According to celeb trainer Gunnar Peterson, the secret to awesome abs is “working consistently, working in different planes of motion, and adding weights to your abdominal work.” Which is good info to know, because there are a lot of benefits to strengthening your abs. Yes, there are the aesthetic considerations, but a stronger core will also help you feel stronger during other workouts and help prevent injury. There’s no downside to working your core and, like Peterson said, weighted exercises are a great way to do it if you already have a solid foundation. (If you’re a true beginner, try starting with bodyweight ab moves, or just doing the following moves without a weight.)
For the weighted ab exercises ahead, all you need are a set of dumbbells, a medicine ball, or a couple of handy weight substitutes like water bottles or cans of food. To get the most bang for your buck when doing these exercises, choose a weight that feels challenging by the last few reps. These will likely feel much harder than bodyweight ab exercises, so know that it’s totally normal to feel your muscles shivering and shaking. That’s how you know the exercises are working!
To target all areas of your core, incorporate a variety of these moves into your next strength-training workout. Grab your weights and reading to see the 19 moves!