You Can Do These Effective Ab Exercises Standing Up

If you’re on the quest for a rock hard six-pack, you’ll quickly get sick of the same old crunches. Luckily, there are other ab exercises that will prompt your six-pack out of hiding. If you’ve never considered working out your core while standing, it’s about time you do. Keep in mind that with standing abdominal exercises, your posture is everything. Don’t hunch, and focus on activating your core before you begin and throughout each exercise. Standing ab exercises are about to become your favorite go-to workout.

1. Frankenstein kick

Man doing a high kick

Try these high kicks for killer abs. | iStock.com

Start standing tall with your back straight and your feet together. Bring your arms straight out in front of your body at chest height. Tighten your core and then begin by kicking up your right leg until your toes touch the tips of your fingers — or as high as it can go without bending your hips. Do this for 30 straight seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and repeat on the opposite side. Repeat the set four times.

2. Standing bicycle

cyclist going at maximum effort

You’ll be powering through this move as if you’re really on a bike. | iStock.com

Rather than doing traditional bicycles on your back, do a similar variation while standing. Start with your feet together and your hands behind your head. Brace your abs in tight and lift your left knee up as your right shoulder rotates toward the knee. Your goal is to touch your elbow to knee. Lower back down and perform 20 reps before repeating on the other side.

3. Wide side crunch

man performing bodyweight squats on a track

This is a full-body move that works your core. | iStock.com

Grab two dumbbells and start by standing with your feet wider than hip-width. Turn your toes slightly outward and lower your body into a wide squat, making sure you squeeze your glutes, bend your knees, and keep your hips aligned with your core (don’t stick out your butt). When you’re in a deep squat, raise your arms into a goalpost position with your elbows bent to 90 degrees. Engage your core and bend your upper body to the right so you can touch your elbow to your thigh. Perform 10 reps on each side and then alternate back and forth for an additional 20 reps.

4. Dumbbell side bends

Muscular man holding dumbbells to get ready to lift

Side bends are great for your obliques. | iStock.com

Grab a couple of dumbbells (or even two full water bottles) and stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Your arms will be down at your sides palms facing in. Bring your shoulders back, tighten your core, and slowly, with control, lean to the right, going as far as you are able without bending your torso forward. Come back to standing and repeat for a total of 10 reps before switching sides.

5. Tuck jumps

Fit young woman box jumping at a gym

This power move is tough and effective. | iStock.com/Ammentorp Photography

This exercise will not only tighten and engage your stomach but will get your heart rate pumping and off some extra calories. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Extend both arms straight out in front of you. Then, bend your knees and jump up, bringing your knees toward your chest. Land with your knees bent to soften the impact, straighten your legs, and repeat for a full 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest. To complete a full circuit, repeat this exercise four times.

6. Overhead circles with a medicine ball

woman using an exercise ball to work her abs

Use the medicine ball to your advantage. | iStock.com/OSTILL

This move hits the entire front of your core as well as your obliques, shoulders, and upper back, so don’t be surprised if you’re a little sore the next day. Start with your feet hip-width apart and your spine in a neutral position. Then, raise a medicine ball (five to eight pounds should be enough) over your head, keeping a slight bend in your elbows. Make large circles to the right eight times while keeping your torso still. Then, switch directions to the left.

7. Wood chop with dumbbell

Dumbbells on the gym floor

You’ll be chopping some wood with a dumbbell. | iStock.com

This exercise is as simple as it sounds — you are going to hold onto a dumbbell and mimic chopping wood. Except, unlike your average wood chop, you’ll be targeting your core and getting a lower body workout in as well.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart for a good base, keeping your spine neutral. Holding your dumbbell with both hands, crouch until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your dumbbell is held just below your right knee. Lift up straightening both your legs and back, while simultaneously swinging the dumbbell over your left shoulder. Return to the crouched position for one repetition. Do 10-15 reps before switching sides.

8. Bow extension

young fitness person

Get ready to feel the burn. | iStock.com/fizkes

Start with your feet hip-width apart and your posture upright, holding a dumbbell up over your right shoulder with straight arms. In one movement, pull the dumbbell down into your abdominal region while bending your left leg up to meet the dumbbell. as this YouTube video explains, bringing your knee up into your abs and holding it there is a big part of working your abs. Try 15-20 repetitions, then switch sides.