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Standing Ab Exercises

by
author image Tim Petrie
Tim Petrie is a Physical Therapist and an Orthopedic Certified Specialist working in Milwaukee, Wisc. When he isn't working, he loves distance running, Packers football, and traveling with his wife and his energetic three year old daughter.
Standing Ab Exercises
You don't need to lie down to work your abs. Photo Credit Cherina Jones/LIVESTRONG.COM

Strengthening the abdominal muscles is an important part of maintaining the spine's stability and improving your posture. However, it is not always possible for people to workout on the ground.

This may be due to impaired mobility or because of a prohibitive environment at work or home. Fortunately, there are many effective and challenging abdominal strengthening exercises that can be done while standing up.

Read more: 2 No-Excuses Workouts for When You're Stuck Indoors

Start standing, and then squat down.
Start standing, and then squat down. Photo Credit Cherina Jones/LIVESTRONG.COM

1. Low Squat Chop

HOW TO DO IT: Start in a standing position with a medicine ball at your waist. Squat down as your move the ball down toward one of your feet. As you squat, your knees should stay directly over your feet and should not buckle inward. In addition, the knees shouldn't move forward beyond the end of your toes.

Straighten back up to a standing position as you lift the medicine ball along a diagonal until it is raised over the opposite shoulder. After full a set of 10 repetitions, repeat on the other side. Complete 2 to 3 sets in each direction.

Target your obliques with side bends.
Target your obliques with side bends. Photo Credit Cherina Jones/LIVESTRONG.COM

2. Standing Side Bends

HOW TO DO IT: Stand erect with your arms hanging at your side and a weight in each hand. Slowly bend to the side and slide the weight down the side of your leg until it reaches your knee.

Hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position. After two to three sets of 10 repetitions, and repeat the exercise on the opposite side.

Take your bicycle crunches vertical.
Take your bicycle crunches vertical. Photo Credit Cherina Jones/LIVESTRONG.COM

3. Standing Bicycles

HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your hands interlaced behind your head and your elbows out to the side. Lift one knee up as you simultaneously move the opposite elbow toward it. Attempt to touch the two together, if able. This will cause your trunk to flex and rotate.

Again, hold the position for 1 to 2 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position. After doing a set of 10 repetitions, repeat with the opposite leg and elbow. Do two to three sets each time you perform this exercise.

You can do this move with a resistance band or a cable machine.
You can do this move with a resistance band or a cable machine. Photo Credit Cherina Jones/LIVESTRONG.COM

4. Standing Crossovers

HOW TO DO IT: Tie a resistance band in a door at shoulder level . With the door to your side, stand 1 to 2 feet away with the band held in your outstretched arms. Slowly rotate your trunk and shoulders away from the door as you pull the band tighter.

Your feet should remain planted and your elbows should remain straight at all times. Once you have turned 90 degrees, hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat to the opposite direction when a full set of 10 repetitions has been performed. Complete two to three sets to each direction to maximize your strength gains.

Use just your abs and not momentum.
Use just your abs and not momentum. Photo Credit Cherina Jones/LIVESTRONG.COM

5. Toe Touch Kick

HOW TO DO IT: Stand in an erect position with the abdominal muscles engaged and the arms extended out in front of you. Slowly kick one leg forward as you try to touch your toe with the hand of the opposite arm. The knee should remain straight at all times.

If possible, touch the hand and foot together and hold for 1 to 2 seconds. Then slowly return the arm and leg to their starting positions. Complete 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions and then repeat with the opposite arm and leg.

Read more: 7 Exercises to Sculpt a Perfectly Chiseled Physique

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