This five-move standing ab workout builds a stronger core in just 10 minutes

You’ll just need a single dumbbell, kettlebell, water bottle, or backpack

An athletic woman standing and holding two dumbbells with her abs on show
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Want to strengthen your torso, but can’t hold a plank or do a single crunch? No problem! This standing session puts ab workouts back on the map. Not only is it suitable for everyone (even beginners), but it’ll only take you 10 minutes. Just grab a single dumbbell or kettlebell (you can always use a water bottle or backpack if you don’t have either of these) and get ready to fire up your mid-section muscles.

The great thing about standing workouts (apart from the fact they’re great for small spaces) is that not only do you target your ab muscles, but your core muscles too. Standing exercises are far more dynamic and will put your body through a greater range of motion. Not only does this mean that you end up recruiting more muscles, but your posture and balance are put to the test too.  

10MIN Standing Abs / Core Strength - YouTube 10MIN Standing Abs / Core Strength - YouTube
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This workout will take you 10 minutes to complete, so it’s ideal for adding onto the end of a longer workout or doing three times a week. It’s a circuit-style workout and you’ve got five exercises to complete in total. Perform each exercise for 40 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Once you’ve completed one round, jump straight back in and do a second round, then you’re done! Here’s your workout: 

  • Elbow-to-knee crunches (hold the weight in front of you)
  • Pallof press with rotation (hold a dumbbell in front of your chest, extend it in front of you and then rotate to the side)
  • Side bends (hold the weight to your side and slide it down the side of your leg as you bend)
  • Woodchops (hold the weight with both hands down by the side of your body and swing it up, overhead, to the opposite side)
  • Overhead dumbbell marches (hold the weight above your head)

Make sure you're wearing a good pair of workout shoes on your feet before you start this workout (like the R.A.D Ones or Metcon 9s), as these have a solid base and will aid your stability and balance. Fancy more ab workouts like this? Here's a three-move standing ab workout for you to try next or, if you've got more time on your hands, give this five-move workout a go.

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.