It can be assumed that if you are reading this text you belong to those men or women who take care of their bodies and try to stay healthy, slim and muscular. Or at least you aspire to be.
And you’re also looking for a way to tighten and develop your abs. The abs are probably the most desirable muscles in our body.
You are the yardstick by which we judge. Working on their development is a priority for every athlete.
However, before we give you advice on each of the exercises you can do to tone and develop your abs, let’s get one thing clear.
No number of ab exercises can trim your waist on its own. Spot reduction just doesn’t work.
If you target a specific body part with endless reps, the fat won’t go away and you will look better. It takes a lot more than that.
The most important factor in determining how lean your muscles are is your diet. Without a balanced diet, you are likely to fail in more than one area.
The other is full body training. Only then can you focus on targeting a specific muscle group – in this case the abs – and working on their strength and growth.
Using weights in your ab exercises will help your muscles grow and improve their appearance. The increased abdominal strength is also helpful for other exercises.
Check out our selection of 6 weight exercises to develop stronger, more accented six-packs.
# 1. Barbell rollouts
The barbell rollouts activate the entire abdominal region and are perfect for strengthening your core without putting more strain on your lower back.
In addition, this exercise improves your shoulder strength and stability. Get in a push-up position first, but instead of putting your hands on the floor, grab a barbell.
We recommend starting with an empty barbell. You can start adding weight as soon as you can do 10 reps. This exercise can also be done with the knees on the floor, making it less challenging for beginners.
# 2. Weighted hanging leg raise
This is one of the most challenging exercises on this list, and probably not all of you can do it correctly.
If you are a newbie we highly recommend that someone show you how to do it correctly. Either way, if you want to do it you should be able to do the hanging straight leg hanging first.
However, when done correctly, the drooping leg weight is one of the best exercises for your abs and one that needs to be included in your routine.
In addition to activating your lower abs, it also targets a whole host of other muscles.
Start doing it lightly, holding a smaller dumbbell between your feet. Increase the load with every next training session. Try to do at least 3 sets of 8 reps each.
# 3. Rolling side plank
The rolling side plank is particularly effective in increasing the strength of the slopes that act as core stabilizers. As a bonus, you get increased lower back and shoulder strength.
We recommend doing this exercise instead of the side bends as the mechanics of this movement are much more natural.
After all, the side core stabilizers are designed to prevent lateral flexion and are not designed to make lateral movements. And since it enables one-sided activation of your muscles, it can help you perfect the imbalances.
While the static plank is an effective exercise, you can further increase its benefits by making it dynamic.
You can even make up for the difficulty by adding a weighted cable, thus increasing the anti-rotation effect.
To do this, position yourself near the device so that the cables are within reach. It is important that your spine is in a neutral position when performing the movement.
Always start with lighter loads and increase the tension as you progress. Keep your sets in the range of 8-12 reps.
# 4. Land mine anti-rotation
The landmine anti-rotation exercise increases your core strength and also targets the slopes.
If you don’t have the proper equipment for this exercise, the solution to this problem is to put a barbell in the corner of the room.
The key to performing this exercise is to avoid moving your hips. Focus on just moving your arms as you move them with the bar through the crescent motion.
If you want even more focus on your abdominal muscle fibers, squeeze them firmly and exhale on each rep.
# 5. Inclined bench hold with weight
Find a sturdy bench and sit on either end of it, holding a weight plate. Sit on your right hipbone and twist your torso.
Place your right foot under the bench on your right side and your left foot on the other side to support and stabilize your upper body.
When your torso is turned down, hold it to one side and still hold the plate in front of your chest. Slide the plate in front of you. Do several repetitions and switch sides.
# 6. Weighted sit-ups
You can do this exercise the traditional way with your knees bent or your legs straight.
This will reduce the stress on your back and help you isolate the abdominal area much better while reducing the activation of the hip flexors.
The key to this exercise is proper form. Avoid rocking yourself and making sudden upward movements. Focus on your abs for an even lift.
Lie on the floor with your arms outstretched and hold a weight plate across your chest. Start sitting up full. When you get up, slide the weight over your head with your arms outstretched.
Don’t bring it forward, right above your head. Then lower yourself back to the starting position and repeat.