I’m redeeming flutter kick abs exercises for all mankind with this single solitary article. Sounds a little conceited, yes. However, flutter kicks are an amazing exercise that so many are ignoring.
You see, over the years, flutter kick abs exercises have gotten a bad wrap as being “wimpy”. It’s not their fault… they’re just misunderstood. And typically performed incorrectly.
Let’s take a look at the primary muscles being worked…
Your rectus abdominis is the front section of your midsection. The #1 way to engage these muscles is to flex or bend the torso at the waist. During the flutter kick, your ab muscles remained flexed the entire time, thus heavily engaging your rectus abdominis.
And this exercise works more than your midsection. The hip flexors, which are attached to your pelvis, are the primary movers in this exercise. Therefore, along with your rectus abdominis working, you’re also engaging your thighs (the secondary muscles working)…
That’s not all. The obliques, along the sides of your abdomen… and your quadriceps stabilize the exercise, therefore triggering muscular work at the sides of your waist and at the top of your legs.
Quick abs motivation break. It’s a two-minute video. If you want, skip to the flutter kicks at the 1:59 mark… Frank Medrano has got em’ down pat.
Flutter Kick Abs – You’re Doing It Wrong?
Here’s where most people go wrong with this exercise… They arch their lower back.
Ever notice how your lower back curves when you lay flat on the floor?
Ding, ding, ding! That’s the cause of your lower back pain…
The slight elevation adds tension and stress on the spine. And may be the reason you’ve avoided this exercise or not experienced the full benefits of the movement…
Instead, tuck your chin to your chest and raise your upper back slightly off the floor… I’ll continue stressing this throughout the article… just incase you skipped this lovely intro and went right to the exercises…
You’ll notice the small of your back lightly press into the floor. At this point you’ll be able to perform the flutter kick abs exercise pain-free…
Pro Tip: Place a soft pad or mat under your back for added comfort… this will NOT apply to flutter kick abs variation #5 (you’ll see why)…
Now that you’ve got the form down, let’s get into the flutter kick abs variations for a razor sharp midsection.
- Flutter Kick
Skip to 0:30 in the video below to view the exercise
Level of difficulty: beginner
Here’s a couple tips to get the most out of your flutter kick abs exercise…
Tip #1: Keep a small round in your lower back. This will take any discomfort or pain the lower back out of the picture so you can focus entirely on your abdominal muscles.
To do this, slightly raise your upper back off the floor and tuck your chin into your chest. I go over this more in the Isometrics Exercises For Abs article.
Tip #2: If you want to make this exercise more challenging, take your hands from underneath your lower back and keep that along your sides. Maintain a slight round in your low back. This will force your stabilizer muscles in your abdominals to contract along with the rectus abdominis.
- Navy SEAL Flutter Kicks
Start the video at 1:14
Level of difficulty: intermediate
The navy is known for their crack-o-dawn abdominal workouts. You’ve probably seen them in Hollywood flicks busting out hundreds of ab exercises. There’s no question, these guys’ abs are the real deal.
Navy SEALS are an elite group of military special force operators and are arguably the most fit men alive. So you better bet these guys have rock solid abs.
- Good Morning Darlings (another Navy SEAL staple)
I recommend watching the entire video for inspiration. You’ll find this exercise at 4:45
Level of difficulty: intermediate
You’ll feel your lower abs burn like no other with this move.
Start in the flutter kick position. Feet slightly off the floor. Chin tucked. And upper back off the ground…
From there, you’ll move your legs outward, laterally, then bring them back together in the center… go to fluter kick abs exercise #6 for an even more hardcore variation of this exercise.
To make this exercise more challenging… Raise your legs an additional 2-3 inches off the floor and perform the same movement. You’ll engage your stabilizer muscles the more, while carving out your obliques and abdominals.
- V-crunch Flutter Kicks
Level of difficulty: intermediate
You’ll up the ante’ with this one…
Instead of laying flat on your back, you’ll be in an isometric abdominal crunch position while performing your flutter kick abs exercise.
You’ll want to position your body at a 100 degree – 120 degree angle for maximal abdominal engagement. Keep your entire body tight. Flex your abs.
And in weeks of performing this exercise you’ll notice those razor sharp abs beginning to develop… by the way, want my FREE abs resource? Click on the download link below.
5. Hanging Flutter Kicks
(the quality of this video isn’t the best, but you get the gist)…
Level of difficulty: Advanced
You don’t get more hardcore than this. If you want to take your flutter kick abs workouts to another level, this exercise will do the trick…
Word of advice: You’ll need strong, flexible hamstrings and hip flexors to complete this move. Give it a try. If you can’t straighten your legs out fully, it’s okay. Keep a slight bend in your knees.
Work on your flexibility and you’ll eventually be able to pull off this impressive exercise with straight legs…
Another tip to be mindful of… keep your body from swinging.
The goal is to stabilize your upper and lower half while performing these airborne flutter kicks…
This one shies away from the “flutter” in flutter kicks. However, it’s a unique and advanced floor exercise that will target the exact same muscle groups…
(fast forward to 3:26)
Level of difficulty: advanced
The only recommendation I’d give from the movement in the demo above is to not lay flat on your back looking up at the ceiling…
This again, creates a nasty arch in the lower back which will be the source of some unwanted back pain…
A young guy like this may be able to get away with it for now… yet as you age it will become more of a problem.
Remember: tuck the chin and slightly elevate your shoulders off the floor. Can’t stress this enough for preventing back pain while laser-targeting your abs.
If you enjoyed the article, on the best flutter kick abs exercises for a razor sharp midsection, you’ll like the Free Abs Training Workouts in this link. In it, you’ll discover proven ab shredding exercises (you’ve probably never tried), that will help you build a ripped six-pack or a flat, toned stomach without endless frustration or back pain. Just click the banner below.