Abs are the new fitness goal. Usually, it is noticed that if a person has abs- he/she is fit. Yes, this norm may seem bizarre, because strong abs mean a strict diet which can sometimes hamper one’s health. Although, having strong abs can be a healthy goal as well. How? by focusing on healthy choices. These choices are a well-balanced diet without compromising the nutrition of the human body. The diet depends upon a person’s BMI (body mass index) and some other factors. Following this along with regular weighted ab workouts is enough to get abs.
Why Is It Important To Have A Good Core?
It does not necessarily mean that rock-solid abs are your answer but certainly, a toned abdomen is good for your physique. Weighted ab workouts will help you in this journey of gaining healthy abs. It means you will be required to use a weight plate or assisted equipment to perform the abs workouts. It is imperative to know what will work for you- be it a high plank position, a push up position, or a simple chin up bar. Alternate with the left hand or the right arm, keep shoulder width in place and the results will be astonishing!
How To do Weighted Ab Exercises
It is vital to know how a weight plate must be handled and how weighted core exercises must be performed. You should keep certain tips in your mind while doing them. It is crucial to know which plank row position is best, whether the left forearm is to be used or the left arm, or if the feet hip distance or feet hip width is to be kept steady or note when to revert to the starting position.
Know the different abs:
The weighted abs workout for upper abs is different than the ones for lower abs. The same goes for middle abs. It is because each muscle has its own set of workloads.
For example, a standing cable crunch will put an effect on the abs while a leg raise will work upon the lower region.
Added resistance allows your ab muscles to train within low rep ranges. This helps to break down the muscle fibers better. Sometimes, people perform many reps without any weight plate, which takes more time to get results than when weight and resistance are added. It helps to achieve thick six-pack abs and a nice midsection.
Training a muscle group need oxygen. Breathing makes sure that your body relaxes while transferring the oxygen created from this process to reach muscles.
Inhale and hold your breath while doing contracting movements and exhale when you complete the entire movement. This provides better strength.
Cluster sets for rectus abdominis:
This allows the body to rest, and start working again with no excess tension. For example, take a minute and work as many reps as you want, take a rest of some time, and repeat.
Maintain the right posture for muscle definition:
If not handles properly, weights can injure your bone structure and muscles. Always make sure that your spine is straight and not curled. The hip flexors must be relaxed with a strong grip at the feet. The head and neck should not feel any tension. The spinal alignment will be disturbed.
Top 12 Weighted Ab Exercises Ranked By Boeckh- Behrens & Buskies: Keep Plank Position Properly
|Exercises||Obliques||Upper Abs||Lower Abs|
|Side plank position||2.9||10.9||10.6|
|Crunch with extended arms||8.8||2.2||3.1|
|Crunch- hands to toe||10.1||6.3||7.0|
|Twisted crunch with hands behind head||12.0||3.4||4.6|
|Twisted crunch with no leg movements||11.0||6.6||7.0|
|Total twisted crunch- hands to toe||7.1||6.2||7.3|
|Hanging leg raises||5.4||3.5||2.3|
With a set of 3 to 6 bodyweight exercises from this table, your abs will be transformed. Although, the advantage weights will add to these will be tremendous. The whole anterior part of the core will be trained, and you can also add varieties not to get bored. Ab exercises can be performed both ways, but your physique, underlying medical condition, and goal matter. Both compound exercises and weighted ab exercises are better with their advantages.
Best Compound Exercises For Proper Form, Strong Core And All The Muscles
Barbell Floor Wiper
The main targeted muscles of this free weight exercise are abs, hip flexors, lower back, shoulders, and forearms. You need a barbell, as the name suggests, and a yoga mat. Getting the right form of the body in this is easy if the steps are followed wisely.
Lay on the mat with the arms holding a barbell straight up in the air. Bring your legs up 6 inches from the ground and hold this position. Keep the left knee and right knee locked. Now, bring your legs straight up to the left side so that your toes could reach as far high as possible.
Then bring them down 6 inches away from the ground. Repeat it on the right side. This movement completes one wiper movement. It is a really good core workout.
Medicine Ball Slam
The abs, back, and shoulders get worked up with this exercise. Beginners can easily perform medicine ball slam. Stand up straight while holding a medicine ball in your hands over the head.
