Tips for Washboard Abs – 10 Kettlebell Workouts to Strengthen Your Core
These 10 kettlebell exercises will help to define your abs, and work that layer of fat that stands between you and that perfect set of 6-pack abs. They are high intensity and help to extenuate your current workout. They are not meant to replace your current exercise plan, they are meant to supplement it.
The exercises we will cover here are:
1. Kettlebell Sit Up (2-hand)
2. Kettlebell Sit Up (1-hand)
3. Kettlebell Ab Extension
4. Kettlebell Up & Over
5. Kettlebell Jack Knives
6. Kettlebell Half Kneeling Halo
7. Kettlebell Overhead Press
8. Kettlebell Rotating Lunge
9. Kettlebell Offset Squat
10. Kettlebell Swing
The benefits to this set of exercises are too many to count. You are burning calories, you are firming muscle and you are defining that 6 pack set of abs that you are dying to achieve. These exercises make obtaining that six-pack easier than ever before since there are so many different ways for your body to move. You will be working every single muscle in your abs as well as having secondary muscle groups screaming for help the entire time. That is the only way to get the firm body and set of 6-pack abs that you are dying to achieve.
How to Warm-up
For all of these exercises, you will need to warm up your body to its fullest. You will be working all of your muscles, so it is important to do a full warm-up. You will want to stretch every muscle you have in order to ensure that they are ready for the powerful workout they are going to receive.
After a full round of stretching, you should jog for at least 10 minutes, followed by a second round of stretching.
Kettlebell Sit Ups (2 hands)
This exercise is pretty simple to perform. Start by laying down with your knees bent. Your heels should be on the ground. Do not secure your feet, you will want them to achieve movement during this exercise. Roll to the side and pick up your kettlebell with both hands. Hook your thumbs inside the handle and grab the ball portion of the kettlebell. Press it directly over your chest.
Keep your arms straight with soft elbows. Perform a sit-up. Make sure to pull your bellybutton into your body and toward your spine. Keep your eyes on the kettlebell. Make sure to sit-up straight at the top of the sit-up completely at the top and then slowly roll back down.
Kettlebell Sit-up (1-Hand)
Just like the 2-hand kettlebell ab exercise, the 1-hand kettlebell Sit Up involves the same sit-up motion. However, by only holding the kettlebell with one hand, you have to use additional core strength to keep your shoulder square to the ground. Pull your bellybutton into your body and toward your spine. Roll up slowly and keep your eyes on the kettlebell. Sit up straight at the top of the sit-up in order to maximize your efforts.
Kettlebell Ab Extension
The kettlebell ab extension requires pre-existing core strength. You will also need shoulder, leg and back strength to maintain the rigid position necessary to maximize the efforts you are putting forth.
Start in the lying position, roll over and pick up your kettlebell using both hands. Hook your thumbs inside the kettlebell handle and hold the ball of the kettlebell. Bring your knees toward your chest and lift your shoulders off of the ground, squeezing the kettlebell between your arms and legs. Slowly extend your arms and legs at the same time, straightening your limbs as much as possible. At the top, make sure you don’t touch the ground with your feet. Pause for one second, keeping your feet 2-4 inches from the ground before crunching yourself back into the start position.
Kettlebell Up and Over
The kettlebell up and over requires shoulder and back strength. It also requires pre-existing core strength.
Start in a laying position with your knees bent at a 45 degree angle. Roll to the side and pick the kettlebell up with both hands. Hold the kettlebell by the ball. Extend the kettlebell above your head and keep your elbows in. Straighten your arms. Tap the kettlebell on the ground behind you before raising it off the ground, keeping your arms straight. Bring the kettlebell directly above your chest and perform a 2 hand kettlebell sit-up.
After you have reached the sitting position, with the kettlebell above your head, slowly bring it down between your knees, keeping your arms as straight as possible. Tap the ground between your legs. Raise it back up and reverse the motions until you are back in a position with the kettlebell behind your head.
Kettle Bell Jack Knives
This ab exercise requires a lot of pre-existing abdominal strength, balance, flexibility, and agility. If you do not already have definition beginning to show, it is not recommended. Take your time and do not push yourself too fast with this exercise. It is one that can cause serious injury and can also provide extreme agitation to any pre-existing injury. In short, don’t jump on this exercise until you are prepared, unless you are looking forward to an emergency room visit.
Start this exercise from a lying position. Roll over to the side and pick up the kettlebell with both hands. Grab the handles. Hold the kettlebell with your arms straight over your stomach. At the same time, hold your legs together and straight about 2 to 4 inches from the ground.
Sit up while raising the kettlebell over your head and spread your legs apart. Pause at the top of the sit up before slowly rolling back down and bringing your legs together.
Kettlebell Half Kneeling Halo
Kneel on the floor with your left and right foot in front of your body. Hold a kettlebell in both hands at chest level. Use your core as you bring the weight to your left shoulder and behind your head. Bring the kettlebell around to your right shoulder and back to the starting position.
Keep he rest of your body completely still as you complete another circle. Switch legs and move in the opposite direction.
Kettlebell Overhead Press
Stand with your feet planted firmly as wide as your hips apart. Hold a kettlebell in your left hand with the elbow bent so that the kettlebell is resting against your left shoulder. Keep your knees straight and your abdomen tightened as you press the bell above your head and then lower it back to the resting position. Do not lean to the right side as you lift.
Kettlebell Rotating Lunge
Stand up straight with your abdominal muscles tightened. Hold a kettlebell in both hands straight out in front of you. Push your hips back tight. When you stand up, explode toward the ceiling using your legs as momentum to press the kettlebell over your head. Slowly move back to the starting position.
Kettlebell Offset Squat
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed straight ahead. Hold a kettlebell in your left hand with your elbow bent so that the weight rests against your left shoulder. Push your hips back and lower your body into a squat. Keep your shoulders straight and your body centered. When your hips have reached the point where they are parallel to your knees, press into your heels and stand back up into the starting position.
Stand with the kettlebell in front of you, held in both hands. Plant your feet at hip width apart.
In one single motion, push your hips forward and bring the weight up to chest height. Use your legs and bottom to power this movement. Do not use your back and arms. Allow the weight to swing below your legs in a controlled motion while doing a squat.