If you have been training your abs for some years, the time comes when most of the core exercises that you did do not bring you the results you want. They do not support your development anymore, because the muscles of your midsection are so strong that you can do a lot of reps and sets. That is the time when you want to do weighted abs exercises.
By adding extra resistance to the move, you give the muscles a new stimulus that they have to adapt so that they have to gain in size and strength. It is a technique to get progressive overload. You do the same with your abs as if you want to boost your chest, for example.
Sit ups with weights is one such an exercise that you can include in your core workout. However, there is a big debate about it.
Someone says it is a worthless and even harmful exercise since it puts stress on the lower back. Many fitness experts recommend substituting it with other moves.
However, I’m not among them. The sit up is such a drill that works the entire core and really beneficial. The problem is that most of the people perform it poorly. That is why they have a lower back and spine pain while doing it. And, find it inefficient.
If it were not functional training, the fiercest fighters of the world would not include in their abs strengthening plan, would they?
Related: How to perform sit ups correctly.
The weighted sit ups for abs is only for those trainees who can perform the move correctly, and already have a solid core. It is not a beginner level exercise at all which, without a doubt, can lead to muscle strain or other injuries. It is for advanced level athletes.
Weighted sit ups benefits
By using weights, you add extra resistance to the motion in two ways. That is when you sit up and lower your upper body back to the starting position. Do not forget that the eccentric phase, when you go down, is a tremendous way to develop strength and mass as well. So, pay attention to it as well.
Also, because of the extra load secondary muscles such as your obliques, lower back and even your shoulder and arms have to work. With that, it is a compound exercise developing your endurance.
To sum up, it helps to get your midsection stronger helping to perform other exercises such as squat better. And, it also grows the size of the tissues so they will pop out more helping to get six pack abs.
How to perform it correctly?
As if you were doing normal one, but obviously more concentration is required because of the extra load.
It is crucial that you should use only light weights first so that your body gets used to the new load and activity. Then, you can gradually increase the amount little by little.
But, do not forget that the amount of weight used should never go to the detriment of the proper execution of the exercise. That can lead to injuries and no effectiveness.
How to add weight to sit ups? You can use various equipment a dumbbell, a weight plate or a medicine ball will do. You can also try the weighted vest which provides the most comfortable way since you do not have to hold any equipment.
What would be a better source to learn the proper form than a video? So, check out the tutorial below.
Incline sit ups with weights
If you are on an advanced fitness level, you can go one step forward by using a sit up bench. Pro ab benches can be set up to very high levels which is already a tough exercise, but if you feel that resistance is not enough, you can use weights as well.
The same rules are true for this variation as well. Start with light weights and low angle. Then, increase the angle of the board and load gradually keeping the proper form.
Watch the tutorial below for the proper form for weighted incline sit ups.
What about crunches with weights?
Yes, you can improve the effectiveness of your crunches with the help of weights. And, since the length of the motion is shorter, it is maybe easier to perform these moves. Plus, there is no such stress on your lower back. But, do not forget about the rules.
Will this exercise help to get rid of stomach fat?
No! It is a strength training exercise, not suitable for fat burning. For losing belly fat cardio and a healthy diet is the key.
To sum up
Weighted sit up is a great advanced level abs exercise that is great for strength and size development, but you must be careful when doing it. Start slowly and if you feel it harms any parts of your body stop doing it, and find an alternative weighted exercise the such as standing cable crunch. Your health is the first.