20 Weighted Ab Workouts and Core Exercises

When you feel bored with bodyweight abs workout or you just want to try adding weights in your core workout training then try some of the best weighted abs workouts from the 20 Weighted Ab exercises.

Doing ab exercises using weights such as dumbbells and weight plates significantly improved muscular endurance to a greater extent and helps a person develop six-pack ab muscles faster – according to an article published by the National Library of Medicine.

So if you want to beef up your core strength and thicken abdominal muscles, you can incorporate the weighted ab workouts in your gym workout routine.

If you’re not sure how to design a workout program, then you can download it from this workout routine category.

Content

  • Weighted Upper Ab Workouts
  • Weighted Lower Ab Exercises
  • Oblique Workout Using Weight
  • Total Weighted Core Workout

Getting six-pack abs isn’t difficult. If you want to get six-pack abs in the least time, then you’ll primarily need to focus on a couple of things; a consistent workout and a healthy diet.

Whether you’re in the ’20s or ’40s, beginner or intermediate these weighted exercises for abs will surely help you build a powerful core.

So let’s just quickly find out a list of ab workouts that you can do using weight plates, dumbbells, and cables in the gym.

You can also do some of the weighted ab workouts at home with the help of dumbbells and kettlebells.


Related: What’s The Best Time To Workout Abs?


Upper Abs weighted Workouts

  • Weighe Plate Crunches
  • Dumbbell Straight-Arm Crunches
  • Seated Cable Crunches on Knees
  • Dumbbell Toe Touching
  • Decline Cable Crunches

1) Weight Plate Crunches

Crunches are the most basic ab workout which works on the abs and the obliques. They strengthen the core muscles, increase muscles flexibility, flatten the tummy and reveal six-pack abs.

Weight Plate Ab Workout
How to Crunches using weight plate

To perform the crunches using a weight plate;

  1. Lie on your back, holding a weight plate in your hands.
  2. Keep your arms straijght above your chest.
  3. Lift your feet off the floor and bend your knees they are in line with your hips.
  4. Brace your core, inhale and lift your torso off the floor until your abs are fully engaged.
  5. Pause for a moment, and then return to the start.
  6. Suggested repetitions: 20 in 2 sets.

To make it tougher, you can hold the weight plate behind your head and ask your friend to hold your feet to maintain balance during the movement.


2) Dumbbell Straight-Arm Crunches

All crunches are similar to one another, so their benefits are. Dumbbell straight arm crunches are one of the variations of the normal crunches.

abs workout with weights
Source: Howcast

Here we take a look at how to perform Dumbbell Straight-Arm Crunches.

To perform the straight-arm crunches using dumbbells;

  1. Lie on your back holding a pair of dumbbells in your hands with your arms are straight above you. Keep your knees bent at 30-45 degrees. This is your starting position.
  2. Brace your abdominal muscles and do as many crunches as you can.
  3. Keep your arms straight during the entire movement.

3) Seated Cable Crunches on Knees

The cable crunches are better than dumbbell or body-weight crunches because they engage more muscles during the movement.

The cable also allows a good range of motion because it is flexible.

Cable Abs Workout

How to do Cable Crunches

  1. Attach the rope in the cable machine to an appropritae height.
  2. Sit on your knees on the mat and hold the cable firmly.
  3. Slightly lean your torso forward. This is your starting position.
  4. Pull down until you feel the stretch in your abs muscles.
  5. Hold for a couple of seconds and then return to the start. That’s one rep.
  6. Suggested repetitions: 10 x 2

Also see: 12 Best Cable Machine Abs Workout For Six-Pack


4) Dumbbell Toe Touching

The Dumbbell toe crunches are better than standard crunches because it especially works on the abs muscles.

It is one of my favorite abs workouts. Toe touch crunches strengthen core muscles, reduce back pain and improve muscles flexibility.

You can also these crunches using a weight plate.

weighted ab exercises
ab workout with dumbbells

How To Dumbbell Toe Crunches

  1. Start with lying on your back, holding a pair of dumbbells in your hand.
  2. Raise your legs together in a way that your body makes an L shape.
  3. Brace your abs and legs, and try to touch your toes as many times as you like.
  4. Do a couple of sets.

