Strengthen Your Abs And Obliques With These Four Kettlebell Exercises

Woman performs sit-up holding a kettlebell above her in one hand. A man stands next to her
(Image credit: Fotostorm / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

There isn’t much you can’t train with a kettlebell. You can build muscle in your lower body and upper body, challenge your cardio fitness, and get your entire body working as one with dynamic, functional movements. And if you want to step up your abs workouts, just add a kettlebell.

There are plenty of great kettlebell abs workouts to try and this routine from personal trainers Matt Tralli and Louis Chandler is a great example, with four moves that will train your rectus abdominis (your six-pack) and obliques (your side abs).

All you need for this workout is a kettlebell. Even if you’ve tried these exercises before, choose a lighter weight first so you can get the hang of the sequence and perfect your form. Then you can challenge yourself with a heavier weight when you’re ready for it.

Watch the Instagram Reel where Tralli and Chandler demonstrate each of the exercises.

Tralli and Chandler have set 20 reps of the standing overhead march, 10 reps of the single-arm sit-up on each side, 20 up-and-over reps and 10 woodchops on each side, however adjust the reps, rounds and rest to suit your level of fitness. The workout should pose a challenge, but each exercise needs to be performed with good form.

Your form is really important in each of these moves to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the lower back. Good core engagement will also maximize the benefits of the workout. How do you know you’re engaging your core? Think about keeping your ribcage down, drawing your belly button toward your spine and squeezing your glutes for extra stability. 

If these weighted exercises are too difficult, try some of the best bodyweight core exercises instead, which will also help you build up your core strength. 

Alice Porter

Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.