Best Standing Ab Exercises to Work Your Core

Your core is super important for all your movements, like picking up your kids or walking better. You should strengthen it often. But you don’t have to do boring crunches or planks on the floor. You can do simple standing exercises instead. They’re easy and have lots of benefits.

In this article, we will discuss how to do it and a simple routine you can try without any equipment.

13 Standing Ab Exercises

Standing Ab Exercises

Here are 15 standing ab exercises that are easy to do and approved by trainers:

1. Wood Chop

  1. Hold one weight in both hands (or use body weight).
  2. Extend arms overhead to one side, then squat slightly while rotating torso to opposite side.
  3. Stand up, using obliques to lift torso and arms back up.
  4. Do 15 reps on each side.

2. Cross-Body Leg Lift

  1. Stand tall with hands behind head.
  2. Lift one straightened leg while extending opposite arm to reach toward toes.
  3. Return to starting position.
  4. Do 20 reps, alternating sides.

3. High Knee Lift

  1. Stand with arms out in front.
  2. Lift one knee up to hip height, then return to starting position.
  3. Do 20 reps, alternating sides.

4. Lunge Crunch

  1. Start in a lunge position, then drive back knee up while swinging arms down.
  2. Return to starting position.
  3. Do 15 reps on each side.

5. Squat Crunch

  1. Place hands behind head, squat down, then rotate upper body.
  2. Do 20 reps, alternating sides.

6. Standing Cross Over Toe Touch

  1. Stand with feet wider than shoulders, hinge forward at waist, then return to starting position.
  2. Do 20 reps, alternating sides.

7. Standing Bicycle Crunch

  1. Stand with hands behind head, then bring knee in toward chest while bringing opposite elbow down.
  2. Do 20 reps, alternating sides.

8. Standing Leg Lift

  1. Stand with arms extended, then lift one leg at a time up to hip height.
  2. Do 20 reps, alternating sides.

9. Standing Bird Dog

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, then drive one knee up while lifting opposite arm overhead.
  2. Do 20 reps, alternating sides.

10. Weighted Standing Side Bend

  1. Hold weight in one hand, then shift torso to the side.
  2. Squeeze obliques to return to starting position.
  3. Repeat for 30 seconds on each side.

11. Weighted Standing Rotation

  1. Hold weight in front, then twist upper body to one side.
  2. Return to center and repeat.
  3. Do 20 reps, alternating sides.

12. Standing Side Crunch Leg Lift

  1. Stand with hands behind head, then drive knee back up and out to the side.
  2. Return to starting position.
  3. Do 15 reps on each side.

13. Lunge Crunch With a Twist

  1. Start in a lunge position, then drive back knee up while swinging arms down and twisting through core.
  2. Do 15 reps on each side.

Benefits of Standing Ab Exercises

Standing ab exercises offer several benefits:

  1. Functional fitness: They mimic natural body movements, like carrying groceries or cleaning, improving muscle usage in real-life scenarios.

  2. Enhanced stability and balance: Supporting lifelong balance and posture by engaging core muscles effectively.

  3. Reduced strain: Minimize strain on the neck, back, knees, and wrists compared to traditional supine exercises, making them suitable for those with mobility issues.

  4. Convenience: Can be performed anywhere with minimal space and equipment, making them accessible for all fitness levels.

  5. Variety: A wide range of exercises available to target different areas of the core, providing a comprehensive workout routine.

How to Build a Standing Ab Exercise Routine

If you want to build a standing ab exercise routine, there are a few ways you can go about it:

  1. Incorporate into Existing Routine: Add 2 or 3 standing ab exercises to your cardio or strength workouts. Start with 2 sets of 10 reps for each exercise and adjust as needed.

  2. HIIT Workout: Create a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout with 5–7 exercises, including standing ab exercises. Do each exercise for 45 seconds without breaks, then rest for 2 minutes between circuits. Aim for 2-3 circuits, or more for advanced levels.

  3. Tabata Workout: Similar to HIIT, but with a different timing structure. Perform each exercise at max intensity for 20 seconds, followed by a 10-second rest. Repeat 8 times for each exercise, totaling 4 minutes. Aim to do each exercise twice within the 4-minute period.

  4. Mix It Up: Feel free to try different exercises on different days to keep things interesting. This variety targets your abs from various angles and prevents boredom. Experimenting with different exercises helps you find what works best for you.

If you need more guidance, make an appointment with our online personal training

Who Shouldn’t Do Standing Ab Exercises?

If you’ve got an injury that gets worse with standing ab exercises, it’s best to avoid them until you’re all healed up.

Injuries like to your lower back, hip flexors, neck, or shoulders could get worse with these exercises, so it’s better to skip them for now.

Common Mistakes When Doing Ab Exercises

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when doing ab exercises:

  1. Not Engaging Your Core Properly: Make sure you really focus on using your core muscles. Imagine a strong connection between your mind and your muscles.

  2. Going Too Fast: Slow down your movements to make sure you’re targeting the muscles effectively. Rushing through the exercises can lead to less effective workouts.

  3. Ignoring Pain: If you feel any pain, especially in your lower back, don’t ignore it. Stop what you’re doing and reassess your form to avoid injury. Your safety is important.

Interested in receiving personal guidance for muscle training and fitness? Join my online personal training program.

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