How to Use Weights to Strengthen Abdominal Muscles

Keep your hands by the sides of your head during crunches.
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Having difficulty achieving a tighter and stronger midsection with your current ab routine? A not-so-obvious problem might be a lack of abdominal weight-training. When you initially begin exercising your abs, you certainly want to start using your bodyweight solely. As you progress with your routine, however, you need to step up your intensity. The best way to do so is by implementing weights into your workouts. This will allow you to further challenge your ab muscles, therefore further increasing your strength levels and tightening up your stomach.

Weighted Crunch

Step 1

Performing the crunch primarily targets your rectus abdominis. This is the muscle that gives a six-pack appearance of the stomach. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and lie face-up on the ground.

Step 2

Position each dumbbell over your chest region with your arms extended.

Step 3

Raise your upper back, rounding it in the process, as much as possible. Keep your lower back on the ground during this motion. Pause for a beat at the top.

Step 4

Lower your upper back, straightening it in the process, until you return to the beginning position.

Weighted Twisting Crunch

Step 1

Performing the twisting crunch mainly works the obliques. These are a group of two muscles that give the curved appearance at the sides of the stomach. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie your back down on the ground.

Step 2

Position the dumbbells over your chest region with your arms straight.

Step 3

Move your upper back off the ground in a twisting motion towards the right, rounding your upper back during the movement. Do not move your lower back off the ground during the movement.

Step 4

Move your upper back down to the ground, straightening your upper back during the movement. Repeat the movement with the other side, and keep alternating between the two sides until you reach the desired number of repetitions.

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