Forget Crunches: This Standing Ab Exercise Sculpts Your Core With Just 4 Movements

    a picture of a woman with strong abs

a picture of a woman with strong abs

While sit-ups, planks, and crunches all have a place in the best abs routine, if you always do your abs workouts lying down on a mat, you’re missing out on some of the functional benefits of a standing abs workout. Not only are standing ab workouts great when there’s no floor space in the gym, but they build the strength of the hip flexor and pelvic floor muscles, as well as work the deep transverse abdominis.

Whether you’re looking for a quick abs workout to hit your core or use it as a finisher to your next bodyweight workout, we’ve found it. The workout, created by certified personal trainer, Caroline Idiens, can be done with or without one of the best adjustable dumbbells. If you’re new to ab workouts or returning to exercise after an injury, it’s best to opt for the body-weight variety, but if you’re looking to up the intensity, grab a dumbbell and give it a try.

What’s the workout?

The workout consists of four different exercises that you perform each exercise for one minute total, 30 seconds on each side, with a 10-second break between each exercise. Idiens suggests completing three to four sets. Here are the exercises:

Knee to elbow tap

For this exercise, start in a standing position, with your feet hip-width apart, core engaged, and a dumbbell in your right hand, extended overhead and your left arm out to the side. Engage your core and squeeze your right elbow towards your left knee. Pause, then extend them both back to the starting position. Complete 30 seconds on one side, before switching to the other.

Rotation

Holding a dumbbell in both hands in front of your chest, engage your core and rotate your torso to the left, then to the right. He keeps changing direction, moving slowly and with control. Keeping your core engaged throughout the movement should come from your core, not your back.

Oblique crunch

For this exercise, engage your core and hold a dumbbell in your right hand. Lower the dumbbell down the leg to the right side reaching the knee. Pause here, then slowly return to the starting position. Complete 30 seconds on one side, before switching to the other.

Seated leg raise

Sit on the exercise mat with your legs extended in front of you and a dumbbell upright on the mat. Engage your core and lift one leg off the ground, lifting it above the dumbbell and lowering it on the opposite side of the dumbbell. Pause, then return it to the starting position. Make sure the movement is slow and controlled and is coming from your abs, not your legs.

Remember, when it comes to selecting the right weight for you and your body, the exercise should feel challenging, but not impossible for the last few reps. The weight should never be so heavy that you feel like your form is being compromised. If you’re a beginner, lower the weight and do bodyweight training to build core strength.

What are the benefits?

Strong abdominal muscles are more than just an aesthetic goal: They can protect your spine from injury, help you walk and sit with better posture, improve athletic performance, and help reduce lower back pain. If visible six-pack muscles are your goal, however, you’ll want to focus on your body fat percentage, not just endless ab workouts. Your diet, stress levels, hormones and sleep all affect your body fat percentage, here’s what you need to know and how to calculate your body fat percentage.

As mentioned earlier, standing ab workouts have an added benefit in that they work functional ranges of motion. Unlike crunches or sit-ups, which also target your ab muscles, standing rotation exercises mimic movements you might make in everyday life, like lifting something off a shelf or passing something to someone standing next to you. to you. Read more about what is functional training and why you should focus on it Here.

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