Weight Plate Ab Workout – Tighten Up Your Midsection With These 6 Exercises

Weight Plate Ab Workout-min

Weight plates are primarily used as an effective way to add load to barbells or equipment like the leg press machine (or even tib bars)… but, this simple piece of strength training equipment can also be used as a standalone tool for resistance training.

Specifically, when used to target your abs, weight plates are perfect for adding resistance to basic bodyweight movements, instantly making them more challenging.

Below, we’ve outlined 6 beginner-friendly exercises that are perfect to use for a weight plate ab workout.

If you’re a new to strength training, opt for a light plate and increase the weight over time. If you’re experienced in the gym, 10-15kg, or 20-30 lbs, is perhaps a good benchmark for most these exercises.

Quick Summary

  • Try adding weight plate variations of Russian twists, sit ups, floor windshield wipers, dead bugs, side bends and suitcase carries to your next core workout.
  • Weight plates are great for adding resistance to bodyweight ab exercises.
  • Select a weight that is challenging yet still allows you to perform correct technique for each exercise.
  • Remember to warm-up first. This could include some dynamic stretches, jogging, or other gentle cardio.

Why Using a Weight Plate is Good for Ab Workouts

Weight plates, typically associated with barbell exercises, are incredibly versatile and can be used to enhance a variety of workouts, including those targeting the abs. The added resistance provided by the weight plate forces your abs to work harder during each rep, leading to improved muscle development and definition.

Similarly, many weight plate exercises engage not just your abs, but your entire core, including your lower back and obliques. This engagement can lead to improved overall core strength, which is beneficial for virtually every physical activity, from lifting heavy weights at the gym (or home/apartment), to performing everyday tasks.

Weight plates are also harder to grip than dumbbells or kettlebells, so you’ll naturally improve your grip strength with a lot of these movements too.

We also find weight plates don’t tend to appear very often in people’s core workouts, so it can be a simple way to refresh existing workouts to challenge the muscles in slightly different ways.

No Wight Plate? No Problem…

If you don’t have access to a weight plate, you could use any type of weight (dumbbells, kettlebells, or even a weighted object) and follow this workout to achieve similar outcomes.

Weight Plate Ab Workout Outline

Weight Plate Russian Twist30 seconds x 3 sets
Weight Plate Sit Up15 reps x 3 sets
Weight Plate Floor Windshield Wiper30 seconds x 2 sets
Weight Plate Dead Bug10 repetitions x 3 sets
Weight Plate Side Bend10 repetitions x 2 sets
Weight Plate Suitcase Carry30 seconds each side

Coach’s Tip – As you get stronger, increase the duration for each exercise to progress this workout.

6 Weight Plate Exercises

Weight Plate Russian Twist

The weight plate Russian twist is a dynamic core exercise that primarily targets your obliques, as well as engaging both your upper and lower abs… and helps to improve your balance and rotational strength.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit on the floor and elevate your upper body to create a V-shape with your thighs. Your knees should be bent and your feet flat on the ground (or raised slightly to increase the difficulty).
  • Grip the sides of the weight plate with both hands and hold it at your chest level.
  • Lean back slightly, keeping your spine straight and your core engaged. This is your starting position.
  • Keeping your core tight, twist your torso to the right and touch the weight plate to the floor beside you.
  • Then, twist your torso to the left and touch the weight plate to the floor on your left side.
  • Continue alternating sides for the desired number of repetitions.

Make sure to move with control, rather than relying on momentum. Be careful to choose a weight that allows you to maintain good form throughout the exercise.

Weight Plate Sit Up

The weight plate sit-up is a great exercise that puts a new spin on the classic sit-up, by adding resistance to the movement. This intensifies the engagement of your abs and obliques for a robust core exercise.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie on your back on the floor or a mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Position your feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold a weight plate with both hands, extending your arms so that the weight plate is over your chest. This is your starting position.
  • Engage your core, and in a controlled movement, lift your upper body towards your knees, keeping the weight plate extended in front of you.
  • Ensure your neck and head are aligned with your spine, and avoid pulling with your neck. Your core should be doing the work.
  • Lower yourself back down to your starting position with control to complete one rep.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Remember, your abs should be doing the work, so it’s crucial to keep them engaged throughout the exercise.

