Ab & Core Exercises Using Kettle Bells

Gymnast

The kettle bell can be used in a variety of exercises and workout programs. Not only does it help build core strength, but it can also be used to help you build your upper body, lower body, and abs. The right routine will not only help you get into shape, but will also allow you to reduce the amount of time required for a complete body workout. These are a few great ab & core exercises using kettle bells anyone can try, regardless of your fitness level.

Kettle Ab Workouts 

Kettle Bell Abs

Windmills:

1009-windmill[1]
Using the kettle bell to perform windmill exercises is great to build ab strength. It works as an anti-lateral flexion workout, working the entire midsection. As you are moving side to side, it will also target the oblique muscles, as well as upper and lower abs, targeting every muscle group in the midsection.

Renegade rows:

Renegade
When performing this exercise it is important to make sure the midsection is tight and doesn’t rotate. When rowing up with one arm, the arm which you keep on the ground should be firmly planted, as this will fully engage the core.

Single arm kettle bell carries:
This is an anti-lateral flexion exercise which targets the core and entire midsection as well. Simply keeping the kettle bell above head, and walking a distance of 10 to 30 yards per set, requires you to work the ab muscle groups, helping build strength over time.

Core workouts

Kettle bell swings:

kettlebell-toning[1]
As the name implies, you will swing from side to side using the kettle bell as a weight. With both hands in front of you, you will rotate 180 degrees from side to side with the kettle bell in hand. The slower you go and the deeper the rotation, the more your core will be doing.

Kettle Bell halo:
You will begin with the bell upside down and being held at your chest with both hands. You will rotate it back behind your head and back in front of the chest for a full rotation. Once in front, you switch directions and rotate in the opposite direction.

Dead lift:
The dead lift requires full control of the core. If you are using the kettle bell as your weight, it requires you to engage the core, to keep your feet anchored, and to keep the back flexed at all times, to ensure an optimal flex of the muscle groups. In the dead lift position, it is best to hold the kettle bell at the chest with both hands, so you can maintain your balance as you ascend and descend into the motion.

Regardless of how advanced you are, or if you are a novice, these are exercises you can begin working on immediately. They will target the entire midsection, will require you to engage the core, and over time will help build a stronger midsection and help define the abs.

 

Best Kettle Bell Workouts for Leg

The popularity of using kettlebells in fitness routines is constantly increasing.  When used correctly, they are one of the most effective leg exercise tools. Just like in any other exercise, the basics of kettle bells are crucial to successful training. The following are fundamental kettle bell training exercises (source: Tsatsouline, Pavel)which, if properly mastered, will result in better health and more effective workout routines.

Russian Kettle Swing

Russian Kettle

Targets: hips, legs

Level: Beginner

Instructions: For perfect Russian Kettle bell Swing, stand up straight and extend your feet slightly wider than your hip distance. Hold the kettle bell handle in your hands and keep the palm facing down so that your arms are in front of your body. Maintain a slight bend towards the knee and push your hips back so that your body is lowered-do not squat, though. In a fluid motion, drive your hips forward explosively while swaying the kettle bell, keeping the core and glutes engaged.

Note: the motion should always come from the hips, as you rise up. Lower the kettle bell back down in between your legs and keep the swinging motion going for twelve to fifteen minutes.

 

The Goblet Swing

Goblet

Targets: legs, glutes

Level: intermediate

Instruction: stand up straight while holding a kettle bell with both hands in front of your chest-keep the elbows very close to your body. Start by pushing the heels downwards and driving your hips back till the thighs are parallel to the ground. Stand straight, and repeat the process for about 20 reps. Increase the number of reps gradually.

The kettle bell Goblet squat is the best kettle bell workouts for leg exercise. It offers more mobility-enabling you to more easily and train with even heavier loads.

