What are Flutter Kicks? 

Flutter Kicks is an awesome exercise that specifically targets your lower abs. It is essential for anyone seeking to have a sculpting six-pack abs or a stronger core. This exercise mimics the movement of “flutter” which is similar to swimming that works the muscles needed to propel yourself through the water with your legs. This exercise is for those who are at the beginner’s level as it is relatively easy to perform, but there are tips and tricks of making this exercise more difficult, which this article will cover.

What muscles do Flutter Kicks work?

The primary muscles that the Flutter Kicks target are the lower abs, hip flexors, and the quadriceps. The secondary muscles worked are the oblique (side abs), hamstrings, and lower back.

How to do Flutter Kicks? 

  1. Lie Your Back On The Floor

 Lie down on your back, keeping your legs together.  Put your palms down underneath your butt to lift your hips up and keep your lower back flat onto the floor. This will also give you cushioning and greater stability. Your head will be slightly lifted off the ground to keep the spine in neutral position.

  1. Raise Your Legs Up

Raise your legs up so they’re hovering 3 inches off the ground. Lift your upper torso and shoulders off the ground to engage your upper abdominals. Squeeze the core tight and make sure that your legs are straight to get the most out of this exercise and burn your lower abs fat!

  1. Kick Your Legs Up And Down

While keeping your legs straight, raise a leg higher while lowering the other and switch to perform a “flutter” motion with your legs. You can visualise yourself doing the Flutter Kicks in the swimming pool. Make sure that the movement is even and resist the urge to drop your legs down.

  1. Count Two Flutters As One Rep

For general practice, keep two movement counts of flutter as one rep. For example, alternating between one leg up and the other leg down twice will count as a single rep.

Tips

For those who are at beginner’s level, it is highly recommended that you do flutter kicks with feet further away from the ground as there will be less tension on your core which makes this easier to perform. The lower your legs are to the ground, the harder this exercise will be as your core is a lot more under tension.

Practice 10-20 reps for 4 sets and train this for at least three times per week to see results in your core and physical appearance. Every two weeks, increase your rep count by 1-2 reps as this will improve your muscular endurance and muscle size. Note that this exercise should be complemented with healthy eating for maximum gains.

What are the benefits of Flutter Kicks?

Sculpting Abs

Whether your goal is to have a six-pack or a stronger core, the Flutter Kicks targets the lower abs which helps define the rectus abdominis, making your belly look toned and sculpted. For some, it is hard to target and lower belly fat, which is why the Flutter Kicks could be the right exercise for you!

Tones Lower Body

Apart from targeting your abs, this exercise includes repetitive motion that engages the muscles in the legs. This includes the hip flexors, quadriceps and glutes. The more you use your muscles, the more ear and tear occurs, which will ultimately lead to stronger muscle fibres. Therefore, by flutter kicking, not only will you lose the excess fat in your legs, they will be toned and stronger. 

Strengthens Your Core

Your core stabilises your body, enabling you to move in any direction as well as having proper balance. Core is used in everyday life such as sitting, bending to put your shoes on and walking. So having a strong core is beneficial for most physical activity as it improves your  balance and mobility, therefore it lessens your risk of falling. Also, a stronger core will improve your posture and will take lots of pressure off your back which enables you to stand straight. This could trim your body and increase your body confidence.

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Just like walking, the Flutter Kicks are cardio-like as it requires your body to constantly be in motion. You can burn a lot more calories and lose belly fat if you practise this exercise at medium-high intensity. You will feel the burn on your core and your legs if you increase the repetitions, or reduce the rest time, so challenge yourself!

What are the variations to the Flutter Kicks?

Scissor Kicks

The Scissor Kicks are similar to the flutter kicks except the movement of the legs. The legs are moving horizontally back and forth instead of vertically up and down. It is used to build and maintain your core strength. It also targets your lower body which means you engage multiple muscles in order to complete movement. The muscles used in this exercise are the rectus abdominis, obliques, hip flexors, quads, glutes and adductors. Do this workout for 10-20 reps, 4 sets.

Bicycle kicks

This is a great compound exercise to strengthen your core. It is one of the most effective ways to build your abdominal muscles and core strength. What's more beneficial is that it also targets your lower body. The Bicycle Kicks has two variations (Level 1 and Level 2).

 Level 1 is for beginner’s where you are only alternating your legs back and forth without twisting your torso. Level 2 is for those who are at intermediate and advanced level. To perform this,  you will place your hands behind your head and move your elbow towards the opposite knee and switch. This rotation activates your obliques. The muscles used in this variation are the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, hip flexors, quads, glutes and adductors. Include this into your routine for 10-20 reps, 4 sets. 

Trunk Flexion

The Trunks Flexion, also known as the crunches is a beginner’s exercise which compliments the flutter kicks as this targets the upper abdominals. This variation is designed to tone the core muscles of the body which aids in strengthening the core muscles, improving the posture, and increasing the mobility of the muscles. However, this does not work on your leg muscles like the previous variations mentioned.

To perform this exercise, you would lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Then you would tuck your chin in and curl your back up, starting from your upper back. Raise your back off the ground with only the tips of the shoulder blades touching the floor. Lastly, do a static hold for a second then slowly lower your body down and repeat. Practice this variation for 5-10 reps, 4 sets.

About the Author

My name is Pat Chadwick, I am a calisthenics coach with over 4 years of experience in helping people from all backgrounds to achieve their calisthenics goals. My goal is to become the number one calisthenics coach in the world as it is my passion to help people change their lives through inspiring bodyweight movements. I believe everyone deserves the right to feel good about their health, body, and be delighted inside and out.