5 Abdominal Exercises You Can Do with Kettlebells
While kettlebells are most commonly seen as tools to develop power in the hips, back, legs, and upper body. Or as a great way of doing cardio intervals, one of the most under-appreciated benefits of kettlebell exercise is using them to build core strength. Many kettlebell exercises require you to work your entire core and engage the core throughout the whole exercise, but there are other ways you can specifically target your abs. As you’ve probably guessed, this is largely done by using the kettlebells as resistance in some classic abdominal exercises. Here are a few you can try.
Lie on your back and bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor in the classic sit-up starting position. Hold the kettlebell by the outside of the handle against your chest and lift your torso upwards until the kettlebell touches your thighs. Try to keep your feet planted during the whole sit-up. Choose a kettlebell weight according to your goals — heavier weights are better for strength and muscle growth, lighter weights are better for stamina.
Kettlebell sit-up with press
This exercise is the same as the kettlebell sit-up, except that when you reach the top of the movement, you raise the kettlebell over your head. Then lower it carefully back to your chest before lowering your body back down and completing the sit-up. This helps you work the shoulders and triceps, as well as testing your core stability.
Arms raised kettlebell sit-up
Hold the kettlebell in one hand by the handle, and raise it straight up into the air while you are laid flat on the ground. Don’t bend your knees for this one — keep your legs straight. Complete the sit-up movement as normal, but keep your arm pointing directly upwards at all times. This increased leverage will seriously test your core and shoulder stability. Swap arms in your next set.
When you’re getting good at the above three movements, you can try the pike. Lie flat on your back and hold the kettlebell straight up with both hands. Lift your torso into the upright position, keeping the kettlebell in the air. This time, however, you’re also raising your feet. Try to keep your legs straight, and touch the kettlebell with your toes before lowering yourself to the starting position.
Kettlebell roman chair
Sit on the floor and raise your feet off the ground, so you’re just balancing on your butt. Hold the kettlebell in front of your chest, by the sides of the handle. Move the kettlebell to your right so it’s about six inches from the ground just next to your right hip. Then move it to the left side in the same way. Don’t allow the kettlebell to touch the ground.
If you’ve never done any abdominal work with resistance before, it’d be best to start with lighter kettlebells and build up the resistance gradually as your body adapts. Also, because you’re using resistance, these exercises are best done just once a week. But doing adding these to your routine will bring an extra element to your workouts and get you those sculpted abs you’ve been looking for. Good luck!