Strengthen Your Core With These 18 Weighted Ab Exercises

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. Whether you’re doing abs before a workout or after you crush your treadmill workout, 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.

If you’re inspired to do an ab workout with weights once you finish reading this post, go ahead: Add a few of these moves to your next workout, but I don’t recommend doing more than eight exercises from this list in one session or else you will be extremely sore. Now get ready to blast your abs with these 18 moves.