11 Minute Kettlebell Abs
Remember 11 minute abs? This is 11 minute abs with weight added to the routine. 6 out of 8 of these exercises you can perform with a medicine ball in place of a kettlebell. Please choose a weight that is appropriate for you. If you haven’t used weights before start very light. Kettlebells come in weights from 5 – 100+ lbs so you should be able to find one that is suitable. Start lighter than you think you need to, then bump it up the second or third time you do the routine. For reference, I’m a ~ 180lb man who uses a 24kg (53 lb) kettlebell for a turkish get up that can single arm swing a 28kg bell. I used an 18lb bell for 11 minute kettlebell abs.
For those unaware of the timer for 11 minute anything written on Get Back Into Fitness the routine and timers are as follows – 8 exercises, 2 rounds, do each exercise for 30 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest.
Exercises 1 & 2 – Kettlebell or dumbbell required (cannot use medicine ball): Side Bends Left and Right
From a standing position hold the bell or weight in your hand and bend sideways-ish at your waist. Take the bell down to a little above your knee then come back up. Keep your legs straight through the movement and try not to wobble any other part of your body. Return to neutral position at the top. This exercise is going to work your obliques. I’ll note that this exercise has its fans and detractors online
* Exercises 3 – 8 can be done with a medicine ball if you don’t have a dumbebell or kettlebell handy
Exercise 3 – Around the body / Slingshot
Remain standing from the previous two rounds. For this exercise start feet shoulder width apart and pass your weight from your right hand to left hand in front of your body then circle the weight behind your back from your left hand to your right hand. Keep circling your body with the weight going either clockwise or counter clockwise (you can do one direction for the first time through and go the opposite direction the second time through.) Keep everything tight, the only thing moving are your arms.
Exercise 4 – Plank Drag
This one probably works best with a sandbag as a dragging movement, so let’s call this a pick up and sit down instead. Get into plank position with the weight near your left or right hand (choose one for the first go through and another for the other go through.) Pick up the weight (or push if its the medicine ball), then place it down in front of your other hand. Repeat. Try to keep the rest of your body neutral without rotating as you pick up the weight and move it from side to side. You will be balancing on one hand while moving the weight, so this creates an instability in the body that you have to work through, as well as adding weight to the other side, creating additional instability.
Exercise 5 – Russian Twist
Sitting on your butt with weight in hands, twist from side to side placing the weight on the ground on your left side, picking it up, twisting to the right, placing the weight down, picking it up, going back to the left, etc, etc. Lift your feet off the ground and cross your ankles for a bit more instability and fun (it turns the exercise into a partial V up giving you additional ab targeting.) By default this also works the obliques.
Exercise 6 – Dead Bug
Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and your arms at about pec level holding the weight. Kick one leg out (let’s say left leg for the first go through, right for the second) moving your arms back and over your right ear with your arms fully extended. Come back to starting position to complete one rep.
Exercise 7 – V Up
This is the full stapping V up. Hold the weight in your hands with your arms and feet extended as far away as humanly possible from your body while laying on your back. In one motion kick your feet up into the air in the direction of your arms while bringing your arms up and forward towards your feet. Your body will be in the shape of a V in this position (hence the name “V Up.”) Go back to laying position to finish the rep.
Exercise 8 – Sit Up and Press
We’re still flat on our back for this one. Knees are slightly bent. Holding the weight, come up to the top of a sit up position then press the weight your holding high overhead. Bring it back down and lay back on your back to finish the exercise.
I didn’t include links to videos in this routine like I typically do, If you really want to see video examples of this routine please reply to the email (if you’re a subscriber to the newsletter) and let me know you really want the videos back. If you’re reading on the blog, use the comments field below. Being that all 8 exercises can be done with dumbbells or kettlebells (the kettlebell exercises are most likely going to be done with a goblet grip, whereas the dumbbell exercises may be 1 dumbbell gripped in the middle, or even 2 dumbbells in the case of the Sit Up Press) and 6 can be done with a medicine ball, it may be more beneficial to google around and see examples of the exercise grips based on your tool of choice to perform this set. Or try with all 3 to add some variety to your day.
* Medicine ball 11 minute abs will not actually be 11 minutes of abs. You’ll lose 2 minutes of work and 40 seconds of rest on exercises 1 and 2. The Medicine ball slam could be thrown in and / or medicine ball squats for exercises 1 and 2 to make it a complete 11 minute ab circuit. And yes, the slams and squats will also work your hip / glute complex. They’re full body exercises that require the core (abs) to be contracted the entire time making them very suitable for ab routines as well.