The 12 best ab exercises you can do standing up
We’ve all been at the gym during peak hours, trying to get to the mat for a floor workout but prevented by the crazy queues. Luckily, you don’t need to grab a mat in order to get a decent core workout done. There are tons of great ab workouts you can do with no sitting or lying down required – all of which will target your core muscles, including the obliques, which run all the way around your sides to your back.
Make sure you have space to stand and move around on the spot slightly, and then take your pick from our selection of great ab workouts you can do standing up!
1. March with twist
Make like the Grand Old Duke and get to marching on the spot, but with a twist. Keep your hands high above your head and with every knee lift, bring your opposite elbow down across your body. Focus on engaging your core and using it to lift your knee, rather than your quads.
2. Wide side crunch
Assume a starting sumo squat position, your feet wider than hip-width and your toes out-turned. Lower into the wide squat, keeping your toes and knees out-turned and your hips in line with your torso. Once lowered, raise your arms so your hands are by the sides of your head with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. Bend to the side and touch your thigh with the corresponding elbow. Rise and bend to the other side.
3. Standing stabilisation
Stand up straight, feet hip-width apart, and hold a medicine ball straight out in front of you. Still holding the ball out, rotate your torso from one side to the other.
4. Standing side bend
Stand up straight, feet hip-width apart, and hold a heavy dumbbell in one hand. Bend from the waist towards that side. Repeat for one minute, and then alternate sides.
5. Standing side bend variation
Repeat the exercise above, but this time hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms stretched up and overhead.
6. Standing crossover toe-touches
Stand with your feet wider than hip-width and your arms outstretched to the sides. Bend from the waist and bring one hand across your body to touch the opposite toe as you do so.
7. Single leg sprint
Start in a low lunge with your arms outstretched overhead. Bring your back leg forwards, raising your knee to your chest, and bring your arms down to your sides with the elbows still bent. Repeat for a minute and then alternate sides.
8. Chair pose twist
Sit back into a squat position, or chair pose. Bring your hands to the sides of your head. Rotate your body, touching your opposite knee with your elbow with each bend.
9. Side leg raise with side bend
Stand straight, your feet hip-width, and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend from the waist to one side, lifting that leg as you do so. Repeat on the other side.
10. Standing twist
Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and raise your arms so your hands are by the sides of your head with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. Twist from the waist from one side to the next, ensuring that your torso is the only part of your body that moves.
11. Standing circles
Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Holding a medicine ball high above your head, make circles with it in the air. Make sure, as you’re rotating, that your torso is the only body part that moves.
12. Extended toe touch
Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. As you engage your core, raise one leg out in front of you (keeping it straight) and reach your opposite hand out to touch your toes.
Have you tried any of these exercises, or do you have any great ones of your own? Let us know in the comments!