Flutter Kicks Exercise: How To Build Incredible Core Strength

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What are Flutter Kicks? 

Flutter kicks is an awesome exercise that targets the core, especially your lower abs. The flutter kick is essential for anyone seeking to develop a solid core and a sculpting six-pack, the movement mimics the movement path of “flutter” which is similar to swimming that works the muscles needed to propel yourself through the water with your legs. Read on to find out how to properly do flutter kicks, plus its benefits and variations.

Flutter Kicks Muscles Worked

The primary muscles that the flutter kicks targets are the lower rectus abdominis, hip flexors, and the quadriceps. The secondary muscles worked are the oblique, hamstrings, and lower back. All of these muscles must be engaged to ensure that this movement is executed correctly. 

How to do Flutter Kicks? 

  1. Lie Your Back On The Floor

Lie down on your back with your feet together and palms down underneath your butt to lift your hips up and keep your lower back flat on 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 a neutral position.

  1. Raise Your Legs Up

Raise your legs up so they’re hovering approximately 3-6 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.

  1. Kick Your Legs Up And Down

While keeping your legs straight, raise one leg higher while lowering the other and switch to perform a “flutter” motion with your legs. You can visualize 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 a general rule of practice, each time you flutter one leg up and down, this counts as one rep.

Tips

For those who are at a 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 closer your legs are to the ground, the harder this exercise will be as your core will be under a lot more tension.

Flutter Kicks Ab Workout

Practice this exercise for 10-30 seconds for 3-4 sets and train this at least three times per week to see results in your core and physical appearance. Every two weeks, increase your set time by 2-10 seconds to ensure progressive overload. See below for a recommended working reps and sets range:

  • Beginner’s level: 10-30 seconds x 3 sets
  • Intermediate level: 30-60 seconds x 4 sets
  • Advanced level: 60+ seconds x 4 sets

Flutter Kicks Benefits

Sculpting Abs

Whether your goal is to have a six-pack or a stronger core, flutter kicks should be included in your ab routine as they target the lower abs region and improve your core strength, 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!

According to Men’s Journal, flutter kicks are one of the top 25 exercises for lower abs. This classic core move will get your abs burning and it should be used if you’re looking for a sculpting six-pack or a strong core.

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 wear and tear occurs, which will ultimately lead to stronger muscle fibers. Therefore, not only flutter kicks will help you lose excess fat in your legs but they will also tone your legs and increase the strength in your lower body muscles.

Strengthens Your Core

Your core stabilizes your body, enabling you to move in any direction as well as have proper balance. The 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 activities 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.

2022 study suggests that core stability exercises are beneficial for trunk control, core muscle strength, and balance confidence. This will transfer benefits to standing balance and functional mobility.

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 practice this exercise at a higher intensity. You will feel the burn on your core and your legs if you increase the working set time, or reduce the rest time, so challenge yourself!

What are the variations to the Flutter Kicks?

Scissor Kicks

Scissor kicks are similar to flutter kicks except for 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 the movement. The muscles used in this exercise are the rectus abdominis, obliques, hip flexors, quads, glutes, and adductors. Do this workout for 10-30 seconds for 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. Bicycle Kicks has two variations (Level 1 and Level 2).

Level 1 is for beginners where you are only alternating your legs back and forth without twisting your torso. Level 2 is for those who are at an 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 10-30 seconds for 4 sets. 

Trunk Flexion

The trunks flexion, also known as the crunches is a beginner’s exercise that complements the flutter kicks as this targets the upper abdominals. This variation is designed to tone and strengthen 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.

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.

The Takeaways: Wrapping Up Flutter Kicks

Now that you know how to do flutter kicks and their variations, it’s time to put it to practice in your next workout routine. Flutter kicks are a great core exercise that only requires the floor and a little space therefore you have no excuse not to do them, Make sure that your lower back is pressed flat into the ground by drawing your bellow button down towards your spine. 

Try your best every time to see the best results! If you want to learn other core exercises, I suggest you check out these comprehensive tutorials:

As always, thank you for reading these articles, I hope they add value to your health and fitness. Don’t forget to follow and connect with me on InstagramTikTok, and YouTube to stay on top of my content. Big love and I’ll catch you next time!


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