Are Kettlebell Swings Good For Your Abs

Ellen Grant
• Monday, 14 December, 2020
• 20 min read

Kettle bells are pieces of portable exercise equipment that helps work your posterior chain muscles found in the butt, hamstrings, back, and abs. Kettlebellswings will build abs ; however, it also depends on how you will swing the kettle bell or use it in a workout routine.

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It’s a simple and fast movement that coordinates your grip, hamstrings, glutes, hips, lats, pecs, and abs. With such weight, it takes effort to grip a moving kettle bell and force to stabilize the core.

The good thing about a kettle bell swing is that it boosts metabolism by keeping your muscle mass while increasing your body’s ability to burn calories. Kettlebellswings are absolutely good for the core, though keep in mind that you shouldn’t focus solely on this.

Swings target your core’s muscles such as the glutes, hamstrings, hips, and even the shoulders. When you swing a kettle bell, a pulse-like contraction in the abdomen occurs, stiffening your core while also stabilizing the spinal column.

If you do execute them every day, try to include a variety of other exercises that work different muscles. Repetition of kettlebellswings can work wonders, but incorporating swings into routines is more fun and productive.

This type of swing is more challenging because you’ll use only one side of the body, which means tension in the core is vital to remain balanced. Two-Handed Kettle bell Swings : These let you squeeze your stomach and work your way up while keeping a stable movement to contract on the way down.

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You will achieve well-toned abs since kettle bell lateral swings pushes your core to exert more effort. But, in the last decade or so, they’ve seen a resurgence in popularity, not least because they are a part of so many CrossFit workouts.

Of all the exercises you can do with a kettle bell, the swing is arguably the most popular and may even be the most valuable. Many fitness enthusiasts believe that squats and dead lifts are the kings of exercise.

But Tim Ferris says “the two armed kettle bell swing is the king and is all you need for dramatic body recomposition results”. This post will reveal the main kettle bell swing benefits and how to do them correctly.

It takes time to master the kettle bell swing, but once you’ve got it nailed, this exercise has a wide range of benefits. These muscles are crucial for better posture, as well as improved sports performance.

Increased cardiovascular fitness Kettle bell swing training is excellent for your heart and lungs, as well as your muscles. Because they are a full-body movement, kettlebellswings will drive your heart and breathing rate sky-high, which makes them a beneficial and challenging cardiovascular exercise.

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Better posture Kettlebellswings are one of the best exercises for undoing the effects of prolonged sitting. Swings work your posterior chain, which are the muscles responsible for holding you upright against the pull of gravity.

Because kettlebellswings involve so many muscles and joints working together and at the same time, there’s a lot that can go wrong with this exercise. But, if you master a proper kettle bell swing, you can enjoy all the benefits this exercise has to offer while avoiding all the risks.

Hold yourkettlebell in front of your hips with an overhand grip. Standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, pull your shoulders down and back, and brace your abs.

Focus on your hip drive to pop the kettle bell upwards, not your arms. Use your lats and abs to stop the weight swinging upward and then let the kettle bell fall back down.

Russian kettlebellswings generally allow you to lift more weight, and they are easier to learn. However, it’s all too easy to inadvertently shorten your rep range by not swinging the weight high enough, i.e., below shoulder-height.

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Swinging the weight up until the arms are vertical ensures that each rep is the same, making them easier to judge and quantify. However, raising the weight so high will increase stress on the lower back, which could lead to injury.

The increased range of movement also means you won’t be able to lift as much weight. But, unless you are training for CrossFit competitions, the Russian swing is potentially the safer one, which may mean it’s the best choice for most exercisers.

Alternatively, here is a kettle bell -only workout that you can do anywhere you have enough space to swing yourkettlebell weight. As recommended by the American Council on Exercise, ACE for short, this kettle bell workout is best done three times a week on non-consecutive days, e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

With this workout, you do a set of kettlebellswings at the start of each minute, and whatever time is left over is for resting. *Note: kettle bells are popular home workout gear, and some items are not yet back in stock, so you might need to be preordered.

AmazonBasics Vinyl Coated Cast Iron Kettle bell Weight With the Noose Fitness Kettle bell Handle, you can add as many or as few standard weight plates as you like, making it both ideal for a range of users and also saving you from buying several sets of kettle bells.