5. Decline Cable Crunches

weighted ab exercises for six pack
  1. Place an abdominal crunch bench in front of the cable machine and set the D handles or rope in the lowest section. Head position close to the cable machine.
  2. Lie down on your on the bench with feet under the pads.
  3. Grab the rope behind your head and pull forward until your palms are facing your ears. That’s the start.
  4. Keeping your elbows bend and holding the rope firmly, do as many crunches as you like.

Do two sets of 10 to 12 repetitions each.


Weighted Lower Ab exercises

  • Dumbbell Leg Raise
  • Dumbbell Reverse Crunches
  • Cable Reverse Crunches
  • Hanging Dumbbell Leg Raises
  • Weight Plate Lying Leg Hold Ab Exercise
  • Lying Cable Reverse Crunches
  • Hanging Knee Raise with Dumbbell

Let’s find out how to do all these lower abs exercises with weights using dumbbells, barbells, and cable machines.


6) Dumbbell Leg Raise

The Leg raise primarily works on the lower abs. Leg raise is one of the best ab exercises which help you thicken and strengthen your abs in the least time.

Weighted Ab Workouts

To perform the weighted leg raise ab workout with a dumbbell

  1. Lay down on your back with your arms are straight at your just below your glutes.
  2. Clamp a dumbbell between your feet and keep your legs straight.
  3. Brace your core and raise your legs together as high as you can.
  4. Puase in that position for a monement and then lower your legs on the ground and repeat for the desired number of times.
  5. You’ll feel the contraction in your core during the movement.
  6. Keep your legs straight throughout the workout.
  7. Do two sets of 8 to 10 reps each.

Related: Do The Best Ab Workouts At The Gym (25 Exercises)


7) Dumbbell Reverse Crunches

The reverse crunches are also a part of the lower abs workout. It strengthens core muscles as well as improves lower back muscles flexibility.

To perform the reverse crunches using dumbbells,

How to do abs workout with weight plates and dumbbells
abs Exercise with weights
  1. Lie on your back with your arms are straight at your sides for support.
  2. Clamp a dumbbell between your feet, lift your feet off the ground and keep your legs straigh. This is your start.
  3. Hold your core tight, inhale and bring your knees toward your chest until your abs are fully engaged.
  4. Pause for a moment and then extend your knees until they are straight. That’s one rep.
  5. Do two sets of 8 to 10 reps each.

You can also do this movement safely with the help of a cable machine.

Steps to do lying cable reverse crunches

  1. Set the D handles to an appropriate height, approximately at your hips height. Use weight based on your strength.
  2. Lie down on the mat with your feet pointing toward the machine.
  3. Lift your legs and anchor your feet in the D handles. This is your starting position.
  4. Now, pull your knees inside toward your chest, as close as possible.
  5. Hold for a couple of seconds and then extend your knees fully to return to the start.
  6. You’ll feel the contraction in your abdominal muscles.
  7. Do a couple of sets of 10 to 15 reps each.

8) Hanging Dumbbell Leg Raises

The hanging leg raise is one of my favorite ab workouts because it works on the overall core including the upper abs, lower abs, and obliques. It will be difficult for overweight people to perform.

You can make it more useful using the dumbbell.

Here we see how to perform the leg raise with a dumbbell.

weighted ab workouts with dumbbells
  1. Grab the pull up bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and hang on it.
  2. Clamp a dumbbell between your feet
  3. Now tighten your core and firmly hold a dumbbell using your feet and raise as high as you can. Keep your leg extended during the whole movement. Suggested repetitions: 12-16 in 2 sets.

9) Weight Plate Lying Leg Hold

It is one of the isometric weighted workouts for abs that can help you boost your core strength and thicken six-pack muscles.

To do the leg hold exercise,

  • Lie on your back, arms extended at your sides for support.
  • Keep your legs straight and place a weight plate on your shin.
  • Slightly lift your legs and torso off the ground.
  • Hold into this position for as long as you can.
  • Repeat for a couple of times.

Check out more The Best Isometric Ab Exercises To Build Strong Core

10) Hanging Dumbbell Knee Raise

  1. Clamp a dumbell between your feet and hang onto the pull bar with on overhand grip.
  2. Keep your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width part and legs straight downward. This is your start.
  3. Raise your knees toward your chest as high as possible. Pause for a couple of seconds and extend your knees downward. That is your one rep repetition.
  4. Do as many sets and reps as you like.

