Just four exercises and this standing ab workout to maximise your core strength

You just need a weight or water bottle

Woman in sports bra with toned abs
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Deadbugs, planks and sit-ups are just a handful of exercises that are great for our core. But after a while they can start to feel a little…boring and if you’re bored the chances are you won’t be performing the exercise to the best of your ability. This standing ab workout, however, is perfect for adding a little variety to your core workouts and is just as effective (if not more) as those floor-based exercises. Just grab one dumbbell, a single kettlebell or water bottle.

Standing workouts don’t just target your abdominal muscles, they’re excellent for working your entire core, from your lower back to your hips and obliques. This is because your balance and stability is challenged further than if you are lying down. But, it’s not just your core and mid-section, your glutes, shoulders and lat muscles are recruited too. So, really, standing core workouts kill many birds with one stone. 

Peloton Dumbbells: were $55, now $38.50 at Amazon

Peloton Dumbbells: were $55, now $38.50 at Amazon

Peloton's dumbbells feature a premium urethane finish, non-slip handles and ergonomic design. The dumbbells come in pairs and are available in sizes 5 to 30lb. Most are on offer for 30% off as part of Amazon's Black Friday sale – don't miss out!

This workout will take you no longer than 15 minutes to complete, so it's ideal for adding onto the end of a longer workout, or squeezing into your busy schedule. There's four exercises altogether and you're going to do three to four rounds in total, whilst taking a 15 seconds rest in between each exercise. Here's your exercises and reps, good luck!

  • Dumbbell oblique crunches - 15 reps 
  • Dumbbell overhead swing with a knee drive - 10 reps
  • Dumbbell raise into a squat - 12 reps
  • Dumbbell twists - 45 seconds

Do exercises 1 and 2 on each side of your body

Avoid wearing running shoes during this workout, as these are spongey and won't aid your balance, if anything they'll make it harder. Either wear your best workout shoes, or opt for no shoes at all (just don't drop that dumbbell!). Also, make sure you use a medium weight – anything too light and your core won't be challenges enough, while anything too heavy could lead to injury.

If you enjoyed this workout and want more, then give this three-move standing workout a go. Again, it'll only take you 15 minutes or, if you're really limited for time, here's a 12 minute standing workout instead.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.