There are a million ways to work your abs, but few moves come close to the good old abdominal crunch. However, this ab-busting exercise technique is amplified tenfold through the use of kettlebells. This article looks briefly at why kettlebells rock abdominal crunches, the types of kettlebells, and how to blast your core with kettlebell-loaded abdominal crunches!
Why Are Kettlebells So Great?
Kettlebells certainly do look a bit odd, but don’t let their appearance fool you. They’re excellent for explosive workouts, combining flexibility, strength, core power and muscular strength. Since they’re odd-shaped and have a tight centre of gravity, lifting kettlebells forces the use of muscles which mimic real-life actions. A handful of kettlebell exercise can give you an exhilarating full-body workout – training strength, cardio, and flexibility all at the same time.
Types of Kettlebells
Most kettlebells are made from cast iron, and all consist of two parts: the handle and the ball. Kettlebells range in weight, much like dumbbells. There are two main types of kettlebells used in gymnasiums across the planet:
These are the types of kettlebells you find at your average gym. They have handles that curve into the ball and are often coated in rubber for use in CrossFit and similar workouts.
Kettlebells of this nature differ in two ways to their standard brethren. Competition kettlebells have a slightly narrower grip diameter, and the handle does not curve onto the ball – but rather extends straight down to it.
How to Perform a Kettlebell Abdominal Crunch
Here’s how to take your abdominal sets to the next level with a kettlebell:
- Lie flat on your back with your legs angled. Your feet must be flat on the floor, just wider than shoulder-width apart.
- You have two choices here: either hold the kettlebell close to your chest with your hands wrapped around the ball. Alternatively, hold it out above you with your arms fully extended.
- Slowly raise your torso off the ground. Try to keep your feet flat on the floor. Only rise to around 45 degrees otherwise you’ll end up working your back more than your abs. If you’re not careful, this could cause injury.
- If you’re extending your arms, try and keep them pointing directly upwards as you lift your body. This will see your arm positioning change.
- If you do not extend your arms, be sure to have a firm grip on your kettlebell when lifting yourself. If you find you can get up with the kettlebell, simply move it down closer to your naval.
- Hold the extended position for a count of two and then slowly return to the starting position. Challenge yourself by increasing the weight of your kettlebell every few weeks.
Kettlebell workouts are not just superb for abdominal workouts, they are also fantastic for getting a superior cardiovascular workout in addition to a full-body workout. However, make sure that you perfect your form before progressing to heavier weights as if you use a weight that is not correct for you, there is the strong possibility that you could do yourself untold damage. So, watch out!
Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Online Kettlebells Course is the perfect qualification to allow you to become the best kettlebells trainer you can be. Endorsed by REPSSA with 12 CPD points, this means that you can work as a kettlebell trainer anywhere in the world. For more information and to view our other courses, visit our website.