Obliques Workout with Weights For Strong Abs and Core

  • Weighted Russian Twist
  • Dumbbell Side Plank
  • Dumbbell Side Bend
  • High cable woodchop

11) Weighted Russian Twist

The Russian twist exercise works on several muscles at once, such as rectus abdominis, shoulders, hips, and especially the obliques.

Doing it can help you strengthens the core, increase muscles flexibility, tone muscles as well as improve balance.

However, it also has one drawback. It put stress on the lower back that causes back pain in some cases.

How to Russian Twist with weight plate
  1. Sit on the floor holding a weight plate in your hands.
  2. Bend your elobows and hold the weight plate in front of your stomach.
  3. Keep your legs slightly off the ground. This is your starting position.
  4. Brace your hips and core, and twist your torso both sides.
  5. Do two sets of 15-20 seconds each.

12) Weighted Side Plank Ab Workout

The side plank primarily strengthens the obliques and tone core muscles.

You can do the side plank with a weight plate as well as a dumbbell, depending on your comfort.

Here we take a look at how to perform side plank using a dumbbell:

weighted core exercises
  1. Get yourself onto your either of your forearm in a way that your leg stays on one another.
  2. Grab a dumbbell in the opposite arm and keep it extended toward the ceiling.
  3. Hold as long as you can then perform with the other side.

13) Dumbbell Side Bend

The dumbbell side bends especially work on the obliques and help you flatten your side fats. You can do the side bends using a kettlebell as well.

This is one of the weighted ab workouts which anyone can do, either beginner or advanced, male or female.

How to perform Dumbbell Side Bends:
Weighted core workout
  1. Start with standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended at your sides with holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Keep your back straight, abs tight and bend down at one side as far as you can, then back up again. Bend on the other side to complete one rep.
  3. Suggested repetitions: 20 in 2 sets.

RELATED: 10 minutes workout for abs and stronger core


14) High cable woodchop

There are different variations of ab workout you can do using the cables and a high cable woodchop is one the most important ones.

The high cable woodchop works on the overall core especially the obliques.

Weighted Ab Workouts

When you feel bored with dumbbells and barbells then try cable ab workouts. 

Here’s how you can do high-cable wood-chop:

  • Set the rack higher than your height and stand on the side of the machine.
  • Grab the handle with your hands and bring the cable down and across your body until it crosses your hips.
  • Hold into the position for a moment and then return to the beginning.
  • keep your core engaged throughout the movement.

You can also do low cable wood chop. The steps will be the same. You only need to set the rope to the lowest section of the machine.


Six-Pack Weighted Ab Workouts For Entire Core

  • Weighted Plank
  • Barbell or Wheel Roll Out
  • DB Alternate Toe Touch Crunches
  • Overhead Circles With a Weight Plate
  • Dumbbell Plank Row
  • Push-Up To Renegade Row

15) Weighted Plank Workout For Six-pack Abs

I think plank is the king of the core workout because it works on several muscles at one time such as; abs, obliques, arms, lower back, and hips. Planks have different types for example forearm plank, side plank, extended plank, high plank, knee to elbow plank, and more.

Planks have numerous benefits, such as

  • It strengthen core muscles, flatten abdomen and thicken six-pack abs.
  • Doing planks will increase strength, burn more calories, and improve overall performance.

It is one of the best-weighted ab workouts you can do.

Plank also has various types, you can check here.

You can do a weighted forearm plank using a weight plate. 

Here’s how to do plank using a weight plate:

Get yourself into the plank position, holding your body weight on your forearm and feet. Keep your body straight in line from top to bottom with keeping your spine straight. Now tighten your core, hips, and hamstrings, and ask your friend to put a weight plate on your lower back. Hold as long as you can then remove the weight plate and perform the next workout.

16) Barbell or Wheel Roll Out

The Rollout exercise not only works on the core but also strengthens the lower back, arms, and shoulders.

It increases muscles flexibility, reduces lower back pain, and improves overall performance.

One primarily performs the roll-out workout using an ab wheel but in case of unavailability of an ab wheel, you can do using a barbell.

Weighted Ab Workouts

How to perform Roll out with a barbell?

