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Kettlebell ab workout

kettlebell ab workouts | 5 Minute Kettlebell ab Workout

5-Minute Kettlebell Ab Workouts | 5 Best Kettlebell Ab Exercises For Your Core Workout

Kettlebell ab workouts—Kettlebell training is a great way to build strength, endurance and muscle tone. You can find kettlebells in any gym, and they are as popular as other fitness tools like the TRX, battle ropes, and Swiss ball, to name a few.

Very few fitness tools combine strength, toning, and stamina in one, which is why kettlebell abs are so popular today.

The Origins of Kettlebells

Kettlebell ab exercises have become fashionable again in the West over the last 20 years; however, the origin of kettlebells dates back to the past.

Kettlebell lifting became a national sport in the Soviet Union in 1948. Competitors performed the snatch, the clean, and the jerk.

1962, competition rules were formed, and the sport still exists in Russia today.

ketllebell abs

Benefits of kettlebell Training

As a personal trainer, I do kettlebell workouts with all my clients because they have many benefits. Kettlebell full-body workouts make you stronger and leaner. They are a great way to do high-intensity training without the high impact you get from other types of exercises.

If you workout with a kettlebell, you will see an improvement in your aerobic capacity while gaining strength. It also benefits athletes by improving explosiveness and jump height. 

Some kettlebell exercises work the whole body and burn lots of calories. Exercises such as the kettlebell Turkish get-up are compound exercises that work numerous muscle groups, leading to a large calorie expenditure. Also, because of the high intensity of the workouts, you can burn calories after your workout has finished. This is known as an afterburn, or in scientific terms, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

Lastly, if these exercise routines are done effectively, you can save time by doing workouts between 5 and and 20 minutes long. However, you will need to go all out to get an effective calorie burn. Overall, kettlebell core workouts will shape and sculpt your abs while improving your overall strength.

kettlebell abs

What size kettlebell do you need?

Kettlebells come in different shapes and sizes. The lightest I have seen is 2kg, and the heaviest is up to 98kg. Depending on what exercise you are going to do, you may need a lighter kettlebell, so it’s best not to buy only one. 

For a woman who is starting a new workout routine with kettlebells, start with a range of kettlebells, starting from 8kg up to 18kg. Some of the best kettlebell exercises require a heavy kettlebell, so ensure you get a range.

For males, you should start with 12 kg up to 24 kg. In my experience teaching the kettlebell swing to clients, most men can start with a weight between 12 and 16 kg.

In terms of the shape of the kettlebells you should choose, I recommend iron kettlebells. Plastic kettlebells are cheaper, but they are very difficult to store once you need weights above 20kg. Iron kettlebells are at least four times smaller once you start going up in weight.

The kettlebell swing

Although I didn’t include the kettlebell swing in my five core exercises, it is one of the best exercises for training the entire core. It is one of the best kettlebell core exercises for increasing the heart rate and burning calories. However, the main muscle groups worked by this exercise are:

  • Bum
  • Front and back of your legs
  • Lower back
  • Calfs
  • Upper back muscles

However, because you are hinging at the hips, your core muscles will engage when you perform kettlebell swings.

kettlebell swings

Mistakes made when using a kettlebell

Using arms

I see many mistakes when people use kettlebells in the gym. For instance, I often see people lifting with their arms rather than trying to use the muscles in their legs and bums. Engaging the lower body is vital, as these are the largest muscles in the body and will cause you to burn more calories.

Rounding the back

If you work at a desk all day, you may have bad posture that causes you to round your back. This is dangerous as it can put excessive strain on your lower back, which can lead to back pain or injury. If you are exercising alone, try to find a full-length mirror to look at your form.

Using a weight that is too light

If you use a weight that is too light, you won’t work the muscles to their full potential. If you want your body to change, you will need to give it a reason to change. If you underwork your body, it will not need to change, and you will not get the training benefits you are after. This is because you are probably only working your body to 20-30% of its potential. 

