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Build a Shaped and Strong Core with a Kettlebell Ab Workout

    Many years ago, when I started working out, I saw a guy at the gym doing kettlebell ab exercises. I was amazed at his perfect abdominals, but I was skeptical.

    I thought he had perfect abs because of his genes. He was not a beginner, though.

    Kettlebell ab exercises to try

    Then, one day I asked him why he did that sort of abdominal exercise instead of typical ones, such as crunches or leg raises.

    He told me he also did those, but he used free weights to strengthen his core muscles more efficiently to add extra resistance.

    Since then, I have always included kettlebell core exercises into my workout routine, and I have to say they work well for me.

    While there are many types of abs exercises without equipment, it is always beneficial to add some variety to the routine.

    Within this guide, you will learn.

    Let’s start.

    See the table below if you are in a hurry to see our top three recommended adjustable kettlebells.


    Check out the best adjustable kettlebell reviews here for detailed reviews of products you can use at home.


    Standing Kettlebell Ab Workout 😎

    1. Kettlebell Side Hold


    This static kettlebell exercise is pretty simple, but it’s great to develop core strength.

    It would be best to maximize the outcome with a heavy kettlebell or dumbbell.

    • Pick up the weight with your left hand and get into a hip-width standing position
    • Lift your right knee until it is parallel to the kettlebell in your left hand
    • Keep this position without bending forward or to the sides and with an aligned back
    • Try to hold it for at least 60 seconds
    • Now switch to the other side and repeat


    2. Kettlebell Oblique Side Bend


    Side bends target the obliques and hips. So, if you want to get V-cut lower abs, bending is a great exercise.

    • Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart and grab the kettlebell in one hand and hold it
    • Place your other hand behind your head or ear
    • Keep your back in a straight line and look forward
    • Lower the kettlebell down as far as you can to get the maximum stretch on the opposite side of your abdomen
    • With the power of the opposite oblique, pull the kettlebell until the oblique is fully contracted. You can stop for a moment and squeeze your side
    • Slowly with control, lower the kettlebell again
    • If you are done with one side, switch to the other


    3. Kettlebell Torso Twist


    This kettlebell exercise is great for your abs, back, and hips. When doing this exercise, make sure to hold the weight tightly and don’t let it rest against your body.

    Exercise guide:

    • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Please pick up the kettlebell with both hands and hold it at the stomach level
    • Turn your trunk to one side as you feel comfortable while bending your knee and pivoting your feet
    • Do the same on the other side
    • Try to make the movement continuous and dynamic. Control the motion with the power of the core muscles


    4. Kettlebell Windmill


    This kettlebell exercise is perfect for strengthening the posterior chain, such as your lower back and glutes, but the obliques and hips are also engaged.

    To do the Kettlebell Windmill follow the steps below:

    • Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Grab the bell in one palm
    • Lift the weight above your head with a straightened arm and twist your torso as far back as possible while keeping your eyes on the kettlebell
    • Lean forward and touch the floor with your other hand while keeping the turned position
    • Bring your upper body up slowly to the starting position
    • Repeat


    5. Kettlebell Swing


    The standard kettlebell swings work the core well and is the connection between the upper and lower body.

    Also, kettlebell swings are intensive and compound exercises that quickly boost the heart rate, supporting calorie burning. 

    The kettlebell swing is great for burning belly fat.

    • Lift the kettlebell to shoulder height, keep your arm straight and push your hips forward
    • Keep your heels planted and your core engaged during this kettlebell ab exercise
    • Swing the weight from the floor in between your legs. This is your first rep
    • Keep your arms loose while also squeezing your shoulder blades together. Let the weight of the kettlebell do all the work during the swing

    Tip: Try the lateral swing, which works the stabilizer muscles, obliques, and shoulders well.


    6. Single leg Romanian Deadlift


    While deadlift mainly targets the hamstrings because of the unstable state, the core must work hard to keep the balance.

    • Grab the handle, stand with feet close to each other, and align your back
    • With a straight right arm, lean forward until the kettlebell almost touches the floor while you lift your right leg on the same side. The movement requires control, so do slowly
    • Pull yourself back to the starting position
    • Do the same with your left arm and leg


    7. Kettlebell Suitcase Carry


    You can do this kettlebell exercise with one or both hands.

    I prefer the single version since it requires more control. Also, it would be best if you used a heavier piece.

    • Grab the weight to your side and align your back
    • Slowly start walking without letting your torso bend. You can have a counterbalance by holding your opposite arm out
    • Walk for at least a minute


    8. Alternating Reverse Lunge with Kettlebell Pass


    Lunges are excellent exercises to strengthen the quads and hams, but they put the body into an unstable state.

