You only need a kettlebell and five moves to tone your abs—here’s how

This short workout uses five functional exercises to build a stronger core and ready the body for carrying out daily tasks

Man uses a kettlebell in a core based workout
(Image credit: Getty)

If you’re used to training with weights when you exercise then you might find ab workouts a little boring. However, a good ab routine doesn’t have to take long and you can always incorporate weights into one.

The best workouts for abs tend to involve lying down on a padded surface, such as on one of the best yoga mats, and performing repetitions of reverse crunches, bicycle crunches, and planks.

This functional core movement from workout instructor Avery Turner involves working with one of the best kettlebells and will help strengthen your core and your abdominal muscles.

The circuit includes five different moves, some of which you will be lifting the weight and others where you will work your body around the kettlebell as you activate and engage your core. 

Turner says she completed the routine four times but, depending on your fitness abilities and how big a challenge you’re looking for, she encourages you to “go until it burns.”

Watch Avery Turner's Five-Move Kettlebell Core Workout


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While you can’t target stomach fat with ab exercises you can certainly create muscle strength and definition across your core with the right kind of exercises and consistency. 

The weight loss part will become easier to manage when you reduce your calorie intake safely, learn more about how to use protein powder to lose weight, and mix up your training between regular cardio and at least two or three resistance sessions a week.

In the meantime, we’ve listed Turner’s five ab toning moves below for you to try out. 

  • Kettlebell Circles - 45 secs 
  • Wood chopper - 30 secs each side 
  • Side-to-side V-sits 
  • Up and downs V-sits- 30 secs 
  • Butterfly Kicks - 45 secs 

With a kettlebell you can turn any workout into functional training, like the routine demonstrated above. Functional training refers to exercises that train your muscles to work together and helps ready them for daily tasks. For example, you might already use moves like lunges, squats, and deadlifts in your lower-body sessions and this can make activities such as sitting down or bending over to pick something up feel easier.

Turner’s functional workout for the core and ab muscles will improve things like balance and your ability to twist and turn with ease. According to a study published in the Frontiers journal, functional training can improve someone's overall physical fitness relating to speed, muscular strength, power, balance, and agility.

For an extra challenge, feel free to add an ab roller to the end of your next core-based workout. This targets the ‘six-pack muscle’, formally known as the rectus abdominus, as well as your hip flexors and upper body. 

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.