This three-move standing ab workout is all you need for solid core strength

Just grab a medium weight dumbbell, kettlebell or water bottle

woman with strong abs
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Planks and deadbugs may be super effective for your core, but if you suffer from neck, shoulder or lower back pain, the chances are these are just going to exacerbate this. That doesn’t mean training your core is off limits though. This three-move standing ab workout is just as effective and all you need is one weight – whether that be a single dumbbell, one kettlebell, or even a large water bottle – take your pick!

As well as targeting the muscles in your mid-section, standing workouts recruit other muscles too, like your lats, shoulders and glutes. They're also ideal for people who work at a desk all day as, while you're standing tall your stability is being challenged and your body has to fight hard to maintain an upright position, so it encourages better posture.

This workout will take you 15 minutes to complete, so it's perfect for those busier days, or if you're looking to add a quick core finisher onto the end of another workout. You've got three exercises that you'll do for 30 seconds on each side of your body, followed by a 15 second rest. Once you've completed one round of the workout, you'll rest for 30 seconds, then do it three more times. Here's your exercises:

  • Marches (hold the weight in front of your body)
  • Overhead marches (hold the weight in one hand in the air while marching)
  • Side bends (hold the weight to your side and slide it down the side of your leg as you bend)

Do these on both sides of your body

Make sure you're wearing a good pair of workout shoes and avoid running trainers, as these are often foamy and won't aid your balance (the Metcon 9s are a great functional fitness shoe). Also, make sure you don't go too heavy with your weight either, you want a weight that will allow you to complete the exercises with good form, but still challenges you. 

If you enjoyed that workout we've got plenty of others on T3, like this 10 minute standing ab workout for when you really need something speedy, or this 12 minute workout if you've got a bit more time on your hands.

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.