 

Kettlebell Squat

DSC_2035[1]
Targets: Legs, Feet,
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Instruction: Though there are several ways of performing this exercise, it basically involves standing straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Persons with tight hip flexors should take a wider stance. You can either straighten or turn out your feet, depending on how comfortable you feel.
Hold kettle bell above your head and start inhaling air while pulling yourself down slowly with your legs. Keep your back straight. Avoid bending forward around your waist. Drop down slowly. Descend with maximum control. Your knees must not go further than your toes. Actually, your knees should be in line with your toes vertically. Your legs shouldn’t cave in or fall outside your feet. Make an effort to always stay flat on your feet right from the toe to the heel.

Go down as low as possible. At the bottom, do not losing to lose tension; you should maintain tension throughout your entire body. Hold your breath for about one second before coming up. Exhale air as you come up. This should also be done slowly by controlling the movement and keeping your back straight. After mastering squat, repeat the process as many times as you can.

Tips when getting started

  • Buy an adjustable kettle bell (seen here from DarkOPS Fitness). Such a kettle bell will enable you to transition from one level to another without having to spend more money.
  • Work with a licensed kettle bell instructor. This is the best way of learning how to do some of the challenging exercises.
  • Make an effort to learn how to properly use kettle bells. It is advisable to have at least a minimum of one session (the more the number of sessions the better) with a certified, qualified and experienced instructor to assess your skills.

Benefit of Using Kettle Bells During Training

Kettle Train

Kettlebell training has become a household name in the past decade. Hailing from Russia, it’s believed to be an efficient method of increasing muscular strength, promoting endurance, burning fat and boosting aerobic capacity.

In a 2012 scientific study performed by experts from the University of New Mexico (Dr. Len Kratvitz et al), kettlebell was suggested as a viable training modality for facilitation of a weight loss program. This study examined thirteen (13) subjects i.e. 11 males and 2 females with average weight of 170 lbs. After a few days of exercise, the following results were observed:

  1. Kettlebell workouts elicited a psychological response necessary for cardiorespiratory fitness
  2. Potential power and strength benefits of kettlebell training as an alternative to traditional resistance training methods were observed
  3. Significant weight loss results were reported

Another benefit of using kettle bells during training is simplicity. This is in addition to being time- and cost-friendly. Let us take an in depth look at some real benefits of this training.

kettle bell class

Ideal for Busy People

Kettlebells are a perfect way to combine cardio, strength and flexibility training. Because of their intensive nature, the workouts are usually short. Moreover, kettlebells are normally kept small and portable making it practically possible to exercise on the go.

Quick weight loss

These workouts are quite effective at boosting metabolic action in the body and as you know the higher the metabolic cost, the more the fat you burn. Besides that, kettlebell workouts (being strength training exercises as well) are effective at creating dense muscle mass which aid in burning calories all day long.

Boosted human growth hormone (HGH)

The kinds of movements that are stimulated by the complex movements of this training tend to favor production of human growth hormone. HGH boosts muscle mass while simultaneously reducing the amount of fat. Unfortunately, as we hit early 40s the HGH starts declining and therefore an extra dosage of it is needed to keep fit. Thanks to kettlebell workouts, one can boost their HGH levels naturally even at 40s.

Improved flexibility

An inflexible person might struggle to flex at the hips and touch their toes due to tight hamstrings. Likewise, it’s nearly inflexible for such a person to reach over head without compensating through their trunk. The kettlebell swing exercise aims to relax the hip flexors and hamstrings. This eventually helps unlock tight muscle flexors thereby improving general performance in other exercises.

Faster muscle recovery time

These workouts increase your range of motion and have minimal risk of injuries. If your kettlebell training is included as a part of a training method that comprises of other exercises, you might require 1 to 3 days recovery time. Normally, how short or long one takes to recover depends upon several factors including: fitness level, genetics and age. In basic, the less fit one is, the longer they require to recover. But generally, kettlebell trainings are known to have shorter recovery time than other forms of exercises.

An additional benefit of using kettle bells during training is that they are relatively easy to acquire. You can purchase them at a fitness equipment outlet or online. If you are a beginner, it is important to have a professional trainer help you train safely.