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21 Best Ab Exercises With Weights That'll Work Your Core

The 21 Best Weighted Ab Exercises For a Stronger Core

21 Best Ab Exercises With Weights That'll Work Your Core
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sam Kang

According to celeb trainer Gunnar Peterson, the secret to core strength is "working consistently, working in different planes of motion, and adding weights to your abdominal work." In other words, there's no shortcut to getting strong abs. But being smart about your training can help you avoid wasting energy while tapping into all the benefits that a stronger core can offer: better balance, protection from injury, better form during cardio and strength workouts, less pain, and better posture, to name just a few. If you're a true beginner, try starting with bodyweight ab moves (or try out the following moves without a weight). But if you already have a foundation, like Peterson said, weighted ab exercises are key to continuing to build strength.

For all of the weighted ab exercises ahead, all you need is a set of dumbbells, a medicine ball, or a couple of handy weight substitutes, such as 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 shaking. As always, listen to your own body and modify or drop down to bodyweight as needed.

— Additional reporting by Maggie Ryan

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