If you’re sick of doing sit ups, you’ve come to the right place.  By adding in some weight to your ab training, you’ll be giving your body the stimulus it needs to adapt and grow – so you can start seeing some real results.

Abs are like any muscle. If you want them to be more defined, you need to progress your training. This means working your way up in weight load, to get stronger, more developed abs.  So, just doing a few sit-ups each week, isn’t going to cut it.  You need to add on the weight, as well as eat enough protein, to get a truly defined six pack.

Below are our top seven exercises on how to get abs for building defined abs:

One of the easiest ways to train your abs is by using free weights. That way, if you’re short on time or just want to do your ab training at home, you don’t need much to get started.


Benefits: This exercise is a great way to target both your upper and lower abs all at the same time. The leg raise part works your lower abs. And the overhead with dumbbell lift challenges your upper core.



  • Lie on the floor while holding the dumbbell above your head.
  • Bring your arms and feet up at the same time so that your body forms a V-shape.
  • Lower yourself carefully back down and repeat.

Related article: Build Abs Of Steel With This Highly Efficient Five-Move Ab Workout

Leg Raises:

Benefits: These are great for working your lower abs as well as your hip flexors. And having to maintain a straight spine is also good for working your lower back.



  • Lie on the floor with a dumbbell gripped in-between your ankles.
  • While pressing your back flat into the floor, lift your legs up to around a 45-degree angle, and then lower back down.
  • Repeat.

Related article: 5 Plank Exercises For Greatly Shaped Abs And Core Strength

Kneeling Woodchoppers:

Benefits: Woodchoppers are particularly good for working your obliques. And the added momentum of this movement is a great way to challenge and engage your stabilising muscles.



  • Kneel down on one knee.
  • Holding the dumbbell in both hands, raise it up behind you and back down so that it meets the side of your hip on the supporting leg.
  • Once you have completed your set, repeat on the other side.

Related article: 5 Achievable Oblique Exercises For Core Strength & Flat Stomach

Russian Twists:

Benefits: Having to keep your legs off the floor in this position is great for working your lower abs. And the added, weighted twist works your obliques.



  • Sit down on the floor and bring your knees up so that your legs are elevated.
  • While holding the dumbbell with both hands, move the weight from side-to-side.
  • Ensure that you maintain your balance throughout the exercise and that your movements are controlled.

Related article: 5 Core Exercises to Improve Balance And Stability For A Solid Lift

Side Planks With Hip Lift:

Benefits: This is a controlled way to work the sides of your abs as well as your lower back. It’s also extremely challenging making it perfect for building strength.



  • While in a side plank position, hold the dumbbell close to your hip.
  • Lower your hips towards the ground (without making contact) and then push them back up.
  • Make sure you use your core to perform this movement and not your legs.
  • Once you have completed the set, repeat on the other side.

Related article: Build A Solid Core And Get Six-Pack Abs With These 6 Dumbbell Exercises

Overhead To Squat:

Benefits: This is a really challenging exercise that tests your balance and works the whole of your core. Each movement needs all your energy and focus making it ideal for mixing up your ab training.



  • Lie down on the floor with your knees up and your hands up above your head.
  • With the dumbbell in both hands, bring the weight over your head and use the momentum to pull yourself up into a squat position.
  • Roll carefully back down and repeat.

Related article: Try This Six-Move Workout To Add Depth And Definition To Your Abs

Knees To Chest:

Benefits: This exercise is great for challenging your upper abs and the added hip lift engages your lower abs too. A real burner and great for building strength and definition.



  • Grip the dumbbell in-between your ankles and bring your knees up while lying on the floor.
  • You might want to support your lower back with your hands as you do this exercise.
  • Next, squeeze your knees up into your chest and lift your hips off the ground slightly.
  • Lower your legs back down while keeping them bent and without letting them rest on the floor.