If Your Regular Old Abs Workout Has Started to Feel Snoozy, Try Adding a Kettlebell

Each month, a new trainer takes us through four of the best workouts they have in their back pocket. Follow along weekly for new ways to sweat it out with us. See All

Tis the season of jingle bells, sleigh bells, and our personal favorite: Kettlebells.

If you’ve heard the term “kettlebell” in your workouts before, chances are it was immediately followed by the word “swing.” While these moves are great for building strength in your entire body and spiking your heart rate, it’s time that they move over to give other moves their time to shine, because there are a whole lot of things that you can do with a kettlebell that don’t involve slinging it forward and back.

In fact, as our December Trainer of the Month Roxie Jones proves, you can use a kettlebell to get an abs-quaking workout at home. It only takes five minutes, so it’s great to add to the end of your cardio routine (Jones likes to do it after a long run) or do as a quick hit on its own. To make it more challenging, you can repeat the entire sequence three times… just be ready for it to hurt the next day.

Grab a 10-pound kettlebell (or lighter, if you need, because as Jones says, “a heavier weight doesn’t make a better workout—it’s form that makes your workout better"), and follow along with the video above. Don't forget to check back next week for an all new kettlebell workout, care of Roxie Jones.

The kettlebell abs workout to try now

1. Russian twists x 12: Holding one kettlebell in both hands, sit in a V position. If you’re a beginner, keep your heels on the floor; if you want to make things more challenging, lift them up in the air to tabletop position. Twist your body to lightly touch the kettlebell to the floor on each side (one side-to-side counts as a single rep). Think about pulling your navel in toward your spine and keep your chest up so you’re not rounding your back.

2. Typewriter drags x 12: Start in a high plank position with one bell on the side of your hand. Squeezing your glutes and core, use your opposite hand to pull the kettlebell under your body and place it on the other side (one side-to-side counts as a single rep). If lifting the weight is too much, you can drag it from side to side. Be sure to keep your core tight so your hips stay stabilized.

3. Weighted sit-ups x 12: Lay on your back with your feet on the ground, and hold you kettlebell to your chest. Sit straight up, all the way up, keeping your kettlebell close. Be sure to press your lower back into the ground to fully engage your core. Exhale at the top of the move to exert more force.

4. Figure-8 pass x 12: Start in a V position (either with your feet on the floor if you’re a beginner, or raised to table top to make things more advanced) with one kettlebell in your hand. Raise each leg, one at a time, and pass the kettlebell underneath it, drawing a sort of “figure eight” around your lower body.

5. Weighted leg raises x 12: Holding the kettlebells in racked position with your back on the ground and legs up in the air, press your lower back into the core to brace your core. Elevate your hands all the way up, and lower your legs down to slightly above the ground. Raise back up to 90-degrees for one rep, and go slowly to ensure you’re activating every possible muscle.

Can't decide whether you should be using a kettlebell or a dumbbell? Here's how to figure it out. And this easy kettlebell move will boost strength and coordination at the same time. 

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