Flutter Kicks: The Techniques, Variations, and Benefits of This Great Lower Body Workout

Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

flutter kicks
The real secret to working out is finding an exercise plan that you can stick with. That means having a variety of exercises — like flutter kicks — to keep you motivated.

After all, variety is the spice of life! The more exercises you know, the easier you’ll find it to vary your fitness routine and keep yourself interested in exercising every day.

Flutter kicks are a great exercise to add near the end of a workout. They’ll build your abs and legs, and help your endurance.

The great thing is that they can burn as many calories as running for 15 minutes, yet they’ll take you just a fraction of that time!

Keep reading and learn more about the benefits of flutter kicks — and how to do them correctly.

Flutter Kicks: A Step-By-Step Guide

The flutter kick involves lying on your back and kicking your legs up and down in a scissor-like movement.

how to do flutter kicks

The aim is to work your lower abdominal muscles. They are also great for strengthening your hip flexors, and your middle and upper abs, quads, and glutes will benefit as well. This is a great exercise to help build your abs.

But if you do them near the end of your exercise routine, you’ll also find they are good at increasing your endurance.

The great thing about flutter kicks is that you burn between 20 and 120 calories in one session. That may not sound a lot, but it’s as many as you’ll burn running for 15 minutes at a medium pace!

How To Do Flutter Kicks

    • Lie down on an exercise mat with your legs together and extended in front of you.
    • Put your arms straight by your sides with the palms facing upwards.
    • Focus on tightening your abs as you lift both feet off the ground and start moving your legs up and down like scissors.
    • When the left is up, the right should be down but not touching the ground, and vice versa.
    • Do 15-20 reps each set and do a total of three sets.
    • Rest for 10 seconds between sets.

The key to working your abs and burning those calories is moving your legs up and down as fast as possible. But, the movement must remain fluid, and you maintain focus on your abs for the entire process.

Top Tips:

  • Focus on your abs to keep them contracted.
  • Keep looking at the ceiling; your eyes should be roughly 70° to the floor.
  • Keep your feet off the ground for the whole exercise.
  • If you have lower back pain, put your hands under your hips for extra support.
  • Breathe while exercising; it’s easy to forget!
  • Your shoulders must stay on the ground.
  • You can also cross your legs as they go up and down to add extra variety to your workout.

You can also make this part of your HIIT training and do the flutter kicks for 30-60 seconds before taking a 30-second break and repeating.

Want to do flutter kicks properly? Avoid these common mistakes!

Benefits Of Flutter Kicks

Cardio Burn

The rapid movement of your legs will increase your heart rate. Anything that dramatically increases your heart rate counts as a cardio burn.

When performing cardio, your blood vessels expand and allow more oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to your muscles. This helps you work out for longer, harder, and burn more fat.

Toning Lower Body

As mentioned, this exercise targets the lower part of your body. As a result, you’ll have stronger legs, which are better capable of handling other exercise routines. You’ll also get a much better-looking lower half of your body!

Burns Fat

To burn fat, you need to be consuming fewer calories than your body needs to function. You can work out your exact maintenance calories here.

Regulating your food intake will help to lower your calorie count, but exercise will burn even more calories. In short, flutter kicks will help you to burn more fat.

Builds Abs

Everyone would love to have perfect abs, perhaps even a six-pack. Flutter kicks can help you to achieve these abs!

Of course, you need to burn off all the fat over your abs before you can see the beauty of your new six-pack. But flutter kicks are a great way to get there.

Better Posture

Because your back is flat on the ground and your legs are in the air, you’ll actually be improving your posture every time you do your flutter kicks. Make sure you keep your back flat, and your shoulders rolled back as you do the flutter kicks, and you’ll correct any poor posture due to slouching.

Of course, if you don’t pay attention to the detail of this exercise, your flutter kicks won’t help to improve your posture. Detail is everything!

Build Stronger Legs

You’re pumping your legs up and down in the air; it shouldn't be surprising that your legs will become stronger. In fact, this is one of the exercises swimmers do to help improve their speed and endurance in the water.

Of course, you need to build your strength slowly. Every time you do your flutter kicks, you will be creating tiny tears in your muscles. Allowing them to rest will ensure they grow stronger and bigger.

When you’re ready, you can even strap weights to your legs to make it more challenging!

