Kettlebell training is a great way to build strength, endurance and muscle tone. You will 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.
There are very few fitness tools that combine the strength, toning and stamina components in one, which is why kettlebells are so popular today.
The Origins of Kettlebells
Kettlebell exercises have become fashionable again in the west over the last 20 years, however the origin of kettlebells dates further back.
Kettlebell lifting became a national sport in the Sovieet Union from 1948. Competitors would perform the snatch, the clean and the jerk.
In 1962 competition rules were formed and the sport still exists in Russia today.
Kettlebell Abs workout
This is a 5 minute kettlebell ab workout consisting of 5 kettlebell exercises. Depending on your fitness level your recovery time will either be 30, 40 or 45 seconds.
During your work period you will try to perform as many repetitions as you can with the form shown on 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.
Try to avoid the mistake that many beginners make when doing the rack position, which is to “grip” the handle at the top. You will create a lot of pressure on your forearms and writsts, which can be easily avoided.
The base of the kettlebell needs to rest on your forearm, while the handle sits on the base of your palm. This position should not feel uncomfortable when done correctly.
Exercises to perform in rotation
- Kettlebell twists
- Kettlebell sit up and twist
- Lateral swings
- Side plank row
Kettlebell exercises and full description
1) Kettlebell twists
This exercise is great for your love handles.
- Keep your body upright while slightly leaning back.
- Twist your body side to side.
- This video shows 2 variations of the twist. You can use whichever variation you prefer.
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 direction
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.
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 is parallel with your top hip.
5) Side plank row
This is a great exercise for your obliques, which is 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.