Slightly bend the knees and bring your body forward around the waist. Engage your core and with all the strength coming from your abs, slam the medicine ball down on the floor. Your arms must follow your ab’s power.
As the medicine ball bounces and comes up, catch it and take it in the air so that you reach your original stance. Repeat this movement. Body fat abs will reduce greatly with this exercise and working lower abs becomes easier.
This is known as “Bruce Lee’s ab workout” and is a very difficult one. Only professionals are supposed to perform it as with no experience and good body strength, it can cause back injuries. This advanced bodyweight exercise can benefit the entire torso. The engagement of so many abdominal muscles altogether is what makes this ab exercise so unique.
Lie on your back over a bench press. Hold the bench or any available handles behind your head with a very strong grip. Straighten your legs. Contract your torso and bring the legs up together. Try not to thrust hips forward and reach your right and left elbow with legs.
But, do it slowly with only your shoulders and upper back touching the bench. And finally, return to the original starting position. If you feel like you are caving in, do not continue the exercise. Repeat it how much you can. Because, once the form breaks, it becomes difficult to return.
The level of this high cable woodchop exercise is intermediate and it targets the abdominal muscles and obliques. The equipment needed for it is a cable machine. The transverse abdominis muscles along with obliques engage properly with the woodchopping motion. Additionally, shoulders, legs, and back also get into the range of motion.
Position yourself in front of a cable machine in a way that you could imitate woodchopping action. Place your feet comfortably on the ground with a suitable distance in between each other and keeping feet shoulder width steady. Grab the cable handle with both of your hands and bring it above one shoulder.
Swing the handle from there to the other side making it pass from along the thighs. Your right and left hip and knees should rotate a little by pivoting from the ankles. When it reaches the end position, let the cable weight retract towards the start. Perform 8 to 10 reps on each side. Such weighted ab exercises help with getting toned abs.
Sit-ups are one of the most basic weighted ab exercises out there. There are tons of variations of a single sit-up. One of which is sandbag sit-up. This is a kind of weighted ab workout that enunciates the six-pack abs.
Get into a plain sit-up position with your back on the mat and your knees bent. Grab a sandbag and hold it between your hands.
Lift your torso following the sandbag going up. Engagement of the core is very important. Form a V shape and have control on your back. Lower your body back down slowly. Repeat this 20 times and feel the results of this exercise.
Sandbag sit up are generally included in weighted ab workouts for building up strength.
Hanging Leg Raise
You will need a pull-up bar for this exercise. Stand looking away in front of the bars and grab the top handles with your hands and engage your abs muscles.
With full support from the bars, raise your legs straight forward. Take them to a height where they become parallel to the ground. Hold the position for a few seconds and then slowly lower your torso and return to the first starting position.
Remember, if you tremble, it means your form is not right and you can fall prey to injuries. Working lower abs becomes easier with it.
This hold is how you get “six-packs” and that beautiful oblique cut. Your entire abdomen muscles will work. Anyone can perform dish rocks.
Lie on the mat and tense up your core muscles. Raise your lower and upper body together with the arms extended over the head. Form a shape like a dish. Hold the position for 30 seconds and rock yourself in swift movements.
Now, return slowly to the original position. Such ab exercise are good for building core strength.
Barbell Roll-Outs Keeping Feet Shoulder Width In Right Position
Your abs, shoulders, and back are going to get worked out with this exercise. The difficulty level is hard so only professionals perform it. You would need a barbell for the same. You can go for an unloaded barbell but a 5 kg loaded one gives you ultimate results.
Kneel over a mat and grab the bar handle. Keep your arms shoulder width apart and now slowly roll the bar forward as your torso moves too.
When you reach a point where you can no longer roll further and your abs feel too stretched, roll the bar back to the original position. Make repetitions according to your limit. This weighted core workout is tremendously beneficial.
This is a bodyweight exercise that can be transformed into a weighted core workout too. Sit on a mat with your knees down and feet flat.
Fall back a little and move your buttocks outward to get a comfortable stance. If you want to, you can lift your legs a little. Now bring your hand forward and above your lap. Twist your waist and hands to the left and repeat on the other side.
Make a continuous movement and perform around 20 reps. You should do 3 sets of it to get amazing results. For added benefit, hold a weight in your hand and twist. Russian twists are great to work your obliques.
It is a good exercise for developing stability and strength. The abs and back muscles are benefited from hollow holds.
