7 Weighted Ab Exercises — For When You Really Want to Torch Your Core

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The key to getting a stronger core is pretty simple: spend more time strengthening your abdominal muscles. No, you don’t have to schedule hour-long ab sessions, but your workouts should contain a core proponent. It can be as simple as spending a few minutes activating your core before moving into a strength routine or after a cardio session, but the bottom line is that you’ve got to commit to working your core if you want it to become stronger — and weighted ab exercises can be a great tool to do so.

As a trainer, I think your ab workouts should entail stability aspects, strength aspects, and some explosive work. Having those variations will help stabilize your spine and prevent injury. I love bodyweight exercises like planks and hanging leg raises to work my abs, but I also like to up the intensity with weighted ab exercises.

If you’re a beginner, don’t let these moves intimidate you. The key is to select a weight you can work with. You can do weighted ab exercises with dumbbells, medicine balls, kettlebells, or even a cable machine — no matter what, my recommendation is no more than 10 pounds. Don’t be afraid to decrease the weight if your form is falling apart; better safe than injured. Also, add just a few of these moves to your next workout, especially if you haven’t been doing many core workouts lately — otherwise, you’ll risk ending up extremely sore.

Ahead, eight of the best weighted ab exercises you can have in your back pocket.

— Additional reporting by Mirel Zaman

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