The Ultimate Kettlebell Ab Workout


Having washboard abs is most people’s dream. However, this is hardly attainable by only performing bodyweight exercises.

In fact, using weights such as plates, dumbbells, or kettlebells is the best option if you aim to develop a well-chiseled abdomen, as they allow you to activate both superficial and deeper core muscles.

Kettlebells are a very common training tool, as they can be found in all gyms, and most people own one too. In this article, we will provide you with a total abs workout that you can do at the gym or at home using just a couple of kettlebells. 

5 abs exercises to do with a kettlebell

These exercises can be performed as a circuit or individually at the end of a training session. For best results, aim to perform them a minimum of twice per week. 

Standing windmill


  1. Start by standing upright with your feet hip-width apart, holding a kettlebell with your right hand.
  2. Move the kettlebell above your head by extending the arm with the palm facing forward.
  3. Holding the kettlebell up with the right arm extended, extend the left arm down and move it along the left leg by hinging at the hips.
  4. Once you get to the maximum depth, slowly move your torso back to the starting position by engaging the core and maintaining the right arm extended above your head. This is one repetition. Repeat on both sides.

Reps and Sets

Perform 8-10 reps on each side for 4-5 sets

Russian twists


  1. Start by sitting on the floor holding a kettlebell with both hands. Your knees should be bent and your feet flat on the floor. 
  2. Move the kettlebell to one side next to your hips by twisting the torso
  3. Maintaining eye contact with the kettlebell, twist your torso to swing the weight to the other side of your hips. This is one repetition

Reps and Sets

Perform 12 repetitions for 4 sets

Sit-ups and press


  1. Sit down with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor while holding a kettlebell with both hands.
  2. Lie down whilst holding the kettlebell against your chest
  3. Lift your torso to move onto a seated position while also extending your arms up to lift the kettlebell above your head
  4. Lower the kettlebell back to your chest
  5. Lie back down onto the starting position. This is one repetition

Reps and Sets

Perform 10-12 repetitions for 4 sets

Half-Turkish get-ups


  1. Start by lying on one side, with your knees bent forward, and while holding a kettlebell in front of your chest with both hands.
  2. Move your back flat on the floor whilst also lifting the kettlebell above your face with your right hand, maintaining the arm fully extended. On the same side, keep the knee bent with your foot flat on the floor. On the left side of the body, extend the arm to the side and the leg down.
  3. Maintaining the right arm fully extended, use the right foot on the ground and the left elbow and hand to lift your trunk from the floor.
  4. Keeping the left leg extended, push through both legs and fully extend the left arm to lift your whole body from the floor.
  5. Sit back down, keeping the left arm fully extended and grounded to the floor. 
  6. Bend the left elbow to lower your trunk back to the starting position. This is one repetition. Repeat on both sides.

Reps and Sets

Perform 6-8 repetitions on each side for 5 sets

Elevated renegade rows

This exercise is usually aimed at working the arms and back. However, it is also a great alternative to training the abdominals as it requires the engagement of the deep core muscles to maintain balance.


  1. Grab a kettlebell with each hand, ensuring they both are identical in shape and weight. Place them on the floor at a shoulder-width distance.
  2. Using the kettlebells as parallettes, place yourself in an extended plank position, ensuring the kettlebells’ handles are parallel to your body. 
  3. Keeping your core tight and your arms fully extended, bend one elbow back to lift the kettlebell up to your lats.
  4. Gently move the kettlebell back down. This is one repetition, repeat on both sides. 

Reps and Sets

Perform 10-12 repetitions on each side for 3-4 sets

Final words

If you are aiming to increase your core strength, you should focus on weighted abs exercises, as this will help you engage both superficial and deep core muscles. For the best results, perform the above workout a minimum of twice per week. 


Erbes, D.A., 2012. The effect of kettlebell training on body composition, flexibility, balance, and core strength (Doctoral dissertation).

Leatherwood, M.D., Whittaker, A. and Esco, M.R., 2014. Exercise technique: The Turkish get-up with a kettlebell. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 36(6), pp.107-110.

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