A kettlebell swings for abs is a great way to tone your legs, build strength and improve your endurance. It’s also one of the best ab exercises, focusing on your lower back and glutes while strengthening your core.
Performing the kettlebell swing safely is important. Many people incorrectly lift the weight with their arms and shoulders, putting unnecessary strain on the lower back as well as reducing the effectiveness of the exercise.
Full Body Kettlebell Workout – Boot Camp & Military Fitness
1. Focus on Hinging Forward Rather than Squatting
The kettlebell swing uses a hip hinge to generate momentum, not a squat. A squat requires you to bend your knees as your torso lands, and that can negatively affect muscle recruitment.
2. Squatty Swings Are a Bad Idea
Some people aren’t used to this action, so they squat down with every downward swing. This puts more focus on the quadriceps instead of the hamstrings, and it makes the exercise more difficult to perform.
3. Squatty Swings Put Too Much Stress on Your Low Back
Finally, squatty swings place too much stress on your low back as you try to stand up with each rep. They can also cause your hips to splay outwards, which could prevent the kettlebell from being properly placed on your thighs.
The proper form for the kettlebell swing is to hinge forward from your hips and quickly hike the bell between your legs, then rapidly extend at your hips, like you’re hiking a football to your quarterback. When you’re ready to swing, contract your glutes and quads to drive the kettlebell up until it’s in front of your torso at shoulder height (engage your core to brace yourself).