Get Fit Quick with This Standing Ab Workout (no mat needed)
If you want to boost the intensity of your abdominal workout, stand up! Sure, many ab exercises mean making your way down to the often-grimy, uncomfortable ground, but some of the best ab exercises are actually done while standing! Yes, both beginners and abdominal aficionados can do this standing ab workout for a fun change of pace and powerful results.
What is Your Core and Why Is It Important?
There’s probably no argument that a sleek midsection brings a modicum of awe and respect, but beyond the superficial, did you ever stop to think why a strong midsection is so important?
Your abdominal muscles are the center of your body and help to stabilize you. They are also part of every twist, turn, and bend, helping you move in any plane. In other words, a strong core assists with proper balance and allows you to remain stable when walking, bending, sitting, or any other movement.
Also, having a strong core can help you maintain good posture. Strong abdominals support and cradle your insides as well as your back and can act like a girdle, helping you stay upright.
Your back also benefits equally from a strong core. A strong back is really only as strong as its counterpart, the abdominals. Working both your back and your abs is a good way to ensure a pain-free existence when it comes to controlling back pain and being able to move about freely.
Another major benefit to having strong abdominals is the ability to do everyday tasks. Functioning fully requires bending, lifting, carrying, and reaching, and these are all easier when your core is strong.
Why Try a Standing Ab Workout?
So, you’re on board, but what else can you do to strengthen your core? Maybe you’ve tried all the crunches and sit-ups you can stand, and you’re ready for something new. Working your abs from a standing position can help you engage the muscles more fully as you move through more than one plane of movement. It just might be a superior core workout to anything you’ve ever tried before.
Try This Standing Ab Workout to Sculpt Your Core
Always start with a good warmup, like walking in place for a few minutes or doing some arm circles.
Next, begin to gently stretch your abdominal region by standing with your feet hip-width apart with your arms loosely by your sides. Next, take your right arm and lift it above your head while leaning to the left to stretch out the entire right side of your body. Enjoy a good stretch for a few moments before returning to the start and repeating on the opposite side.
Now that you’re warmed up, it’s time to try this standing ab workout for yourself!
Standing Bird Dog
Begin with your feet together and your arms by your sides. Raise your right arm and your left leg simultaneously. Hold at the top of the movement for a moment, remembering to keep the core tight, and then return to the start. Repeat on the opposite side to complete one repetition. Aim for 20 repetitions in total.
If you’re looking for something even more advanced, you can bend forward at the waist as you lift your arm and leg until your body is parallel with the floor and your leg is behind you (aka Warrior III pose).
Standing Gate Swing
Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips and, while keeping the core drawn in, lift your right leg up in front of you, bending at the knee until your thigh is parallel with the ground. Next, while remaining balanced, swing your leg out to your right side (as if opening a gate). Bring your leg back to the center again to complete one repetition. Aim for ten reps on one side, then switch legs and do ten reps with your left leg.
Standing Bicycle Crunch
You’ve probably done some ab crunches here and there, and you may have even heard how effective bicycle crunches can be. But, have you ever tried them while standing up? Now’s your chance! Begin by standing with your feet about hip-width apart while drawing your belly button in and up. Place your hands loosely on or behind your head. Simultaneously lift your right leg while bending forward with your left elbow. Twist as you move so you touch your knee with your elbow (or get as close as you can). Return to the upright standing position and repeat on the opposite side. Go for 20 total repetitions.
Begin with both feet together and your hands by your sides (you can hold dumbbells or just use your body weight). Next, lift your right foot and, while keeping your right leg straight, bring it up to parallel behind you while simultaneously leaning forward at the hips. If you’re holding dumbbells, they will be directly beneath your chest. If you are doing these with just your bodyweight, you can bring your arms straight out in front of you or keep them on your waist.
Your body will form a “T” at the top of the movement. Using your core for balance and control, bring your body back to an upright position by lowering your leg and arms to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. Try to get 20 repetitions, 10 on each side.
Cross Toe Touches
Begin by standing with your feet about hip-width apart or wider. Bring your arms out to your sides. Take your right arm and twist to your left, bending down to touch your left toe. Use your core to bring yourself back to standing and repeat on the opposite side. Do 20 alternating repetitions.