If you think about anything you have achieved or excelled at, you start to grow only when you push yourself outside your comfort zone. Your body is the same. It would be best if you came out of your comfort zone.

Kettlebell Ab workout

This is a 5-minute kettlebell ab workout consisting of 5 exercises. Depending on your fitness level, your recovery time will be 30, 40, or 45 seconds.

You will perform as many repetitions as possible during your work period using the form shown in the videos.


  • Work for 15 seconds
  • Rest for 45 seconds


  • Work for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 40 seconds


  • Work for 30 seconds
  • Rest for 30

The rack position


One of the exercises in this workout involves using the “rack” position, also known as “racked.”

The rack position is often used to ensure that the kettlebell can be guided during movement to avoid placing strain on the forearms and shoulders during the windmill exercise.

One mistake many beginners make with the racked position is “gripping” the handle from the top. This creates unnecessary pressure on the wrist and forearm.

Avoid the mistake many beginners make when doing the rack position: ” gripping” the handle at the top. This creates a lot of pressure on your forearms and wrists, which can be easily avoided.

The kettlebell base needs to rest on your forearm, while the handle sits on the base of your palm. When done correctly, this position should not feel uncomfortable.

Kettlebell ab exercises to perform in rotation

  1. Kettlebell twists
  2. Kettlebell sit up and twist
  3. Lateral swings
  4. Windmill
  5. Side plank row 

Kettlebell exercises for abs with full description

5 minute kettlebell workout

1) Kettlebell twists

This exercise is excellent for your love handles.

  • Keep your body upright while slightly leaning back.
  • Twist your body side to side.
  • This video shows two variations of the twist. You can use whichever variation you prefer.

KB Twist

2) Kettlebell sit up and twist

Lie down with your back on the floor with your kettlebell above your chest.

  • Extend your arms over your chest
  • Then, raise your back off the floor until you are sitting upwards.
  • Perform a rotation in both directions

3) Lateral swing

Start upright with your feet hip-width apart.

  • Swing the kettlebell to the side of your body to shoulder height.
  • As the kettlebell comes downwards towards the height of your waist, lean forward slightly
  • Allow the kettlebell to swing past the outside of your body and twist.

Lateral swings

4) Kettlebell Windmill

Hold the kettlebell in the “rack” position, as explained earlier.

  • Hold the kettlebell above your shoulder with the arm extended
  • keep your eyes on the extended arm at all time
  • lean to the side while keeping the arm above the shoulder at all times
  • the end position is when your top shoulder parallels your top hip.

KB windmill

5) Kettlebell Plank – Side plank row

This is an excellent exercise for your obliques, the side of your abs.

  • Start in a side plank position with one arm fully extended.
  • Hold the kettlebell in your other arm.
  • Pull the kettlebell up to your rib cage, leading with your elbow.
  • Keep the kettlebell below your wrist and elbow.
  • Maintain your side position.

KB Side plank

Hire a personal trainer.

Although many kettlebell exercises will help you gain a strong core, it can be difficult to exercise with the correct technique. If you lift the kettlebell with bad form or fail to engage your core properly, you could injure yourself. 

If you are unsure of what to do and need help learning how to do kettlebell exercises for core strength, it may be worth contacting a certified personal trainer for assistance. If you would like some help, feel free to contact me for a free consultation to see how I can help you with your workouts.

Gerald Smith Cartoon


I have given you my five favorite exercises to work your core muscles. Remember to keep your core engaged throughout the workout to reduce your risk of injuries. These exercises are super practical for burning calories; however, you must use the correct weight and form to maximize the gains you can achieve from this type of workout. I am available to offer any assistance if you need it, so feel free to email me if you have any questions about this 5-minute workout. I wish you the best of luck on your fitness journey, and please feel free to contact me to let me know how you find this workout.

kettlebell exercises

Topic: Kettlebell abs workout

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