    Consequently, the core should work to keep the balance.

    We can add more resistance with this weighted version, making the exercise more effective.

    • Stand with feet close to each other and hold the weight in your left hand
    • Step backward with your left leg until your front thigh is parallel to the ground. You may need to test before how far your need to step back
    • Under your front thigh, pass the kettlebell to your right hand
    • Press yourself up and get back to the starting position
    • Do the same on the other side
    • Do your reps


    The best method to use this fitness equipment is to do standing core workouts.

    They are the most efficient to lose belly fat and get rid of love handles.

    You will be able to burn more fat as your entire body moves.

    Lunges with kettlebell pass allow more muscles to work together, which needs more energy and helps your body to burn more calories. 

    Besides, standing routines are especially useful to shape the obliques and hips. The side bend exercise is a perfect move for that.

    Below you can watch my playlist of the best kettlebell workouts for beginners. I love the kettlebell swing that provides a full-body workout.


    Core Exercises With the Kettlebell on the Floor 🎽


    Core Exercises With the Kettlebell on the Floor new

    With the help of the weights, you can add extra resistance to typical floor exercises to train your upper abs, lower abs, and oblique.

    I have a few favorite ones. These are the Russian twist, the kettlebell crunch, sit-ups, leg raises, and Jackknife.

    But we should not forget about the plank row (renegade row), a perfect full-body exercise.


    9. Plank

    The plank is excellent for improving core stability.

    With the help of the kettlebell, we can make this exercise harder since the round base of the kettlebell gives an unstable and wobbling position.

    You can do it with one or two pieces.

    • Put the kettlebell quite close to each other and grab the handles
    • Get into a plank position. Keep your head, spine, and legs in line. Your arms aligned
    • Hold this position for at least 45 seconds


    10. Russian Twists

    Here’s how to do the Russian twist with kettlebells.

    • Sit down and hold a kettlebell at about chest level
    • Arrange your back and lean backward while you lift your bent knees slightly to keep the balance
    • Twist your trunk to the sides without snagging your shoulders
    • Do the required reps


    11. Turkish Get Up


     I think the Turkish get-up is the most complex movement of all kettlebell exercises that requires learning the form.

    If you are a beginner, it’s better to break up the move into multiple movement patterns. 

    For example, you practice only the get-up phase.

    Because of its complexity, Turkish Get up works almost all muscle groups of the body at once, including abs.


    12. Single-Arm Kettlebell Overhead Sit-Up

    Here’s how to do the Single-Arm Kettlebell Overhead Sit-Up.

    • Lie on the floor and press the weight above your head with a straight arm.
    • With aligned back, sit up without using the momentum.
    • Slowly lower yourself back to the starting point.
    • Repeat and do reps you need.


    You can put the kettlebell on your chest if it’s hard instead of holding it above you.


    13. Renegade Row

    kettlebell renegade

    While this exercise mainly strengthens the lats and shoulders, the uneven position activates your core.

    Here’s how to do the renegade row:

    • Get into a plank position with two weights in your hands
    • Your head, back, and legs are in line during the whole movement. Your holding arm is straight
    • Lift the kettlebell with your right hand until your elbow gets above your upper back. Do it slowly, concentrating on your lat
    • Slowly place the kettlebell back
    • Do the same on the other side


    14. Kettlebell Sit and Press


    The kettlebell sit and press is a good ab exercise for a beginner. It is similar to the kettlebell sit-up or crunch but is better. The movements here target your abs while improving mobility through your hips and strengthening your shoulders.

    • Start by lying flat on your back. Hold the kettlebell in both hands
    • Sit up and hold the kettlebell over your head
    • Make sure your heels stay planted to the ground, and your legs stay straight
    • On the way back down from your sitting position, focus on your abdominal muscles. Keep them tight as you lower yourself back to the floor


    15. Kettlebell Deck Squat


    The kettlebell deck squat isn’t one many people have tried, but it is still a good one. You will follow through with a deep squat, a bridge, and a sit-up and stand for the deck squat. This exercise requires good hip mobility, but the kettlebell’s momentum will help.

    The abs are used along with several other muscles during this workout. When starting, use a lighter kettlebell or medicine ball.


    16. Kettlebell Clean


    The kettlebell clean exercise targets your gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps, deltoids, and back.

