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Do you want to boost the strength and the size of your abdominal muscles? Can you do 50 or even 100 sit-ups, crunches, etc. but you see no results?
If you have been working out for some years, the time comes when you need to modify your ab workout to force your muscles to grow again. You know, they are tricky, if they get used to the same exercises, reps, sets, and intensity, they stop developing. They need a new impact that they have to adapt to.
The ab decline bench, because of the slant board, makes the simple exercises more challenging. But what if even the highest angle is comfortable for you?
Switch to weighted sit up bench exercises. Grab a piece of a weight plate, dumbbell, or a medicine ball to add additional resistance to the move.
Within this post, I’m going to talk about these exercises.
What to beware of?
Doing crunches, oblique twists, and sit up with weight are high-level exercises that require developed core strength. Hence, I only recommend them for advanced-level athletes. Beginners aren’t familiar with the proper form of the basic exercises yet, and they don’t have the strength that is required for proper execution.
But, even if you are a pro, you must be careful as well.
Firstly, start with light weights. 2-4 pounds will do. Of course, as you develop, you increase the load from time to time to get progressive overload.
Using too heavy weights might be bad for three reasons.
Firstly, you can’t perform the correct form, which is crucial to target and strengthen the muscles. Moreover, you can’t have enough number of reps and sets. Finally, a wrong move, and you can go home with a back injury.
To sum up, weighted ab bench exercises are excellent to boost the size and strength of your abs, but you must be careful. Plus, you’d better use a commercial sit up bench that supports a higher weight limit.
Decline sit up with weight
For this exercise, you can use a dumbbell or a weight plate. Try which one is more comfortable for you to use. The point is to focus on the execution of the exercise instead of the holding of the weight.
If you use an adjustable sit up bench, start with the lowest angle. As you get familiar with the move, you can increase the angle of the board for more difficulty.
I’m sure you already know the correct decline sit-up technique, but don’t forget about the straight back and the full range of motion.
To maximize the outcome, stop for a moment at the top and squeeze your abs. Also, don’t lie on the bench and let your abdominal muscles to relax at the bottom.
Decline weighted crunches
The move is almost the same as the previous one. The difference is that you have a shorter range of motion, and because of that, you can target your upper abs better.
Decline Russian Twist
One of the best exercises to target your obliques. You can build big and toned side abs with it to get that V-cut shaped abdomen. However, it’s the hardest among the mentioned exercises here.
The most important thing is to keep your back straight and try to turn your torso to the sides as much as you can. Don’t turn too fast. Instead, focus on your core.
You can place the weight on your chest or holding away from you. The previous is easier.
The ab workout bench isn’t the most suitable workout equipment for doing back extension, the Roman chair is made for that. However, by facing towards the floor and fixing your feet between the rollers, you can do hypers.
You can place the weight behind your head or holding it on your chest.
The hyperextension is the best exercise to strengthen your lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and the muscles at both sides of your spine. These areas are part of the core, so we shouldn’t neglect them.
On the other hand, if you have problems with your lower back or spine, I don’t recommend to do hypers.
4 exercises = total core workout
Maybe there are more weighted sit up bench exercises out there, but these are enough to have a complete core training. Sit up and crunches for rectus abdominis (six-pack abs), Russian twist for the obliques (v-cut), and back extension for the lower back.
The number of reps doesn’t need to be high since the aim is developing strength and size. I think 8-14 repetitions and 3 sets are enough. But, you should test yourself what works for you since each of us reacts differently.
If you know other weighted exercises on the ab bench, feel free to share with us below in the comment section.