It’s safe to assume that if you’re reading this text you are one of those guys or girls who take care of their bodies, trying to stay healthy, lean and muscular. Or at least you strife to be.
And you are also looking for a way to harden and develop your abdominals. The abs are quite possibly the most coveted muscles in our physique.
They are the standard by which we judge So working on their development is the priority of every gym goer.
But before we start giving you advice on the individual exercises you can perform to accentuate and develop your abs, let’s make something clear.
No amount of abs exercises can trim your waistline by themselves. Spot reducing simply doesn’t work.
Targeting a specific body part with endless reps will not make the fat disappear and improve the way you look. It takes much more than that.
The first and foremost factor in determining how lean your muscles are, is your nutrition. Without properly balanced diet, you’ll probably fail in more than one area.
The other is total body workout. Only then can you focus on targeting a certain muscle group – the abs in this case – and starting to work on its strength and growth.
Using weights in your abdominal exercises will help your muscle growth and improve their appearance. The increased abdominal strength will also be helpful for performing other exercises as well.
Take a look at our selection of 6 weight exercises for developing stronger and more accentuated six packs.
#1. Barbell Rollouts
The barbell rollouts activate the whole abdominal region and are perfect for strengthening your core, without placing a greater load on your lower back.
In addition, this exercise will your improve your shoulder strength and stability. First get into a push up position, but instead of placing your hands on the floor, grab a barbell.
We recommend beginning with an empty barbell. You can start adding weight once you’re able to complete 10 reps. This exercise can also be performed with your knees on your floor, making it less challenging for the beginners.
#2. Weighted Hanging Leg Raise
This is one of the most challenging exercises on this list, and probably not all of you can able to perform it correctly.
If you are a newbie, we strongly recommend to have someone show you how it’s done properly. In any case, if you want to perform it, you should be able to perform the hanging straight leg raise first.
However, when done properly the weighted hanging leg rise is one of the best exercises for your abs, and one that must be included in your routine.
In addition to activating your lower abs, it also target a whole range of other muscles.
Start performing it light, holding a smaller dumbbell between your feet. Keep increasing the load with each next workout session. Try completing at least 3 sets with 8 reps each.
#3. Rolling Side Plank
The rolling side plank is especially effective for increasing the strength of the obliques, which function as core stabilizers. As a bonus, you get increased lower back and shoulder strength.
We recommend performing this exercise instead of the side bends, because the mechanics of this movement is much more natural.
After all, the lateral core stabilizers serve in preventing the lateral flexion, and are not built for performing side to side movement. And since it allows unilateral 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 up its difficulty by adding weighted cable, thus increasing the anti-rotary tension affect.
To do this, position yourself near the apparatus, so that the cables are within your reach. It’s crucial that your spine is a neutral position when your perform the motion.
Always begin with lighter loads, increasing the tension as you progress. Keep your sets into 8-12 rep range.
#4. Landmine Anti-Rotation
The landmine anti-rotation exercise increases your core strength, targeting the obliques as well.
If you don’t have the appropriate apparatus for performing this exercise, you can overcome this problem by placing a barbell in the corner of the room.
The key of performing this exercise is to avoid moving your hips. Focus on moving only your arms as you move them through the half-moon motion with the bar.
If you want to place an even greater focus on your abdominal muscle fibres, squeeze them hard at top of each rep, and exhale.
#5. Oblique Bench Hold With Weight
Find a stabile bench and sit on one of its ends holding a weight plate. Sit on your right hip bone and rotate your torso.
Place your right foot under the bench on your right side, and your left on the other side providing support and stability for the torso.
With your torso rotated lower it to the side still holding the plate in front of your chest. Start pushing the plate in front of you. Do several reps, and switch side.
#6. Weighted Sit-ups
You can perform this exercise in a traditional way, with your knees bent, or you can do it with straight legs.
This will reduce the stress on your back, and will help you in isolating the abdominal area much better, reducing the hip flexors activation at the same time.
The key of this exercise is proper form, avoid rocking yourself and performing sudden upward movements. Focus on your abdominals to execute a steady lift.
Lie down on the floor holding a weight plate above your chest with your arms fully extended. Start doing a full sit up. As you come up, push the weight above your head with your arms still extended.
Don’t bring it forward, just above your head. Then, lower yourself back to the starting position and repeat.