Looking for a go-to exercise to develop and define the your core – start fluttering those legs and look no further!
Engage the ENTIRE Core
This dynamic exercise targets multiple muscles within the core. While the primary focus is on the rectus abdominis (the "six-pack" muscles), they also engage the transverse abdominis, obliques (especially in this weeks TOTW as we take them to our side), and hip flexors. This combined activation of the core muscles along with the time under tension helps to strengthen the entire midsection resulting in improved endurance, stability, balance, and posture.
Increase Core Stability
Flutter kicks require maintaining a stable and neutral spine position throughout the exercise. This static hold engages the deep stabilizing muscles of the core, including the transverse abdominis. By strengthening these muscles, flutter kicks help to stabilize the spine, reducing the risk of lower back pain and improving overall posture.
Enhance Lower Abdominal Strength
Flutter kicks target the lower portion of the rectus abdominis, which is often a challenging area to develop. The continuous fluttering motion, combined with the lower body movements, places a significant demand on the lower abs.
Improve Hip Flexor Strength and Flexibility
The hip flexors, including the iliopsoas and rectus femoris, are engaged to lift and lower the legs. As these muscles work to stabilize and move the legs, they become stronger and more flexible. Enhancing hip flexor strength and flexibility is not only beneficial for better performance in various sports and activities but also for maintaining proper posture and reducing the risk of hip and lower back injuries.
Adds Variety to Your Core Training
Variety is key when it comes to training the core effectively. Incorporating flutter kicks into your routine helps to diversify how you are strengthening your core as it ensures that you target different muscles and movement patterns. It provides an additional challenge for your core helping preventing plateaus.
Overall, flutter kicks are a dynamic and effective core exercise for building a strong and defined midsection. So go rock those flutter kicks this week!
Pete McCall (April 2016) “Functional Anatomy Series: The Abdominals” PROSOURCE™; American Council on Exercise
Jane Chertoff & Medically reviewed by Daniel Bubnis MS, NASM CPT (June 2018) “What are the benefits of flutter kicks and how do you safely do them?”; Healthline
AI Chat GBT, personal communication (Oct 2023)