10-Minute Standing Ab Workout

Strengthen and define the entire core with this standing ab workout. These five standing ab exercises are designed to target every muscle in your core. Intensify this standing ab workout by adding weights, or knock it out with just your bodyweight.

 

Build a strong core with this quick and effective standing ab workout.

You loved our standing ab circuit workout which targeted the core from a standing position using just your bodyweight.

Today’s workout challenges the core using a set of dumbbells.

I have found that standing core exercises with weights are particularly effective because they challenge our core muscles to stabilize the trunk of the body in the same way they do in many of our daily movements. This leads to improved coordination and better balance.

I especially love this workout because there are no crunches and no planks. In my opinion, it doesn’t feel like a traditional ab workout (and I love that)! These standing ab exercises will keep your mind busy as they sculpt and strengthen your midsection.

two women performing a windmill ab exercise holding one dumbbell overhead in a standing ab workout

10-Minute Standing Ab Workout

Five weighted standing ab exercises to strengthen your core and add muscle definition to your midsection.

Add this standing abs workout to your weekly workout routine 1-2 times a week to build muscle and improve endurance.

Workout Equipment:

Beginner: No equipment, just your bodyweight.

Intermediate/Advanced: Add a single medium dumbbell or kettlebell to make this a weighted ab workout. We’re using 10-15 lb dumbbells.

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided Standing Ab Workout Video on YouTube, led by certified personal trainer Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 5 Standing Ab Exercises
  • Timed Intervals (40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest)
  • Repeat All 5 Standing Ab Exercises x2 Sets
standing ab workout (pivot dumbbell press)

Workout Outline

  1. Goblet Hold and March (or High Knee Lift)
  2. Uneven Front Squat and Pivot Press
  3. Single Leg Balance Weight Pass
  4. Windmills
  5. Lateral Squat and Front Raise

5 Best Standing Ab Exercises

Goblet Hold and March

Targets: Low abs, obliques, glutes, hip flexors, chest and shoulders.

Note: the farther you hold the dumbbell out, away from your body, the harder your core will have to work.

Two women performing a goblet hold and march or standing high knees

How To Do A Goblet Hold and March

  1. Start in a standing position, feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell vertically at your chest, elbows tucked in.
  2. Engage your core, then drive your right knee up in line with your right hip. Right knee bent at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Ground through your standing leg to remain stable, then return your right foot back to the ground.
  4. Switch sides, driving your left knee up in line with your left hip. Return to starting position and repeat these alternating high knee lifts. Think of it as performing standing bicycle crunches.

Uneven Front Squat and Pivot Press

Targets: Glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, shoulders, transversus abdominis, abs, obliques and erector spinae.

two women performing a squat and press with one dumbbell

How To Do An Uneven Front Squat and Pivot Press

  1. Start in an athletic position, feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in your right hand at shoulder height, palm facing in.
  2. Sit your hips back as you lower into a squat, aiming to get your thighs parallel to the ground (both knees bent at 90 degrees).
  3. Press through your heels to stand tall, rotating your hips to the left. Toes pointing to the left as your left heel pops off the mat. Use the power from your hips and glutes to drive the dumbbell in your right hand overhead.
  4. Return the dumbbell to shoulder height as you reverse the rotation, both toes pointing forward, returning to starting position.

Modification: Follow Lindsey (on the right) and omit the pivot press performing a standing squat and overhead press.

Single Leg Balance Weight Pass

Targets: Low abs, obliques, transversus abdominis, glutes, hip flexors, arms and core.

Again, the farther the dumbbell travels away from your body, the harder your abs will have to work to stabilize your trunk.

single leg balance weight pass; two women balancing on one leg as they pass a dumbbell from side to side - standing ab exercise

How To Do A Single Leg Balance Weight Pass

  1. Start standing feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in your right hand at the side of your body.
  2. Brace your core as you lift your right leg off the ground, aiming to get your right thigh parallel to the mat (bend your knee at a 90-degree angle). Ground through your left foot for balance.
  3. Curl the dumbbell up and across your body, transferring it from your right hand at your side to your left hand at your left shoulder. Focus on keeping your torso and hips stable as you transfer weight to the opposite side of your body.
  4. Return the dumbbell across your body, transferring the weight back to your right hand and end at your side, in the starting position.

Windmills

Targets: Obliques, abs, upper back, outer glutes, inner thighs, hamstrings, upper body and shoulders.

The windmill is a full body exercise that strengthens the entire core; specifically the obliques (sides of the torso).

two women performing the windmill exercise with one dumbbell to strengthen the obliques

How To Do A Windmill

  1. Start in a wide stance, holding a dumbbell (or kettlebell) in your left hand, directly above your shoulder.
  2. Rotate your right foot out 90 degrees so your right toes are pointing towards the top of your mat, then pivot your left foot slightly inwards (about 45 degrees). Think right heel aligns with left arch.
  3. Focus on creating and maintaining length through your waist as you hinge at the hips, sliding your right arm down your right leg. Keep your left hand directly above your left shoulder.
  4. Then, squeeze through your obliques to pull your torso back to an upright position.

Lateral Squat and Front Raise

Targets: Gluteus medius (part of your butt used for side-to-side movements), quads, hips, inner thighs, shoulders, abs and core muscles.

two women performing a lateral squat and dumbbell front raise

How To Do A Lateral Squat and Front Raise

  1. Start in a wide stance, holding a dumbbell horizontally between your hands, toes facing forward or slightly out.
  2. Sit your hips back, bending your right knee while leaving your left leg straight. Think of performing a single leg squat on your right side.
  3. At the bottom of your squat, brace your core and exhale as you lift the dumbbell up to shoulder height, arms straight in front of you. With control, lower the dumbbell back down to your thighs.
  4. Then, push off your right foot to reverse the movement, returning to center.
  5. Then, repeat the movement on your left: sitting your hips back and bending your left knee while leaving your right leg straight.
  6. Raise the dumbbell to shoulder height, then control it back down to the starting position.
  7. Push off your left leg to return to center.

Standing Ab Workout FAQs

Are Standing Ab Workouts Effective?

YES! I prefer standing ab circuits to “traditional” core exercises (like crunches) that have you lying on your back. Standing ab exercises more effectively mimic the way you move in everyday life. Functional core training requires your core muscles to work to stabilize your trunk as you move your limbs away from your body, twist and rotate.

What Are The Best Standing Exercises For Abs?

My favorite standing ab exercises involve a weight transfer – either with your bodyweight or with a dumbbell. This engages every muscle around your core. Examples include a cross body chop, standing high knee lifts, leaning obliques, and a standing side bend or side crunch.

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