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The #1 Standing Ab Workout for a Visibly Toned Six-Pack

It’s time to sculpt that summer six-pack!
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Are you sick and tired of doing endless crunches and sit-ups with little to no results? If so, it's time to switch up your ab workout routine and add some standing exercises to the mix. Standing ab exercises can enhance your posture, boost your core strength, and help you gain more control with every single rep you do, according to the experts at P.volve. So if you want to achieve a visibly toned six-pack, incorporating standing ab exercises into your workout regimen is a must.

But with so many standing ab exercises out there, which ones are the best for getting results? Fortunately, we've got you covered. We spoke with Rose McNulty, CPT, NASM-certified personal trainer and nutrition coach with Garage Gym Reviews, to create a standing ab workout that's effective, efficient, and easy to follow. This workout will help you sculpt your abs and achieve your fitness goals.

"This standing ab workout combines weighted and bodyweight movements to hit every angle of your abs. While abs are truly made in the kitchen, doing workouts like this will ensure you have a six-pack to show off as you do the work with your nutrition," says McNulty. "This circuit takes less than 15 minutes to do twice, so you can customize this routine and repeat it if you'd like a longer workout."

The following standing ab workout suits anyone, regardless of your fitness level. We'll provide detailed instructions that walk you through each exercise, explaining the proper form and technique to ensure maximum results and help prevent injury. So read on for the workout and get ready to build visibly toned six-pack abs in no time.

1. Standing Bicycle Crunches

This exercise is a variation of the traditional bicycle crunch, but it's done while standing up. First, stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, and place your hands on the back of your head with your elbows out to the sides. Next, bring your right knee toward your chest as you crunch your abs, and simultaneously bring your left elbow down to meet your right knee. Reverse the motion, then switch sides with each rep. Perform this exercise for one minute straight before moving on to the next exercise.

"To get the most out of the standing version of this classic ab movement, make sure to engage your core throughout and move with control. You'll feel it in your six-pack muscle and the sides of your abs (obliques)," says McNulty.

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2. Standing Side Crunches

Standing side crunches are fantastic for targeting your obliques, the muscles on the sides of your abs. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Place your left hand on your hip, and have your right arm extended overhead. Then, crunch the right side of your body by bringing your right elbow down and your right knee up at the same time. Bend and engage the right side of your abs as you bring your elbow and knee together. Then, reverse the motion, and switch sides. Do each side for one minute straight (two minutes total) before jumping to the next movement.

"This exercise mainly works the obliques but will benefit overall core stability and coordination," says McNulty. "Move slowly through the motion to reap the most benefit from this move."

3. Lunges With Rotation

fit woman on pink backdrop doing lunge with rotation holding a dumbbell

Lunges with rotation are an excellent full-body exercise that also targets your abs. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart, and hold a dumbbell in front of your chest. Next, step forward with your left foot, and lower your body into a lunge. As you lower, rotate your torso to the left. Return to the starting position, and repeat on the other side. Do this for one minute, then move on to the next exercise.

"This double-duty move works your lower body, abs, and shoulders. Hold a lightweight if you have one on hand and feel up to the extra challenge," says McNulty.

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4. Dumbbell Side Bends

illustration of standing dumbbell side bends

This exercise targets your obliques and can help create that coveted V-shaped torso. First, stand up straight with good posture while holding a dumbbell in your right hand. Then, with your left hand on your waist, bend toward your right side, and lower the dumbbell until you reach the end of your range of motion. Pause, then reverse the movement to stand up straight.

Complete all reps on one side, then switch the dumbbell to your left hand and complete the reps for that side. Perform this exercise on each side for one minute straight for two minutes in total. Rest for one minute, then repeat the entire circuit for a complete standing ab workout.

"This weighted exercise focuses on the obliques, isolating each side for an even workout that can help reduce imbalances," says McNulty.

Adam Meyer
Adam is a health writer, certified holistic nutritionist, and 100% plant-based athlete. Read more about Adam
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