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Do Kettlebell Swings Work Abs?

Kettlebells are pieces of portable exercise equipment that helps work your posterior chain muscles found in the butt, hamstrings, back, and abs. This is why we are going to learn how kettlebell swings can strengthen your core and burn fats to get well-toned abs.   

Do Kettlebell Swings Work Abs?

Kettlebell swings will build abs; however, it also depends on how you will swing the kettlebell or use it in a workout routine. A kettlebell swing is a full body exercise that strengthens over 600 body muscles. It’s a simple and fast movement that coordinates your grip, hamstrings, glutes, hips, lats, pecs, and abs.

If you want to work on your abs, you can try 8 to 16 kg of a kettlebell. With such weight, it takes effort to grip a moving kettlebell and force to stabilize the core.

Man swinging a kettlebell with both hands

Sculpting abs does not mean you have to lose body mass. In fact, you must retain muscle mass to be healthy. The good thing about a kettlebell swing is that it boosts metabolism by keeping your muscle mass while increasing your body’s ability to burn calories.

A kettlebell swing is a holistic exercise that can improve your body’s form as long as you understand and execute the proper way of swinging. It may look like an effortless move, but in reality, a single swing involves many muscles working at the same time.

Likewise, it connects the upper and lower body parts, which means your whole body gets a bodybuilding routine. Such collective movements provide muscle density and depth.

Are Kettlebell Swings Good for the Core?

Kettlebell swings are absolutely good for the core, though keep in mind that you shouldn’t focus solely on this. Swings target your core’s muscles such as the glutes, hamstrings, hips, and even the shoulders.

When you swing a kettlebell, a pulse-like contraction in the abdomen occurs, stiffening your core while also stabilizing the spinal column. As a result, it strengthens and sculpts your core.

Remember, your core will work hard in every kettlebell swing, which consequently helps build abs.

Should You be Performing Kettlebell Swings Everyday?

It is alright to do kettlebell swings on a daily basis, as they are a great exercise that can give you a full body workout. 

If you do execute them everyday, try to include a variety of other exercises that work different muscles. This way, your muscles can continue to strengthen, rather than becoming stagnant from doing the same exercises over and over.  Also, remember to listen to your body and take time to recover!

Woman trying to swing a kettlebell with both hands

How Many Kettlebell Swings Can I Do Every Day?

In general, about 300 swings or 10 reps of 30 swings per day are ideal. You can rest for as long as you need, but remember to repeat the reps three to six times.

While progressing, you will be able to take shorter breaks. That is when you can do 10 reps of one-handed swings daily.

What Kettlebell Exercises Can Work Abs?

Repetition of kettlebell swings can work wonders, but incorporating swings into routines is more fun and productive. With a good level of core stabilization, proper form, and decent weight, you’ll form abs the right and safe way. May it be a single swing or a kettlebell workout, you will definitely build your abs.

Here are some various kettlebell exercises you can try:

  • One-Handed Kettlebell Swings: These twist the body to initiate obliques. In effect, you will exert centrifugal force in a horizontal direction. This type of swing is more challenging because you’ll use only one side of the body, which means tension in the core is vital to remain balanced.
  • Two-Handed Kettlebell Swings: These let you squeeze your stomach and work your way up while keeping a stable movement to contract on the way down.   
  • Kettlebell Lateral Swings: This advanced kettlebell exercise requires you to move sideways, enabling you to rotate your midsection. You will achieve well-toned abs since kettlebell lateral swings pushes your core to exert more effort.
  • Kettlebell Swings Plus Snatch: Another well-known kettlebell move is the snatch, which requires you to form a quarter-squat position to arm lift a kettlebell. In one fluid move, lift the kettlebell from the floor to overhead as you stand. When combining snatches and swings, you can burn up to 20 calories per minute.
Woman holding a kettlebell with one hand

Kettlebell Swings Variations

Once you get used to swings, experiment with reps, variations, or sets. If you find a single movement kind of boring, this is your chance to make workouts more enjoyable by having various movements. Start with 30 sets, so you can burn fat while retaining muscle mass.

Conclusion

A kettlebell swing is a full body exercise that strengthens your core, maintains body mass, burns fats, and, consequently, works up the abs.   

With the right swing from, frequency, and intensity, a kettlebell swing can help build abs. Know that the workout should still depend on your body. Thus, have an instructor guide you and take a rest when necessary.

Robert Lemus is natural competitor for 6 years, starting in Men’s Physique, then Bodybuilding, and then into Classic Physique. He is the Orange County Bodybuilding champion in 2016 for the Musclemania Organization. In 2018, he received his Pro Card with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in Classic Physique.