Lie on the mat with arms extended over your head and straightened legs. Relax and take a breath. Now lift your head, shoulders, legs, and arms off the floor together. Create a ‘V’ shape and hold the position for 20 seconds.
After which, come back to starting position and repeat. You can take breaks of 10 seconds in between. It works as nicely as the weighted core exercises.
Dumbbell Dead bugs
These are some of the greatest weighted ab workouts of all time. Deadbug strengthens your core and tightens up your ab muscles.
Working lower abs becomes easier. For a normal dead bug, lie flat on your back over a mat. Bring your legs up with knees bent at 90 degrees, in a way that your legs are parallel to the floor. Extend your arms straight up as well.
Now move the opposite left arm and right leg first backward, and then forward. Switch the sides. For a dumbbell dead bug, you just need to add a dumbbell and hold it tightly above you. Now extend each leg one by one. There are many variations to this as well. Within all tightening weighted ab exercises, the dead bug steals the show and keeps the core engaged to build muscle.
You may also like to try to put a plank dumbbell position.
It is one basic bodyweight exercise that directly targets the core muscles. Lie on your back over a yoga mat.
Extend your arms over your head and bend your knees sideways as if you are making a butterfly’s wings. The feet must touch each other. Raise your torso in a swift movement and reach forward for the hands to touch your ankles.
Lower your back and return to the initial starting position. Repeat the same in sets and you’ll notice a reduction in body fat abs. In some ways, it is better than a weighted ab exercise for beginners.
Bear hold, bear crawl, and other bear position bodyweight workouts significantly affect your abs. Weighted ab workouts don’t do so for beginners. Bear crawls are a much better way for people with low body strength for working lower abs. This mobility exercise uses strength in the shoulders, abs, and quads. It can be said that it is similar to baby crawls.
Put all four limbs on the mat facing downwards towards it. Your knee will be at a 90-degree angle. Lift knees 2 to 3 inches above with the back flat and legs comfortably hip-width apart.
Now move left hand and right foot forward and then the right hand and left foot. Imitate walking like a bear. Take few steps and now step backward to the original place. Repeat this exercise in sets of 15 to 20 reps to keep your core tight.
Your form matters a lot in these best weighted ab workouts. You will need a cable machine at the gym. Prepare the pulley and attachment according to your height and required weight. Face towards it kneel on a mat.
Your heel shouldn’t touch the ground but your toes should. Grab the rope handles over your head. Lift hips a little backward and keep them still, i.e, the left hip and right hip.
Only move your spine for this crunch. With a tucked chin, engage your core to pull the handle until your elbows are near your legs. Hold this position and slowly return to the original stance. Repeat for how many reps you are comfortable with. Performing sets is better in such ab workouts with a weight plate.
It is one of the most basic and easy bodyweight ab exercises. There is no equipment needed. Lie on your back over a mat with the left arm in a straight position over your head. Bend your knees with feet flat on the mat. Tighten your abs and push yourself towards your knees with your right arm supporting you and back straight. Lower back down and repeat. It is very effective in working lower abs.
Boat Pose: 30 seconds
Ab workout with weights falls back before this is a yoga pose called Navasana. Its main purpose is to improve the strength of the core.
Sit on the mat with your knees bent. Lift your feet off the ground and bring your legs parallel to the floor. Move your back backward a little in V-shape to get a 45-degree angle. Roll your buttocks and shoulders out for comfort.
Keep your arm straight beside the legs. Create a balance flowing through your body. Take 5 deep breaths and come to the starting position. If you want to, you can extend both your right and left leg, even more, up for better results.
Holding the 45-degree angle for 30 seconds is enough for core strength. And certainly, weighted ab workouts cannot give you such strength as this yoga pose.
Ab Wheel Rollout: 15 reps
An ab wheel or ab roller is a piece of equipment that directly targets the ab muscles. Kneel on a yoga mat or soft pad. Bend your back forward and hold the ab wheel by its side handles.
Engage your core and extend your arms forward so that the ab wheel rolls out in front of you. Keep going slowly until your body is parallel to the ground. Squeeze your abs and without arching the back, roll the wheel towards you to reach the initial starting position.
Performing an average of 15 reps is effective. But as an advanced, 20 to 30 reps is fine. You can perform up to 3 sets and feel how tight your core becomes.