Improves Flexibility

Flutter kicks help your muscles both burn fat and relax. This should help you to become more flexible.

You may not think this is something that is important to you, but you’ll appreciate the additional range of movement that occurs over time.

An important part of this is that lifting your legs a little actually stretches your lower back. This can help to reduce your back pain as you become more flexible and stronger.

Stuart Carter, Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Stuart gained his Diploma in Personal Training & Sports Medicine through Premier Global, back in 2001. In 2018, he completed his Level 1 Precision Nutrition qualification.

Throughout his career in Fitness, Stuart has trained hundreds of clients, worked in almost every position in the industry, and ran his own successful training studio.

After a hiatus away from the Fitness industry, working in Corporate Management and Finance, Stuart returned to what he loves… Fitness! This return led to a chance meeting with Dr. Balduzzi, and a place in the Fit Father Project team.

Here’s How Busy Guys 40+ Are Building Age-Defying Muscle And Strength… Working Out Just 3 Hours Per Week...

This proven "Old School Muscle Program For Guys 40+" combines the “old school” bodybuilding secrets with the “new school” science… to produce muscle & strength building results fast.

Only for guys 40+ who want to build muscle.

If you're frustrated with stubborn belly fat, failed diets, and time-consuming workouts, this is the answer you’ve been looking for…

Old School Muscle (OSM) covers every aspect of building muscle for you as a guy 40+:
  • Old School Muscle (OSM) covers every aspect of building muscle for you as a guy 40+:
  • The 9-Week Muscle Building Program – safe, joint-friendly exercises
  • VIP Accountability Coaching – our Fit Father Team will personally walk you to success, step-by-step.
See the Old School Muscle (OSM) Program overview here. You’ll discover how this proven program has helped thousands of guys 40+ pack onage-defying muscle and strength – the smart & sustainable way. »

*Please know that weight loss results and health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on flutter kicks.


Join the #1 Health & Fitness Program
for Busy Men 40+

Trusted by over 50,972 Busy Dads 40+

Lose weight. Keep it off.

See & feel results before you buy.

Limited Time Offer

Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project


Join the #1 Health & Fitness Program
for Busy Men 40+

Trusted by over 50,972 Busy Dads 40+

Lose weight. Keep it off.

See & feel results before you buy.

Limited Time Offer

Fit Father Project Fact-Checking Standards

Our Fit Father Project Team’s deepest commitment is to helping you live healthier for both yourself and your family. And when it comes to online content, integrity and trust is everything. That’s why our Fit Father Project staff-writers are all trained professionals in the field of health and wellness (registered dieticians, licensed personal trainers, and licensed physicians) – see the full team here. We rigorously run all of our articles through a rigorous editorial process to ensure the accuracy, simplicity, and utility of the information. And we aren’t just a team of “academics” sitting in an ivory tower. We are real people – with jobs, responsibilities, and families – working hard in the trenches and testing our tips & methods out to make sure you can stay healthy for family.

Here is what you can expect from us on our Fit Father Blog and YouTube channel:

  1. All of our content is written and reviewed by licensed health professionals (dieticians, personal trainers, doctors).
  2. In nearly all of our articles, we link to published research studies from the most respected peer-reviewed medical & health journals.
  3. We include research-based videos to accompany our articles to make it easier for you to consume our content, put it into action, and see results.
  4. Inside our articles & videos, we do promote our free meal plans, workouts, and/or paid programs, because we know they have the potential to change your life.
  5. We openly take feedback here on our contact page. We welcome your content suggestions… and even feedback on grammar (we’d like to thing that we’re pretty OK at spelling and “stuff”).
  6. Above all, we are a community of likeminded men and women committed to living healthier. We do not advocate any health advice that we wouldn’t personally implement with our families. Because as far as we’re concerned, you’re our family too.

Thanks for checking out the blog. We can’t wait to support you toward greater health, energy, and vitality. – The Fit Father Project Team


Terms of Service & Privacy Policy


Get Started for FREE

Get Started for FREE

Join the #1 Health & Fitness Program for Busy Men 40+
Trusted by over 50,891 Busy Dads 40+

See & feel results before you buy

Limited Time Offer

Get Started for FREE

Join the #1 Health & Fitness Program for Busy Men 40+

Get Started
for FREE

Join the #1 Health & Fitness Program 
for Busy Men 40+

See & feel results before you buy

Limited Time Offer