Great Weighted Exercises for Building Perfect Six-Pack Abs
Many people seem to think that doing hundreds of sit-ups is the first step on the journey to perfect six-pack abs. This is a very common misconception. You would not train your biceps by doing one hundred light dumbbell curls, so why do the same thing with your abdominal muscles? The key here is heavy weight and low repetitions. The first exercise in our ab-sculpting arsenal is the weighted decline crunch. On a decline bench, simply lay down with your legs locked into place and do a crunch while holding a weighted plate behind your head. This plate will add extra resistance to your abdominal muscles, making it a much more effective exercise than the standard crunch. Aim for 8-16 repetitions, as this is the perfect repetition range to shock your abdominal muscles into growing into the coveted six-pack you desire.
Now that your abdominal muscles are pumped and ready for more action, the next exercise will be leg raises. Most gyms will have a captain’s chair which is designed specifically for leg raises. Use the handles on the captain’s chair to hold yourself up, then simply raise your legs in front of you slowly, then lower them back down. It is important to keep your legs straight the whole time. If keeping your legs straight proves to be too difficult, it is possible to perform this exercise with the knees bent until enough strength is built to keep the legs completely straight. Leg raises are essential to developing six-pack abs because they work the lower, more stubborn part of the abdominal muscles. If a captain’s chair is not available, this exercise may also be performed hanging from a pull-up bar or flat on the ground.
Well-developed abs are well supplemented with muscular obliques as well. The oblique muscles run along the side of your midsection and should be exercised along with your abs. A great exercise for hitting the obliques is the weighted side bend. Weighted side bends are essential for having a shredded midsection, and can be seen quite often in the gym. To perform a weighted side bend, simply hold a dumbbell or a plate in one hand, and bend sideways away from the dumbbell or plate. After one repetition, bend your body in the opposite direction, lowering the dumbbell or plate closer to the ground, then bring it back up to complete the next repetition. The oblique muscles on the side of the torso will be doing most of the work. Aim for 8-12 repetitions, and you will be feeling that wonderful burn in your side that lets you know it’s working. Throw a few sets of weighted side bends into a well-developed abdominal workout regimen with decline crunches and leg raises, and the six-pack of your dreams will suddenly become attainable. With some patience and persistence, you will no longer be embarrassed to remove your shirt and show the world what you’re packing underneath.