Such bodyweight ab weighted exercises are better than weighted ab workouts in many aspects. You get nearly the same results with no pressure of weight plates.
L-Sit on Push-up Handles: 30 seconds
L sits are good for obliques, abs, quads, pecs, hip flexors, and other core muscles. This isometric exercise is different from ab workouts with a weight plate and can be performed without any equipment.
Or, if needed, parallettes (dip bars), hanging rings, benches, or two boxes of the same height can be used. Set any of this equipment so that they are placed a little narrower than your shoulders. Place the palms on either side by standing between them.
Straighten your arms by pulling shoulder blades away from your ears. Lock your elbows. Keep your core engaged and push down into your palms to lift legs above the floor.
Your legs should be parallel to the ground and your knees should be straight. Aim to do 30 seconds and if you are advanced, hold it for 1 minute.
Captain’s Chair Leg Raise: 15 to 30 reps
A captain’s chair is like a chair but with no seat. There are horizontal supports and a padded backrest. It is a standing position exercise for abs. Stand with your back in contact with the backrest. Place your right arm on upper supports and feet on lower supports.
Now, one by one remove each foot starting with the left foot, then the right foot from their support handles and lift your body with your forearms. Your legs will fall straight down but above the ground. Pull them up so that they are parallel to the ground. Lower them back and repeat it in sets. 15 to 30 reps each set is ideal for a good ab workout.
Air Bicycle: 30 seconds
When it comes to gym equipment, and air bicycle makes a good choice. It is designed to build your body. The effects are spectacular. Your entire body, especially the core muscles will burn like nothing else. The glutes, hamstrings, back, quads, and more will be on a streak of building. This is resistance training.
Get on the air bicycle, slowly start pedaling with your legs and increase the speed according to your fitness level. As a beginner or intermediate, 80 to 100 RPMs (revolutions per minute) and a reduced speed of 30 to 4o RPMs will work really well for you.
Perform 5 to 7 repetitions of 90 seconds maximum. As an advanced, perform 10 rounds with 80 to 100 RPMs of 30 seconds and 30 to 40 RPMs for another 30 seconds. The 30-second rule is what going to get you working lower abs without any lifting or heavy ab workouts with weights.
FAQ #1: How long does it take to get “six-pack” abs?
Six-pack abs are difficult to achieve. You need to follow a strict diet and work out regularly to reduce the fat percentage. Reducing the fat level ensures muscle build-up which is necessary for the abs to form. Six-pack enunciates all three sections of the vertical abdominal muscles.
The American Council has researched on exercising and has ruled out that losing body fat percentage of 1 per month is ideal for the abs to show. On average, with good lifestyle changes, it takes 20 to 26 months for a female to achieve six-pack abs. While on the other hand, men need an average of 15 to 21 months.
FAQ #2: How lean do you need to be to get great abs?
Fat percentage matters a lot. Being lean is surely easier to gain abs fast but not the only way. Every human body is different in shape and size. A perfect lean body is not necessarily healthy for everyone. Studies say that the ideal fat percentage should be 5% to 9%. It is the leanest stage falling under the healthy category. 10% to 14% fat levels are also lean and abs are vaguely visible.
But, the ones falling after a 15% fat level are likely to not see abs results. It is always necessary to keep your health first and be healthy lean. Cutting down food completely is not going to give you abs. You would require a proper protein-rich diet for the same.
FAQ #3: How do you get “11 abs?”
11 abs are the new abs in town. They form in the shape of “11” and women are after these abs rather than the six-packs. Getting 11 abs takes the same time as getting any kind of abs. It depends solely on your focus, goal, diet, and workout plan.
Some thin people gain 11 abs easily as their fat percentage is really low. And to gain abs, the fat should be very less to let the muscles develop.
What Is The Most Effective Body Weight Ab Workout You’ve Ever Done?
If you know what was the most effective bodyweight ab workout you have done, you are already on the right path. Now, you are ready for a great core workout and other variations of weighted abdominal exercises such as sit-ups, left leg raises, dead bugs, and more.
Performing ab exercises three times weekly is the minimum range of motion you need for effective results. Weighted ab workouts need to be performed to tone up your abs. Make sure that you are focusing on keeping your core engaged and perform weighted exercises with a good posture. Follow a good diet and routine, and you will be one step closer to your ab goal each day.