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Kettle Grip Kettle bell Adjustable Portable Weight Grip Kettle bell cleans and snatches come close, but they are much trickier to master.

Whether you want to burn fat, get fit, or boost your dead lift performance, kettlebellswings will help. Remember, to get the most from this exercise; you need to do them correctly and give yourself time to recover between workouts.

The shape and functionality of the kettle bell makes it easy to use in faster-paced exercises, like the kettle bell swing, to get your heart rate pumping, improve cardiovascular fitness, and burn fat faster. Use these 10 easy kettle bell exercises to work your abs from every angle to build a strong, toned core.

Start standing up with your feet slightly wider than hip-width distance. Bring a small bend into the knees and engage your abs.

Exhale to thrust your hips forward and swing the kettle bell up in line with your shoulders. Start standing up with your feet slightly wider than hip-width distance.

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Bring a small bend into the knees and engage your abs. Exhale to thrust your hips forward and swing the kettle bell up in line with your shoulders.

Bend your elbows and hold the kettle bell in your hands in front of your chest. Reach your left arm straight down alongside your body.

Start in a push up position with the kettle bell underneath your left hand. Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the ground.

Inhale to lower the kettle bell back behind your head, hovering it about an inch above the ground. Then, exhale to sit up all the way and press the kettle bell straight up over your head.

Lower the kettle bell to your chest and slowly roll down one vertebra at a time. Sit on your mat with your knees bent and heels on the floor.

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Hold the kettle bell with both hands in front of your chest with bent elbows. Lean your torso back a couple of inches to feel your abs start to work.

Inhale to side bend to the right, sliding the kettle bell down your outer right leg. Begin in a high plank position with the kettle bell behind your right wrist.

Then, pick up your right hand and use it to slide the kettle bell back under the right shoulder. Kelly Collins Kelly is a certified Personal Trainer with NASA, a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher, and has her Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from San Diego State University.

To look at it, you wouldn't guess that the simple kettle bell is such a fitness hero-both a superior calorie burner and an ab flattened in one. Take the snatch (a one-arm lift in which, from a quarter-squat position, you fluidly move the kettle bell from the floor to directly overhead as you stand, bell flipping up and over to rest atop your forearm).

(Exercisers in the study did a 20-minute workout consisting of 15-second AMAP intervals of kettle bell snatches followed by 15 seconds of rest.) By engaging the entire posterior chain (back, butt, hamstrings, and calves) plus the chest, shoulders, and arms, the kettle bell snatch and its variations work more muscle groups than other forms of HIIT, such as biking or running, which use primarily the legs and glutes.

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Do high-intensity kettle bell intervals like those in the study, and you'll also be dispatching more ab fat into your calorie-burning furnace than if you do steady reps of swings. This pulse-like abdominal contraction stiffens your core and stabilizes the spinal column to help control the heavy, dynamic movement.

Her go-to ab blaster is the Turkish get-up: You fluidly raise your body from lying face up on the floor to standing while holding a kettle bell overhead with one arm the entire time. Stuart McGill, Ph.D., the author of Back Mechanic and multiple studies on kettle bell workouts and their effects on the spine, says that carrying weight on only one side of the body calls on the core to compensate, and the instability of the inverted bell challenges the core more than a dumbbell would.

“Its resistance builds muscles with enough intensity that we can really burn a lot of calories, but because we're standing in place or at least not jumping, there's no pounding on the joints,” says Steve Cotter, the director of the International Kettle bell and Fitness Federation in San Diego. When choosing kettle bell abdominal exercises it is important to ensure that you don’t leave your abs totally exhausted before performing a workout where you will need your abs to protect your spine.

Below I’ve broken each exercise down into more detail including images and videos : The Turkish Get Up is one of the most important kettle bell exercises for core muscles that you can perform.

The abs get targeted through various stages of the Turkish Get Up but in particular during the 1st few phases as you sit up from the lying down position, a great kettle bell obliques movement. The kettle bell beginner can practice this 1st phase by just sitting up along the arm and then lying back down again.

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Lifting the heel from the floor as you sit up means that you are using your hip flexors too much rather than your abs. Also ensure that as you come back down from the seated position that you lie down slowly using your abs to resist the downward movement.

Just like the Turkish Get Up they primarily improve your mobility and stability of your shoulders, and hips. Not only will the abs get targeted throughout the movement but it also improves mobility through the hips and strengthens the shoulders.

