If you want perfectly defined abs then In my opinion weighted ab exercises will carve up your abs much faster than unweighted ab exercises.
With summer right around the corner, now is the perfect time for you to get that sex shredded six pack that you can show off to all your jealous friends. 🙂
If you want defined upper and lower ab development, then you need to be doing weighted ab exercises.
If you want proper ab development, you need to add resistance (weight) to your ab exercises. Most people still make this mistake. If you want your biceps to grow, would you do 50 reps with no weight? The obvious answer, you would do barbell bicep curls or dumbbell curls.
Personally, I still do body weight exercises when training abs but not as often as weighted ab exercises. Although, it’s good to mix it up a bit.
But there’s really no point in doing unweighted ab exercises or weighted if your body fat is over 25%. It would probably be a complete waste of time doing then when you main focus should be getting yourself down to a healthy body fat percentage (15%-18% for men and 20%-23% for women).
Going back to what I mentioned already, your abs are just like other muscles, if you want them to grow you need to apply resistance in order to strengthen and increase the size of your abdominal muscles. You would do this with every other muscle group your train, so why shouldn’t abs be any different?
Here are some of my favorite weighted ab exercises that I do at home or in the gym:
If your body fat is lower and regular crunches or sit ups have failed you many times over, then give these effective ab exercises a try.
1. Weighted Crunch
Grab a weight plate and hold it in front of your face or hold it close to your upper chest beneath your chin and perform regular crunches.
Note: By doing this you are allowing your abs to work against the force the weight plate has created. Use a weight plate that are able to handle for more than 8-10 reps.
2. Weighted Plank
If you have never done these before it’s probably a good idea to get somebody to help you out by placing the weight on your upper back and removing afterwards, otherwise it i can be a little tricky placing the weight there by your self. I’ve been doing this exercise a few years now so it’s easy for me to manage by myself.
I suggest using a light weight (5 kg starting off) and get your body into a plank position, forearms on mat, elbows under shoulders and legs together.
Raise body upward whilst keeping your body in a straight line. Hold position for 30-60 seconds.
3. Cable Rope Crunches
Grab the tricep rope with both hands and kneel below a high pulley. Bend downwards, allowing the resistance on cable pulley to lift your torso upward. It’s like doing a crunch, except your on your knees doing it and the contraction is the same. Repeat this movement for 15-20 repetitions.
4. Russian Twists
The Russian twist is total core workout and one of my personal favorites.
Start off by sitting on the floor, your legs should bend at the knees.
Next grab a weight plate (2-5 kgs). Extend your arms out in front of you with your hands on holding both sides of the weight. Then twist your arms to the right until your arms a parallel to the floor.
Continue lowering weight to the opposite side. Repeat for 15-20 reps.
5. 45 Degree Obliques Extension (weighted)
Lie sideways onto a hyperextension machine with one foot laying over the other. Place the tip of your fingers at the side of your head and hold a weighted plate or dumbbell with your bottom hand.
Slowly lower your torso towards the ground. When you feel a stretch in your side tighten your oblique and return to the starting position.
6.Medicine Ball V- Ups
Grab a medicine ball and lie flat on your back. Whilst holding the medicine ball raise your arms over your head. Keep your arms and legs straight throughout the motion. Next raise both legs and torso and repeat for 10-12 reps.
7 Stability Ball Crunches
In this exercises you will be using both a stability ball and a medicine ball so you will be performing abdominal crunches. This will be very effective when strengthening your entire core area (abs and lower back).
Grab a 4-5kg medicine ball, depending on your fitness level. Next sit on the stability ball and walk your feet forward so that your lower back is connected to the stability ball.
Next extend your arms straight up above your head and use your entire core region to raise up and lower back down again. Try to keep your arms nice and straight and allow your abs to do the work for you. You could even do this using a weight plate or dumbbell if you want.
Regardless of what exercise you choose to do, it’s vital you add resistance (weight). This will help you gain more muscle tissue in your upper and lower abdominal region.
You only need to train your abs twice a week for maximum results.
Remember to treat your abs like any other muscle group you would train. So I would advise not to over-train them. Once or twice a week is plenty. You don’t have to do all of these exercises, pick 4-5 and complete each exercise for a total of 3 sets.
Do this for 6-8 weeks, combined with a good diet and intense cardio and you will get those sexy v shaped abs you always wanted.