6 Standing Ab Exercises That Will Really Work Out Your Core
No yoga mat? Standing ab exercises are for you!
When we think of core or ab workouts, different variations of planks and crunches immediately come to mind. We find ourselves dreading lying on the yoga mat, as we fear that doing the same exercises over and over again can feel routinary and lessens your interest in working out. To keep us excited, we need to have alternatives for the exercises we do each day. Well, did you know that standing ab workouts are a thing?
What are standing ab exercises?
Standing abdominal exercises are a variation of abdominal workouts. These exercises are effective in strengthening and conditioning your entire core region, which is composed of not only the muscles in your abdomen, but those in your back and pelvis too.
If you’re trying to lose weight to achieve that flat stomach, you will need to target your core. Trying out standing ab exercises might just do the trick!
Are standing ab exercises more effective than seated ab exercises?
One thing for sure is that standing ab exercises make it more challenging to do the workout itself. Because you are working against gravity, you are engaging your body a little more so as not to fall over. As you work your core, you are also improving your balance and stability.
Because of the added resistance of gravity and the weight of your lower body, ab exercises on the mat are still more effective than standing ab workouts. However, the latter does have its benefits!
If you find yourself constantly complaining of neck and hip pain as you are doing floor exercises, standing ab workouts are a great alternative for you.
Another thing to consider is that variety is very important in every workout. Though you can’t completely get away from doing the usual planks and crunches, you can mix up your routine with standing ab exercises a few times every week. These exercises target more specific parts of your core and provide you with an extra challenge to keep your workouts exciting.
Without a need for getting down on floor mats, change up your workout routines with these 6 standing ab exercises!
Standing Side Crunch
Standing side crunches help strengthen your obliques or your side abs while also working your thighs, glutes, and quads.
To perform this exercise, stand with your feet a bit wider than hip-width apart and keep your hands hovering by the sides of your head. Starting with your chest up and your back straight, slowly crunch down your left side until your left elbow reaches your left knee. Hold the position for about two seconds and come back to your initial position. Do the same for the right side and keep repeating the steps.
High Knee Pulls
This exercise targets your stomach as well as your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands raised above your head. In a single motion, lift your right knee towards your chest while pulling your hands down. Remember to tighten your core and keep your body as straight as possible!
Swiftly come back down to your initial position follow the steps for your left knee. Continue alternating your knees as fast as you can.
Standing Oblique Twist
Standing oblique twists are relatively simple exercises to strengthen your core and lower back while also improving your balance and posture. This exercise targets your obliques and abdominal muscles, allowing you to work and shape your curves.
You will need a long stick to aid you in doing this exercise but if you don’t have one, you only need to keep your arms as sturdy as you can.
Keeping your body straight and your legs shoulder width apart, place the stick over your shoulders and extend your arms over it. Without twisting your head, bring your right hand in front of you and swiftly go back. Now, bring your left hand forward and then come back to the original position.
As you are doing the exercise, be mindful that your obliques are doing the work and not your back.
Dumbbell Wood Chop
From its name, the exercise can be compared to the action of taking your ax and chopping a tree down. The dumbbell wood chop is a great way to work your core, back, and obliques all at once.
Take a dumbbell and reach it up overhead. Make sure that your hips and shoulders are lined with each other to ensure that your core stabilizes your spine. Using your core, create a chopping motion as you swing the dumbbell all the way down to your other side. As you come down, your opposite foot should rotate, all while keeping the hips and shoulders straight together. Refrain from twisting up and hunching down to avoid injuring your spine.
Standing Crossover Toe Touch
Standing crossover toe touches target your lower abdomen, improving your posture, strength, and flexibility.
Keep your feet shoulder-width apart but with your knees slightly bent so that your muscles instead of your joints are supporting your weight. Keeping your back straight, bend forward and reach your right foot using your left hand with your right hand extending upward. Pivot and twist toward the other side and continue the exercises. If you can’t reach your toes, reaching up to your knees will be fine as well.
Lunge Knee Up
This exercise is another great way to target your abdomen and strengthen your core.
Start with a lunge position with your left leg bent and the right leg straight behind you. Take that right leg and pull it towards the front while straightening your left, and repeat for about 30 seconds. Do the same for the other leg.