The ONE bit of gym kit that rapidly tones tummies

Fitness experts reveal the ONE bit of gym kit that will tone your tummy at rapid speed – but people rarely use it

  •  Gym-goers don’t make use of equipment that is highly effective for toning tums
  • Kettlebells are large weights that can be used to work several muscle groups 
  • READ MORE:  I keep my arms toned with the lazy girl workout 

It is a mission shared by millions of gym bunnies: tone and strengthen the core muscles, or abs.

Most of us think body-weight exercises done on the floor are the best way to build muscle in your abdomen – using movements like crunches and planks, for example. 

But a growing number of fitness pros say these exercises can be fruitless. 

Instead, you’re better off picking up a piece of gym equipment that not enough gym-goers make use of, they say.

Influencer and fitness guru Amy Kiser Schemper has raked in more than 1.5 million views with her standing abs workout that uses a kettlebell to squeeze the abdominal muscles.

Fitness expert Amy Kiser Schemper has attracted millions of viewers to her workout that shows how to tighten the abs while standing up

In just 10 minutes, she says, you can ‘strengthen and tone your tummy’ – without any crunches, planks or exercises done on the mat.

A kettlebell is a large weight with a looped handle, usually made from iron or steel.

The tool is most commonly used to add extra resistance to body weight exercises that work the legs, buttocks and thighs – like squats. 

The weight also often feature in workouts designed to tone the arms and shoulders.

A post shared by Matt Tralli (@matttralli5)

But personal trainers say they are also highly effective for combatting tummy flab in a short space of time.

According to fitness trainer Sam Hopes, standing kettlebell exercises can be gentler on the lower back compared to sit ups, too.


Being highly active reduces the risk of chronic lower-back pain by 16 per cent, research suggested in July 2017.

Regular moderate activity lowers the risk of such discomfort by 14 per cent, a study review found.

Yet, exercise has no impact on short-term back pain or that which causes hospitalisation or disability, the research adds.

Dr Joel Press, physiatrist-in-chief at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, who was not involved in the study, said: ‘We were meant to move. We were not meant to be stagnant in any way.

‘Generally lower impact, walking type things are probably the starting point. 

‘Swimming is another low-impact activity that puts less load on your back’. 

Dr Press advises back-pain sufferers avoid sports that involve a lot of twisting and turning, such as golf and tennis. 

In Ms Kiser Schemper’s video – posted by her fitness business account, BodyFitByAmy, the exercise guru takes viewers through a number of exercises usin a 15-pound kettlebell.

If this feels too heavy for you, she says, you can use a lighter, more comfortable weight. 

Her series of exercises include ‘around the world’ – which involves twirling the kettlebell around your head.

Then there’s twisting the core while holding the weight, and the ‘windmill’, where you bend down to one side and hold the kettlebell up in the air.

 This all works to stabilize and strengthen the core muscles, while also working the arms.

Elsewhere, fitness duo Matt Tralli and Louis Chandler (above) – who have a combined following of more than 600,000 on Instagram – have posted just four exercises using kettlebells that are said to fire up the abs.

These include lifting the kettlebell above the head while marching and alternating shoulders with the kettlebell in hand.

They demonstrate sitting up with one hand on the weight and lifting and rotating the legs around a kettlebell.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Fitness Research found that subjects training with kettlebells increased their core strength by 70 per cent following an eight-week program.

Other research by experts from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) has found that kettlebell training also boosts aerobic capacity – safeguarding lung and heart health – as well as improving balance.

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