One of the great advantages is the ability to perform a horizontal row and work the back muscles (rhomboids especially). The horizontal row is one of the movements that often gets neglected with kettle bell training but it is important to counteract all the sitting that so many of us do these days.

The main abdominal benefits come from preventing the hips from falling to the floor during the movement. As you row the kettle bell up and down your abs will also have to fight the rotation that is being caused by being supported by just one arm.

Start with a very light kettle bell to begin and master the movement before increasing the weight. You will actually find that this kettle bell exercise is easier using a weight than trying it without due to the momentum that it gives during the standing part of the movement.

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This is an advanced kettle bell exercise that is based upon the regular swing but the movement goes sideways rather than forwards and backwards. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to become a real expert at the regular kettle bell swing before moving onto this exercise.

Without good technique and form you risk hitting your knee with the kettle bell as it comes across the body so be super careful. The Kettle bell Swing, Clean, Snatch and Pistol Squat are all core intensive.

With kettle bell training being mostly full body movements the abs are used in practically all exercises that is one of the great benefits of using kettle bells but can ultimately be your downfall if you core/ abs are not strong enough and able to deal with the load. It is for this reason that you should always build up yourkettlebell training slowly and allow your core muscles to develop along with everything else.

I’ve included some sample repetition numbers above but you can alter these depending on your goals. Once you have completed the kettle bell ab workout you can rest for 60 seconds and then repeat for a total of 2 – 4 circuits.

Kettle bells unlike many other training tools are most effective when used to target the full body rather than just individual muscles. Kettle bell exercises are excellent for intense full-body workouts, to build strength and muscle tone, burn calories and help you get rid of your belly fat.

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The kettle bell swing is my favorite total body exercise. I also show you how to experience them every time you perform a set of swings.

Get More Work Done In Less Time Whether you want to strengthen and build your glutes or abs, upper back or shoulders kettlebellswings get it done. This efficiency enables you to achieve your fitness goals faster and spend less time in the gym.

My wife never does any type of ‘isolation’ exercises for her biceps, triceps, or hamstrings and has the arms and legs that are the envy of the town. They Give You A Cardio & Strength Training Workout At The Same Time Done the right way, several sets of kettlebellswings will get your heart going as rapidly as several hill sprints.

This helps your heart become stronger at the same time as the other muscles of your body. Incomplete Rest Periods This workout will really improve your overall endurance and ability to recover faster between sets.

Once you’ve reached the point where you can perform 5 sets of 10 swings with 20 seconds rest between each set, move up to a heavier weight or a more challenging exercise like alternating kettlebellswings and the kettle bell snatch. While that’s great, the real calorie burning benefits kick in post-workout.

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The reason behind this is something called Epic or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. You Can Do Them Almost Anywhere All you need to get in a great workout with this exercise is a kettle bell and enough room to swing it in front of your body.

I’ve done them everywhere, from small studio apartments, to rooftops, the beach, and my office. Being able to do them anywhere makes it possible to get in an awesome workout almost anywhere which beats training in a musty gym any day of the week.

Proper Kettle bell Swing Technique In case you are new to this exercise or simply need a quick refresher course I’ve listed the steps to take kettlebellswings below. Stand with your feet a little less than shoulder width apart holding a kettle bell with both hands, palms facing behind your body.

Begin the exercise by squatting down slightly and swinging the kettle bell between your legs. Once the weight is between your legs, push with the muscles of your glutes and hamstrings to reverse its direction and swing it to about shoulder height.

Lower the kettle bell to its starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions. When swinging the weight forward, focus on really pushing with your glutes and hamstring muscles.

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Be careful not to hyper extend your back when the kettle bell reaches shoulder height. This will help you keep your form in check and prevent you from wasting energy and your arms, hands, and shoulders from becoming fatigued after a couple of reps.

I recommend subscribing to our free email newsletter if you like the information in this article. Ever issue is packed with the best information for building the body you deserve.

In today’s world we spend the majority of our days doing things in front of us with terrible posture. Cubicles) for hours at a time not moving and making the front of our body even tighter.

If You’re Not Doing The Kettle bell Swing, You’re Destined To Stay Fat, Tight & Weak For The Rest Of Your Life! This overuse of the muscles on the front side of our bodies is called “anterior dominance” and it is plaguing our society.

