9 Standing Ab Exercises That Work Your Entire Core

No crunches here.

Originally Published: 
These standing ab exercises bring the burn *and* work your entire body.
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Standing ab exercises are low-key multitaskers. They improve your posture, boost strength in your entire body, and test your balance, says fitness trainer Kim D'Agnese. Here are nine moves that’ll bring the burn, no crunches necessary.

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D’Agnese’s Twist Marches

- Stand with feet parallel.

- Bring elbows to shoulder height with arms in front at 90-degree angle.

- Lift 1 knee, bringing elbow to opposite knee.

- Challenge: Squat between each knee lift.

Do 2 sets of 1 minute each to work your entire core & obliques.

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D'Agnese’s Oblique Bends

- Stand with feet wider than hips, toes pointed out.

- Place fingers behind head with elbows wide.

- Tilt the same elbow to the same thigh by bending to side.

- For a challenge, hold weights in both hands.

Alternate sides for two 30-second intervals.

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Standing Lifts

- Attach resistance band to a low point.

- Stretch band diagonally across your body above your head, away from anchor point.

- Control tension as you lower back down.

Do 2-3 sets of 8 reps on each side to work obliques and upper abs, says trainer Laura A. Thomas.

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Standing Bicycle From Trainer Christie Horan

- Lift 1 weight up in an overhead press.

- Drive that elbow down & bring your knee to your elbow.

- Rotate your core while you bring elbow and knee together. Keep core engaged and spine neutral.

Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps on each side.

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Horan’s Woodchop

- Hold a weight and move your arm in a slicing motion from left shoulder to right hip.

- Repeat on other side.

Keep knees slightly bent and your hips facing forward.

For a challenge, extend your arms farther away.

Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps on each side.

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Horan’s High Knees

This move brings cardio to your ab workout.

- Jog in place, bringing your knees to your chest at a 90-degree angle.

- Pump your hands towards your hips each time your knee is raised.

Do three 45 to 60-second sets.

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Cross-Body Crunches From Trainer Tami Smith

- Stand on one leg with a weight in your hands.

- Pull the weight to the shoulder on the same side as the standing leg.

- Crunch the weight down as you lift your knee up, meeting in the middle.

Do 8 reps on each side, 3 rounds total.

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Smith’s Jumping Oblique Twists

Prepare for a burn and a cardio burst.

- Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands together in front of your body.

- Jump up and down while gently twisting your torso. Rotate from side to side as you jump.

Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

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Smith’s Leg Lifts

- Stand with feet hip-distance apart, hands behind head.

- Slowly lift one leg straight out in front of you, balancing on your standing leg.

- Lift it as high as you can while maintaining form and control, then lower it back down.

Do 3 sets of 12 reps per side.

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