  1. Set the weight plate into the barbell and place it on the ground.
  2. Sit on the floor on your knees and slightly lean forward so that the barbell is directly underneath your shoulders.
  3. Grab the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. This is your start.
  4. Engage your core and start rolling the bar forward, as far as you can without breaking the form.
  5. Hold in the extended position for a couple of seconds and then roll back to the starting position.
  6. Keep your core tight and back straight during the whole movement and perform this exercise slowly.

17) DB Alternate Toe Touch Crunches

It works on the overall core muscles, increases muscles flexibility burns maximum calories, and builds six-pack abs in the least time.

To perform the Single Arm Single Leg V-Ups Using Dumbbell;

  1. Lie on your back, holding a dumbbell in your right hand and legs extended straight.
  2. Keep your right arm extended behind you and left arm at your side. That’s your starting position.
  3. Now brace your core and start raising right arm and left leg at the same time and bring them closer to each other and then return in the beginning position. That’s one rep for one side.
  4. Suggested repetitions: 10 each side in 2 sets.

18) Overhead Circles With a Weight Plate

The overhead circle is a complete ab workout that works on the complete core. This not only strengthens your abs and obliques but also works on the shoulder and the arms.

How to perform side plank using a weight plate:

  1. Start with standing with your feet hip-width apart holding a weight plate overhead and slightly bend your knees and keep your back straight. That’s the beginning.
  2. Now, start the second step with circling the weight plate to the left, in the largest circles you can make, while keeping your core engaged.
  3. Circle the weight plate as many as times you can in both sides.

Related: 14 best workouts for lower abs


19) Plank Row with Dumbbells

The plank row not only works on the core but also activates the shoulder and back muscles. Doing the same kind of exercise will make you unexciting, that’s why one should often try something new.

How to perform Plank Row with Dumbbells?

Get into a high plank position onto the dumbbells, keep your feet firmly on the ground shoulder-width apart. Your body will be in an elevated position, straight from the top to the bottom.

Now brace your core and lift your right elbow to row then bring the dumbbell into the plank position and repeat with the opposite elbow. Do as many repetitions as you can do.


20) Push-Up To Renegade Row

The push-up to renegade row works on several muscles including abs, shoulders, back, and arms. It is not especially an abs workout but it strengthens the core muscles.

To perform the push-up to renegade row;

  1. Get into a high plank position onto the dumbbells, keep your feet firmly on the ground shoulder-width apart.
  2. Your body will be in an elevated position from head to heel.
  3. Brace your core, perform one push-up and lift your right elbow to row then bring the dumbbell into the plank position and repeat with the opposite arm. That’s one complete rep.
  4. Perform the desired number of repetitions.

Check out more weighted pushup variations.


Best Weighted Ab Wokrouts – Questions and Answers

1. Can You Build Abs with Weights?

Yes, adding weights to the typical bodyweight abs workouts can be beneficial for building stronger and thicker abdominal and oblique muscles.

The weight provides extra stress on the muscles and helps you thicken your abs gradually.

I do weighted abs exercises at least once a week and they helped me fortify my core.

2. Can I do weighted Ab workouts every day?

No, if you do abs exercises with weights, then you shouldn’t do it every day.

Doing weighted ab workouts every day will not help you build muscle rather it increases the risk of injuries.

Giving optimal rest to your trained muscle is important for growth.

So if you want to boost strength and gain mass, you can train your abs two to three times a week.

3. Do weighted Ab exercises Burn Fat?

The weighted ab exercises do not burn fats but they increase strength and endurance and burn a good number of calories.

However, they can help build reduce your excess fats if you incorporate a calorie deficit diet into your daily routine.

But abdominal exercises are not sufficient to lower body fat percentage without a proper diet program – suggested in a journal published by the Journal Strength and Conditioning Research.

4. Benefits and Risk of Doing Abs Workout with Weight

Benefits

  1. Doing ab exercises with weights will help you increase strength and endurance and build strong core.
  2. Weighted abs workouts boost your aerobic and anaerobic performance.
  3. Weighted abdominal exercises develop strong core. And strong core will help you lift more during the compound exercises.

Risk

  1. Sometimes doing weighted crunches can put stress on your back and cause lower back pain.

If you don’t abs exercises with weights, you can try some of the best Calisthenics Ab workouts.

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Murshid Akram
I'm a certified personal trainer, fitness blogger, and nature lover. I always learn more about exercise science and human anatomy so that I can provide the best information possible. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.

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