Weight Plate Floor Windshield Wiper

The weight plate floor windshield wiper is a powerful core exercise that not only helps to strengthen your abs and core… but also helps to improve stability and control in your midsection.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie flat on your back on the floor or a mat, extending your legs and keeping your arms by your sides.
  • Hold the plate with your hands extended above your chest.
  • Lift your legs until they’re perpendicular to the floor. This is your starting position.
  • Keeping your core engaged and your back flat on the floor, lower your legs to the right, holding the weight plate in the same position.
  • Using your oblique muscles, lift your legs back to the center and then lower them to the left.
  • Continue alternating sides for the desired number of repetitions.

Remember, it’s crucial to keep your lower back in contact with the ground throughout the exercise. This not only protects your back, but ensures you’re effectively engaging your core. Choose a weight that you can handle with control and good form.

Weight Plate Dead Bug

The weight plate dead bug is an innovative variation of the traditional dead bug exercise. By incorporating a weight plate, you can significantly increase the core activation and stability required, making this a really effective way to strengthen your midsection.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Begin by lying flat on your back on a mat with your arms extended straight up towards the ceiling.
  • Hold a weight plate between your hands, ensuring your arms remain straight.
  • Bend your knees to a 90-degree angle, lifting your feet off the ground. This is your starting position.
  • Slowly lower your arms (holding the weight plate) and left leg until they are just above the floor, all while keeping the weight plate stable.
  • Pause for a moment, then bring your arms and leg back to the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement with your right leg.
  • Continue alternating sides for the desired number of repetitions.

Check out our full guide on weighted dead bugs too, including other ways to add progression to the movement.

Weight Plate Side Bend

The weight plate side bend is an excellent exercise that targets the obliques and helps strengthen these muscles on your side, contributing to a well-rounded core and improving your body’s overall stability and balance.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold a weight plate in your right hand, keeping your arm straight and the weight plate by your side.
  • Keep your back straight, engage your core, and slowly bend at the waist to the right as far as you can, lowering the weight plate towards your knee.
  • Pause for a moment, then slowly return to the upright position.
  • Perform the desired number of reps on one side, then switch the weight to your other hand and repeat on the opposite side.

Throughout the exercise, ensure your movements are controlled and deliberate. Avoid any twisting or jerking motions.

Weight Plate Suitcase Carry

The weight plate suitcase carry is a functional exercise that provides an intense workout for your entire core, especially your obliques. This exercise also tests your grip strength and overall body coordination, making it an excellent addition to any fitness routine.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Pick up a weight plate with your right hand, holding it down by your side. Your palm should be facing inwards, similar to how you would carry a suitcase.
  • Engage your core, keep your chest lifted, and maintain good posture as you begin to walk forward.
  • As you walk, avoid leaning to the side. The goal is to keep your torso as straight as possible to challenge your core.
  • Walk for a predetermined distance, then switch the weight plate to your left hand and repeat the walk.
  • Alternate hands for the desired number of repetitions or total distance.

The challenge here is to maintain good posture and keep your torso stable despite the uneven weight distribution.

Looking for a Quick Ab Workout?

Check out our quick ab workout for another effective way to strengthen and tone your entire core, in just 5 minutes.

Importance of Strong Abs and Core

Strong abs and core are important for:

Balance and Stability – They support your entire body, improving balance and stability during physical activities.
Good Posture – They help maintain an upright spine, preventing slouching and back pain.
Athletic Performance – They enhance performance in sports and other physical activities because you can generate more power and strength from your midsection.
Injury Prevention – They reduce the risk of back injuries and other MSK issues associated with poor posture.
Daily Activities – They facilitate basic movements like walking, turning, and bending.
Breathing and Circulation – Core training can improve the efficiency of the diaphragm, a key muscle in breathing.

Bottom Line

Weight plate exercises can be a great way to reignite your next ab workout.

Remember, maintaining proper form is paramount when performing these exercises to avoid injury. Start with a manageable weight and gradually increase as your strength improves.

Keep your abs tight and engaged during the movements to ensure your midsection is doing the hard work… and increase the duration for each exercise if it’s not challenging enough.

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