Kettlebell Windmill Exercise for Six Pack Abs and Core Strength
Posted Sep 22 2008 10:37am
If you want a really nice body you need six pack abs and if you want an functional body you need a strong core. Luckily they are often one in the same thing provided you are lean enough to show muscle definition in the stomach region. If you want to lean out enough to show off your abs just read some of my previous fat burning posts. If you need to strengthen your abs to get those muscles defined and strong then keep on reading!
To strengthen the abdominal and core muscles you have to stress them with resistance just like any muscle. Countless sit-ups or crunches won't do much except make you good at sit-ups and crunches, so stop doing them. All the bending forward probably won't help your posture and muscle imbalances anyways so don't even bother. Besides, their are plenty of other ways to strengthen your abs like doing planks, lifting heavy weights with one hand at a time or doing kettlebell windmills.
The kettlebell windmill will make your abs tense up like never before and therefore force the muscles to become much stronger. To do a windmill hold a kettlebell or weight above your head in one hand, with the other hand run it down along your leg and try to touch the ground by bending at the hips over to your side. Check out the video for a better explanation. Done properly it is totally safe for the back, and will work abs in a manner they are not accustomed to. I love the windmill because it allows me to train the abs heavy without putting my lower back at risk the way some crunch movements can.
Heavy abdominal training should usually be done early in a workout because it demands total concentration and strong supporting muscles. If your lower back is tired for example, you could fall out of form and hurt yourself. It is also important to keep the reps low. Just focus on making the abs tense really hard and fight the resistance, high rep work will simple put your back at risk due to fatigue. I would recommend 3 sets of 5 reps per hand a few days a week at most. Start with a lighter kettlebell or weight and then don't be afraid to go heavy once you have the hang of it.
Kettlebell windmills will also improve your shoulder stability, hamstring and back strength so they truly a great full body exercise.