FrequencyExercise TypeIntensityRepetitionsRest up to 7x per week strength training high intensity varies by workout varies by workout Once labelled “hard core”, kettle bells are now popping up in every gym, garage and backyard because of their portability and reputation for fast results. Go into any gym and you’ll see inexperienced exercisers turning a swing into a front squat and shoulder raise exercise further tightening our hips, quads, chest and shoulders and just adding to the anterior dominance issue that I told you about above.

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Always making sure your shoulders stay above the level of your hips, “hike pass” the kettle bell through your knees by contracting your lats. When you push your hips back keeping your butt high and your shins vertical, you are hinging.

This is good because most people today are hip flexor and quad dominant (your anterior muscles), so learning how to load and use your posterior chain creates a natural balance between front and back that will help in preventing knee and hip issues. Imagine that you are growing roots through your feet and grab the ground with your entire foot.

Getting proper instruction from an expert so that you can MASTER THE KETTLEBELL SWING is the best thing that you can do for your training regardless of your goal. If you want to build strength, kettlebellswings will forge a grip of steel and will add pounds to your dead lift & squat.

If you want to boost your athleticism, kettlebellswings will make you more powerful and add height to your jump and shave seconds off your sprints. If you want to pack on muscle, swinging a heavy kettle bell will build an intimidating upper back & set of shoulders.

And if you want to shed body fat, swings will incinerate blubber like butter melting in an iron pan. I've also read some fitness articles that swings can help with toning abs to make them more visible, but I would like to hear some of your personal views and experiences if this is true.

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You'll find a considerable amount of activation when performing heavy swings (Turkish get-ups probably more so, however). When it comes to having 'visibly defined' abs, a low body fat percentage is the key factor.

A regular dose of swings or snatches will do amazing things for your abs, add TGU’s and your bases are all pretty well covered. I have not done traditional ab work in years and if my body fat percentage was lower I would look great.

But, as @Chrisdavisjr said, visible abs are a matter of diet and body fat percentage. You'll find a considerable amount of activation when performing heavy swings (Turkish get-ups probably more so, however).

When it comes to having 'visibly defined' abs, a low body fat percentage is the key factor. You can feel the difference in how much Oomph is left with or without. But if really making them pop is part of your goal, or if you have back problems that benefit from seriously strong abs (I'm in both categories), a relatively small volume of direct ab work is pretty important, and will do wonders.

How many reps/sets of daily swings do you do and would a 24 kg give similar results, or must it be much heavier within the 32 kg/48 kg range? I think I was able to do 10 sets of 10 one handed swings at 40 kg in 1o minutes and get-ups on the minute at that weight before I got my barbell and shifted my focus to building max strength. If you're strong enough to perform 10×10 rep sets of swings at 24 kg without really 'feeling it', then go heavier but don't chase heavier weights for the sake of it.

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Focus your efforts on bracing your abs as hard as you can and synchronizing your breathing with your swings and you can get a lot of stimulus from training even with a lighter kettle bell. I've also read some fitness articles that swings can help with toning abs to make them more visible, but I would like to hear some of your personal views and experiences if this is true.

You'll find a considerable amount of activation when performing heavy swings (Turkish get-ups probably more so, however). When it comes to having 'visibly defined' abs, a low body fat percentage is the key factor.

Advice about reducing body fat notwithstanding, the ab wheel is very effective. I could tell you what I ate but there's no guarantee it would work for you and, to be honest, good lighting makes 90% of the difference when it comes to having 'visibly defined' abs.

Good lighting is a huge help! In my case, eating low fat/relatively high protein, but any diet on the edge of caloric balance will do. And again, in my case a relatively small amount of extra ab work on top a good mix of core training brings it home.

I'll try yesterday band resisted push ups first time ever and my abs are sore as FCC. No need for isolation work. I'll try yesterday band resisted push ups first time ever and my abs are sore as FCC. No need for isolation work.

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If you have a low body fat percentage but your abs looks meager, what weight would be best to make them get bigger? The key is starting where you are, focussing on power, strength and tension, and working with progressively heavier weights.

There is a section on this in the Tim Ferris's podcast episode with Pavel Tastsouline. Strong abs are made in the gym, visible six-pack in the kitchen and dining room.

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