This four-move standing ab workout builds functional core strength in just 15 minutes

Switch up your regular ab routine with these standing exercises

Woman doing a standing ab workout with a dumbbell
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Bored of doing your regular crunches and planks? It’s time to switch things up with a standing workout instead. Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of effective floor-based exercises that will work your core, but standing can challenge it even further (and are easier if you have limited mobility). All you need for this workout is yourself, a single dumbbell and to stay standing. Also, a pair of decent workout shoes are a good shout to help keep you stable.

What makes standing ab workouts so effective then? According to Peleton: “When you’re working the core from a standing position, you have to move against gravity and keep your balance. This requires greater muscle activation to remain stable.” It also challenges it in a more functional way as, let's be honest, we don't perform a lot of everyday movements lying down. Plus, they're great for small spaces too.

This core workout doesn't follow a set number of reps, but timed reps instead, so you can focus on your form and quality of the movement rather than quantity. You'll do each of the four exercises for 40 seconds, followed by a 15 seconds rest and you're going to do three rounds in total. Gym water bottle at the ready! Here are you exercises:

  • Dumbbell oblique crunches (40 sec each side)
  • OH Hold Marches (40 sec each side)
  • Forward dumbbell raise squat
  • Opposite elbow to opposite knee crunches

We never said standing ab workouts were easier but, nevertheless, we hope you enjoyed that. If you did, then we have plenty more core workouts that don't require you to lay on the floor, like this three-move standing ab workout (you'll need a dumbbell for this one too), or if you don't have any weights at home here's a standing workout that just uses your bodyweight.

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.