Standing Ab Workouts to Do Without Getting on the Floor

If you're tired of the same old crunches, this standing ab workout will challenge your core in a whole new way. Standing ab exercises are more functional, more effective and target all the muscles of your abs for a strong, fit core.


See your doctor before trying this workout if you have any injuries, illnesses or other conditions and modify any exercises that cause pain or discomfort.

Equipment Needed

A resistance band, various weighted dumbbells, a medicine ball and a kettlebell (optional)

How To

  • Warm up with a few minutes of light cardio
  • Complete each exercise as shown, keeping each move slow and controlled
  • Repeat the entire sequence for a longer, more intense workout
  • Keep body stabilized throughout the movement and avoid swinging or using momentum

Medicine Ball Circles

Medicine Ball Circle Squat
Ben Goldstein

Hold a med ball overhead and lean to the right, pivoting on the feet to rotate the body as you circle the ball to the right. Continue in the circle, bringing the ball forward and then turn to the left, again pivoting on the feet, as you circle the weight all the way around. Repeat for 16 reps on one side and then switch to the other side.

Standing Side Crunch

Begin in a standing position, right arm straight up in the air. Shift your weight to your left leg and slowly bring the knee up and out to the side while bringing the right elbow towards the right knee, squeezing the obliques. Take the arm up and the foot down and repeat, keeping the movement slow and controlled. Repeat for 16 reps on each side.

Standing Crossover Crunch

Stand with hands behind the head, elbows out. Bring the right knee up and across the body as you rotate through the torso, bringing the left shoulder towards the right hip. Return to start and repeat, keeping the movement slow and controlled. Repeat for 16 reps on each side.

Diagonal Woodchops

Attach a resistance band to a sturdy object near the floor. Hold the other end and take a few steps away for added tension. Keeping the arms straight, rotate the body and bring the arms up in a diagonal while squeezing the abs. Pivot on the feet and rotate the hips and knees as you turn. Rotate back and repeat for 10-16 reps before switching sides.

Horizontal Woodchop

Wrap the band around a sturdy object at waist level and stand sideways, holding handles in both hands. Keeping the arms straight, bring the arms across the body, slowly rotating to the opposite side and contracting the obliques. Return to start and repeat for 16 reps before switching sides.

Front and Rear Figure 8 Lunges

Step forward with the right leg into a lunge while sweeping medicine ball to the right, down and up in a half circle (half of the figure 8 motion). Step back to start and then step the right foot back into a reverse lunge, sweeping the medicine ball to the left, down and up in a half circle to complete the figure 8 motion. Continue lunging forward and back with the same leg, moving the ball in a figure 8 motion for 16 reps, then switch sides.

Static Lunge with Rotations

Begin in a lunge position, right leg forward, left leg back. Hold a medicine ball with the arms straight out. Keeping the lower body stable, rotate from the torso to bring the arms across the body to the right. Come back to center and now to the left, keeping the movement slow and controlled. Repeat for 8 reps, then switch legs and complete another set of 8 reps.

Overhead Squats

Stand in a wide stance holding dumbbells in each hand. Take the right arm up, letting the left arm hang towards the floor. Looking up at the right arm (optional) lower into a squat until the thighs are parallel to the floor. Press back up, keeping the arm up and repeat for 16 reps on each side.

Kettlebell Windmills

Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in the right hand. Turn the right toes out and the left toes forward and take the left arm straight up. Lean to the right, kicking the left hip out and bending the right knee as you lower the weight towards the floor. Keep your eyes on the extended left arm. Straighten and repeat for 16 reps before switching sides.