penny barnshaw garage fitness girl

6 of the Best Ab Exercises You Can Do Standing Up

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If you’re tired of crunches and planks, you’re definitely not alone. But getting down on the floor is not the only way to get a good abdominal workout; there are plenty of standing ab exercises that can effectively work your entire core.

Your core muscles aren’t just the ones you see in the mirror. They are the muscles deep within the abdominals and back, attaching to the spine and pelvis. Some of these muscles include the transversus abdominis, the muscles of the pelvic floor, and the oblique muscles, and the multifidus.

Adding standing exercises into your core workout routine can help ensure you’re targeting more of those important muscles.

The 6 standing ab exercises I’m sharing below all include dumbbells, for extra resistance. Keeping good form is a must, and you shouldn’t be straining.

Let’s go!

#1 Rainbow Squat Crunch

  • Hold 1-2 dumbbells on one shoulder
  • Squat down 
  • Return to the standing position, driving the opposite knee up and the dumbbells up and over your head so that the opposite elbow meets the opposite knee.
  • Return to the start position
  • Repeat on the opposite side

#2 Dumbbell Windmill

  • Start with feet slightly wider than hip width apart
  • Grip the dumbbell in your left hand and extend the arm overhead with palm facing forward
  • Hinge at the hips to lower  the right arm down in front of your right thigh
  • Reverse the movement by lifting the body and keeping the left arm steady and full extended overhead

#3 Standing Dumbbell March

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand,and engage your core
  • Extend both arms overhead and drive each knee alternatively towards your chest

#4 Dumbbell Standing Ab Rotation

  • Start with feet hip width apart, holding a single dumbbell at waist height
  • Engage your core and glutes the rotate to one side, keeping the hips square to the front.
  • Return to the middle then repeat on the opposite side

#5 Dumbbell Woodchop

  • Start with feet hip width apart, holding a single dumbbell at waist height
  • Engage your core and glutes and raise the dumbbell to shoulder height on one side keeping the hips square to the front.
  • Return to the middle then repeat on the opposite side

#6 Dumbbell Side Bend

  • Start with feet hip width apart, dumbbell in your left hand and right hand on your head
  • Extend the left arm toward the left knee, decreasing the space between the. ribs and hips
  • Return to the start position and repeat on the other side


Let’s put it all together in a workout!

These 6 standing ab moves feature in my Strong Back and Core Workout and my All Standing Power Workout👇. If you’d like to follow along and take the guesswork out of your fitness, I’ve got you covered!

Strong Back and Core Workout

This 30 minute workout designed to target your back and core. You’ll need a variety of dumbbells to complete this workout. I used a set of 5kg + 7kg + 10kg dumbbells but you may want to use something lighter or heavier depending on your fitness and strength level. There is 1 circuit to complete, we’ll be performing each move for 45 secs work with 15 seconds rest.

All Standing Power Workout

Build your strength & power with this combination of strength and cardio moves that bring the burn without any getting up and down off the floor! You’ll need a variety of dumbbells to complete this full body standing workout. I used a set of 3kg + 8kg dumbbells, but you may want to use something lighter or heavier depending on your fitness and strength level. There are 2 circuits to complete. Work through each exercise for 40 secondss work and 15 seconds rest.

Don’t forget to sign up to my YouTube channel so that you don’t miss any of my follow-along workouts. I upload new workouts each week! You can also sign up to my newsletter to say up-to-date and receive free monthly workout calendars.

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