5 Kettlebell Exercises To Tone Your Abs
And arms. Because crop tops.
There was a moment, between the perils of winter and the just-about-to-bloom, pollen-filled spring, where we relapsed to our, I’d rather sit on the couch than run mentality. That is, until we came to the stark realization that the season to bare skin is literally right around the corner… like, actually. Which essentially means we have to skip out on that extra handful of ketchup chips (it’s a Canadian thing) and pick up the kettlebell instead. What we’ve learned in our hours of chatting with trainers is that kettlebells are pretty much better than your dumbbells—it has to do with the fact that they let you exercise in a full range of motion—to ready ourselves for a summer of what we can only image will be full crop tops (yup, they really aren't going anywhere just yet).
But since we’re not claiming to be experts or anything, we asked Danielle Hopkins, a pro trainer and Fitness Manager at Equinox, to break down the five kettle bell exercises that promise to tone and strengthen our arms and abdominals and ready them for exposure.
Getup Sit Up
TARGETS: abs, shoulders, triceps, lats
Start by lying on your back holding the kettlebell "bell up" with your arms extended directly in front of you. Keeping your arms straight, sit up until you are directly under the kettlebell, arms overhead. Slowly lower back down to the mat, taking care to keep your arms straight. Focus on speed as you sit up and control as you lower down to the mat. Aim for 10-15 reps.
Push Up With A Twist
TARGETS: chest, triceps, shoulders, core
Start in push up position, with one hand on top of the kettlebell. Perform one push up, then remove your hand from the kettlebell to rotate to a side plank. Holding a side plank, drive your knee to your elbow focusing on stability and maintaining alignment. Return to push up position and repeat for a rep of 5-8 on each side.
Thread the Needle
Begin on your back, holding the kettlebell at chest height, arms bent. Perform one sit up and then thread the kettlebell through your inner thigh, catching it by the handle on the other side. Return the kettlebells to chest height and lower back to the mat. Repeat for a total of 12-15 reps.
TARGETS: core, back, triceps
Using a step or bench, get into plank position, ensuring your shoulders are directly over your wrists. Grab the handle of the kettlebell and pull it to your hip, taking care not to let your hips rotate as you row. Return to start position. Repeat for 10-12 reps on each side.
Elevated Split Squat
TARGETS: quads, glutes, hamstrings, core
Using a step or bench, get into a split stance with one leg on top of the step. Take the kettlebell by the handle and rack it near your chest, resting the bell on your shoulder (this forces the core to work harder). Next, lower down to the ground and back up keeping your weight in the front leg. Repeat for 10-12 reps on one leg then switch sides.