Kettlebells are not just for swings! You can use these incredibly versatile pieces of equipment to hit pretty much every muscle in the body and in a highly unique and functional manner. That includes the abs and actually, the kettlebell is a highly underutilized ab training tool.
This is a quick 5 minute routine that will show just how effective kettlebells can be in this domain. You can perform this once if you want a quick but intensive burn on the abs, or you can perform it for multiple circuits if you’re feeling truly masochistic.
Either way, this will encourage massive build up of lactic acid while also helping you to gain more control over your abs that will increase your stability through every single movement you perform in the gym going forward. It all starts with the core!
Alternating Knee in Figure 8s
Holding the kettlebell in one hand, sit on the ground and raise your legs so that your heels are just off the floor. Now you’re going to pass the kettlebell from one hand to the other, first going under the nearest leg and then going over the furthest. This not only requires an isometric hold in the rectus abdominis as you are holding the position, but it also requires the activation of the obliques as you are twisting and controlling the weight.
Sit Up Pass
Now you’re going to perform regular sit ups but with a slight difference: you’ll be holding both arms out in front of you, with the kettlebell in one of those hands. As you reach the peak of the sit up, just pass the weight from one hand to the other, and then return to the ground again. This not only taxes the rectus abdominis as you move up and down (remember to crunch the abs and not fold at the hips0 but it also requires some isometric strength in the shoulders.
Lie on the ground and hold the kettlebell in both hands. You should have your shoulders just off the ground and now you’re basically going to draw large arcs going from one knee to the other and arching around the back of the head at the top of the movement. Again, this will be an isometric hold for the rectus abdominis but now at the lower point.
Psycho Crunch Pass Throughs
This is a crunch where you’re bringing one leg up on each rep. And as you do, you’re going to pass the kettlebell from one hand to the next, underneath the knees. This one is all about the obliques and will help to build that detail on either side of the core.
Sitting with your heels just off the ground, you’re twisting from side to side, tapping the kettlebell on the ground next to you each time you do.
Remember, it’s perfectly fine to take breaks during this challenging regime – in fact it’s somewhat crazy if you don’t!