Exercise of the Month: Weighted Abs Workout routines

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Abs are the heart of your body. Aesthetics aside, the stronger you are, the greater your athletic performance: you will run faster and lift heavier. To improve your core strength, add weighted abs exercises. Instead of a lightning bolt, this training prioritizes “control and time under tension,” says Chase Weber, start trainer and founder of the THR33 Active CBD Cream. Your whole body will be recruited for stability, but your abs will scream.

Directions: Perform straight sets and follow the prescribed repetitions and sets for each movement. Rest 30 seconds between sets and 60 seconds between exercises. Repeat the workout three times a week – twice as a finisher for full-body or split routines and once on a recovery day.Weighted hyperextensions Marius Bugge

1. Weighted hyperextensions

How it goes: Lock yourself in a hyperextension or glute ham machine, feet anchored, hips over cushions. Hug a weight plate at your chest and bend at your hips to lower yourself and slowly raise to count up to 2, squeezing your glutes to protect your lower back at the top. You can also use a heavy resistance band: clip it under the hyperextension device, then wrap the top around your neck and hold the band with your hands.

Recipe: 4 x 15 repetitionsWeighted Copenhagen plank Weighted Copenhagen plank Marius Bugge

2. Weighted Copenhagen Plank

How it goes: Put a bench or stool next to your feet. (You don’t want it to be too big as you are doing a raised side plank from your forearm.) Lie on your left side, your left forearm on the floor on the inside of your right foot that is resting on the bench. Hold a 25 pound weight plate or vest by the side of your upper hip. Lift your body off the floor and support your weight with your right foot and left forearm. Pro tip: Make it harder for yourself by doing hip dips at a slow pace.

Recipe: 5 x 60 seconds per side

Cable passage on the side planksCable passage on the side planks Marius Bugge

3. Kettlebell Plank Sweeps

How it goes: Hold a tall board with a kettlebell just outside your left hand. Reach under your upper body to grab the kettlebell with your right hand and “sweep” or pull the KB back and forth with full range of motion. Keep your core firm, your glutes tensed, and your hips level. Your obliques should drive this exercise.

Recipe: 4 x 60 seconds per side

4. Cable passage of the side planks (see above)

How it goes: Start in a side plank on your left forearm with your back to the cable machine. Bring your right arm under your body to grab the attachment handle. Tense your core as you straighten your arm, pull the cable until your arm is fully extended, gently bend your elbow, and squeeze your glutes at the top. Pause for a moment, then reverse the movement. Move slowly and in a controlled manner.

Recipe: 4 x 60 seconds per side

Rocking crunchesRocking crunches Marius Bugge

5. Rocking crunches

How it goes: Use your elbows to press two 5-pound plates flat against your thighs, just above your knees. Rock back and forth without sliding the panels. If that’s too demanding, use a yoga block.

Recipe: 5 x 60 seconds

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