Belly fat is frustratingly easy to put on and challenging to get rid of. But when you're following a consistent, expert-approved fitness routine and consuming a healthy diet at a calorie deficit, you'll notice your waistline start to slim down. We chatted with the experts who share with us some of the best standing exercises for belly fat, because, let's be honest: Who doesn't love a productive standing ab workout?
According to Ronny Garcia, ISSA CPT, personal training manager, Blink Fitness, Bronx, standing workouts are beneficial in firming and toning your belly because they activate your core muscles, boost muscle activation, and enhance your posture and stability. "Standing exercises involve dynamic and functional movements compared to those exercises being done on the ground. It requires overall full-body movements, so you are not only toning your abs, but also using muscles such as lats and glutes. An additional bonus is that you are improving your posture while you are standing and allowing for more range of motion while doing standing ab exercises," Garcia explains. And while we're at it, if you're dealing with hip pain, performing standing exercises is a suitable and comfortable alternative that imitates daily life and offers the benefits of functional strength movement.
So if you're in the market to update your workout routine, we have you covered with eight of the best standing exercises for belly fat. Get ready to erase the flab. Keep reading to learn more, and when you're finished, check out the 7 Strength Exercises for Women To Melt Hanging Belly Fat After 30.
1. Standing Russian Twists
The first few exercises are brought to you by Garcia. Begin the standing Russian twist by planting your feet shoulder-width apart and bending your knees just a bit. Straighten your arms ahead of you, and clasp your hands (or incorporate added weight, such as a dumbbell). Rotate your torso to the left. Return to the center, then rotate your torso to the right. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
2. Standing Side Crunches
For the standing side crunch, plant your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands at the back of your head. Contract your core as you bend or "crunch" your upper body to your right side so that your right elbow moves toward your right hip. Repeat the same motion on your left side. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
3. Standing Knee-to-Elbow Crunches
Set up for the standing knee-to-elbow crunch by standing tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bring your hands to the back of your head. Raise your right knee up as you bring it toward your chest; at the same time, move your left elbow across your body to touch your right knee. Repeat the same movement on the opposite side. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps per side.
4. Standing Oblique Crunches
Next up, plant your feet shoulder-width apart for standing oblique crunches. Position your left hand on your left hip. Bring your right arm overhead so that it lines up with your ear. Contract your core as you crunch your upper body to your right side; at the same time, bring your right elbow toward your right knee. Repeat the same motion on the opposite side. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps per side.
5. Standing Leg Raises
Start standing leg raises by putting your hands on your hips and placing your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Raise your right leg out to the side, making sure it remains straight. Bring your right leg back down to the start position, and perform the same lift on your left side. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
6. Standing Wood Chops
These next few exercises are recommended by Marissa West, CPT and nutrition specialist, founder of West Kept Secret.
Begin the standing wood chop by assuming a split stance with one leg forward. Hold a single dumbbell with both hands, making sure it stays close to your body, in a low diagonal position. Contract your abs, and drive the weight upward "to the opposite diagonal." Perform three sets of 15 reps per side.
7. Jumping Oblique Twists
"This is a cardio and core burner with no equipment needed," West tells us. "Start with a fist position for your hands and arms in a 'broken T' position, with your elbows high. From here, jump to one diagonal and pull your elbows to the opposite back diagonal. Then repeat from side to side." Perform this exercise for one minute alternating sides, two times through.
8. Standing Dumbbell Side Bends
Last but not least, this list of the best standing exercises for belly fat wraps up with the standing dumbbell side bend. Hold a heavy dumbbell at the side of your body, making sure your palm faces your thigh. Gradually lower the weight down your leg toward the ground. Then, lift the weight back up, and bend in the opposite direction. Stand tall to make sure your core is fully extended. Perform three sets of 15 reps on each side.