on your left foot and drive your right knee towards your hands, right knee meeting the kettlebell when it is stacked over your shoulders.
Slowly and with control, lower the kettlebell overhead towards the ground, returning your right foot to the floor.
Continue this pattern, alternating which knee drives up with each overhead pull.
Modification: Omit the overhead pull, performing just a glute bridge march. Option to hold a kettlebell overhead, wrists stacked over shoulders.
Kettlebell Chest Press and Hollow Rock Knee Tucks
Targets: Upper abs, lower abs, obliques, transverse abdomen, hip flexors, triceps and chest.
How To Do A Kettlebell Chest Press and Hollow Rock Knee Tucks
Lie on your back, knees bent at 90 degrees and stacked over hips. Hold a kettlebell in both hands by the horns at your chest.
Inhale to brace your core, pressing your lower back into the mat, core tight. Then straighten your legs, kicking your heels out away from your body. The lower your heels, the more difficult this exercise will be.
Lift your head and shoulders slightly off the mat, finding a hollow rock hold position.
Hold this hollow rock position, then exhale as you press the kettlebell straight overhead, wrists stacked over shoulders, performing a chest press.
Hold at the top of your chest press, then pull your knees in, performing a knee tuck.
Exhale to straighten your legs, kicking your toes away from your body.
Then inhale as you lower the kettlebell towards your chest, returning to starting position.
Continue this pattern, alternating one kettlebell chest press with one hollow rock knee tuck.
Modification: Keep knees bent at 90 degrees rather than extending into a hollow rock hold. Option to tap one or both toes towards the mat rather than perform a knee tuck.
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