POPSUGAR Fitness

The Secret to Amazing Abs

May 28 2014 - 12:03pm

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." Take this advice to heart — here are a handful of exercises that put these principles into action using a set of dumbbells or a medicine ball. Incorporate a few of these exercises into your next workout to really kick your abs into action.

Source: Shutterstock [1]

Double Crunch Pulse With Medicine Ball

The slow and controlled pulse of this exercise keeps the abs engaged throughout the set, and adding the weight of a medicine ball kicks your abs into high gear and increases the burn. Choose a weight between five and eight pounds.

Low to High Woodchop

This dynamic exercise works the obliques and upper abs while keeping your heart rate up. Although this is a full-body move, it doesn't require a lot of space, so you can do it almost anywhere. Use a five- to 10-pound dumbbell or a medicine ball.

Leaning Camel

In yoga, Camel Pose increases the flexibility in your spine, but this challenging variation using a weight strengthens your abs while helping to create a lovely, lean torso. Besides working the entire abdominal wall, this move gives the quads an active stretch to boot!

Standing Weighted Twist

Some call this move the flashlight, and we love it for the intense focus on the abs. Straighten your arms to increase the difficulty. Once you master the move, try speeding up.

Seated Russian Twist

This classic move targets your obliques, and adding a dumbbell or medicine ball increases the challenge.

You can also make the move more advanced by lifting your feet three or four inches off the floor, as pictured.

Plank and Rotate

Twisting in a plank position fires up the core and works those love handles.

Overhead Circles

As you stabilize your core while circling the med ball above your head, your abs will feel the burn. Your arms will feel it, too!

Dumbbell Crossover Punch

Adding weights to the classic sit-up brings a whole new level of toning to your workout.

Coordination Fly

The secret sauce in this exercise: use your abs to control your movement on the way down. Uncurl slowly instead of just letting gravity pull you down.

High to Low Woodchop

We love the woodchop, and this variation is one of celeb trainer Gunnar Peterson's favorites [2].

Reverse Lunge With Twist

This lunge variation works the entire body, and adding the twist ensures that your abs get a little extra attention.

V-Sit With Single-Arm Chest Fly

In this variation, the abs work extra to maintain stability as you pull the dumbbell away from your center.

Standing Side Bend

The standing side bend works your obliques, and celeb trainer Harley Pasternak recommends this move to keep the love-handle area tight [3]. We like that it simultaneously stretches one side of your torso while working the other — it feels good.

Lying Overhead Reach

This move works your abs in a lengthened position as the muscles stabilize your pelvis and ribcage against the weight, as it lowers to the floor. You may be lying on the ground, but this move is quite challenging.

3 Moves For the Cable Pulley Machine

The cable pulley machine definitely puts the "fun" in functional, especially when it comes to ab work. This machine is perfect for toning your middle while working the entire body. Watch this video to learn how to do three different exercises that target your abs while also toning your arms and legs.


Source URL
http://www.fitsugar.com/Best-Ab-Exercises-Using-Weights-23879209