    • Get in your starting position. Feet should be shoulder-width apart. The kettlebell should be on the floor between your feet
    • Bend your knees to lift the kettlebell with your right hand. Your palm should be facing your body
    • Pull the weight up to your shoulder. When doing this, your right elbow will bend and face the floor, and your palm will be facing forward. The kettlebell will then rest against the back of your forearm
    • Now you should squeeze your glutes and hold the position. Reverse the movements and go back to your starting position. This is one complete rep
    • Once you have done the reps on one side, you can repeat them on the other side


    Other Kettlebell Core Exercises to Try πŸ™‚

    Kettlebell Ab Workout Tips for Safety and Benefits


    What to Pay Attention to When Doing a Kettlebell Ab Exercise:

    • Using weights for abdominal exercises can cause injuries. Thus, it is critical to warm up and stretch before, particularly the lower back.
    • It requires existing core strength, so it is not recommended for total beginners.
    • It is crucial to have proper form and focus on the muscle group you want to train to get the results.
    • Finally, do not use heavier weights because you will not be able to do movements correctly, keep the position, and the number of reps and sets required. Choose the load to your fitness level.


    How to Target the Lower Abs?

    The best moves for shaping the lower abs areas are various leg raises on the floor or with a bar.

    But, if you do the kettlebell exercises above, you will also shape your lower abdominal muscles. It is important to target your lower abs because this is one area of the body where fat is stored.


    What Are the Best Side Abs Exercises?

    To shape your obliques and hips, you should do torso rotational exercises such as kettlebell oblique twists or side bends.

    However, these kettlebell moves are good for toning and strengthening the muscles.

    If you want to get rid of love handles, you should do fat-burning HIIT workouts, a kind of cardio.

    Also, most importantly, you need to modify your diet.

    What are the Benefits of Kettlebell Training?

    What Are the Kettlebell Training Benefits

    I believe one of the most useful pieces of free weights are the kettlebells, and not just for the midsection.

    The reason is simple. When we use bells, several muscles work together to perform the exercises correctly and ensure the body stays balanced.

    This way, more muscles are engaged, especially the stabilizer muscles.

    So, if you are looking for a workout to strengthen your core and abdominal muscles, try these kettlebell exercises. They use a lot of dynamic movements that require your core for stabilization.

    For your kettlebell workouts to be as effective as possible, each workout should be a minimum of twenty minutes or a maximum of 45 minutes.

    You can get enough volume and burn a fair amount of calories in just twenty minutes, which is also helpful for weight loss.

    Learn more about the fitness benefits of kettlebell training.

    Frequently asked questions on kettle bells


    Do Kettlebell Exercises Help to Get Lean Abs?

    Unfortunately, they are not the best ones.

    These exercises are great for toning and strengthening the muscles, but the hard workout is useless if the muscles are covered with fat.

    The best way to get rid of belly fat is not doing abs workouts but focusing on your diet and doing cardio to burn calories. 

    The amount of fat you can burn with these moves is minimal.

    Healthy eating is vital to get six-pack abs.

    How heavy should your kettlebell be?

    There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how heavy your kettlebell should be. However, it does depend on a few factors.

    If you are doing more ballistic movements, you can use a heavier kettlebell. A heavier kettlebell is good for get-ups and windmills and allows control through each movement. Other factors include your age, weight, fitness level, and experience using kettlebells and lifting weights.

    Women typically start with an 18-pound kettlebell, and men start with a 35-pound kettlebell.

    What makes a kettlebell workout different from other weight workouts?

    If you are looking to build muscle strength and endurance, then a kettlebell workout is needed. When doing these workouts, you are using only one kettlebell at a time. Traditional weights are more for low reps and more weight, while kettlebell workouts are meant for higher and faster reps performed for a minute or more.

    Kettlebells also provide a better cardio workout because extra movements are involved compared to standard exercises. The swinging action when using a kettlebell, for example, is a fluid movement and is also easier on the body. This movement activates the entire posterior chain of muscles in a way that traditional dumbbells and weights can’t.


    Conclusion πŸ‘

    Exercise success help

    We have discussed many efficient movements you can do to train your core muscles.

    Kettlebell ab exercises are worth trying and implementing into your regime.

    If you enjoyed this kettlebell training article, don’t forget to share.


    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

    2 thoughts on “Build a Shaped and Strong Core with a Kettlebell Ab Workout”

    1. Why can’t I get abs? I train my abs 3 times a week, and I do about 100 reps. I also do cardio to burn fat. However, I just can’t get rid of the fat covering my belly! What do I do badly?

      1. I don’t know your body fat level, but if you have extra fat on your stomach, you should pay attention to your diet. Cardio alone is maybe not enough for you to lose belly fat.

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