6 Ab Exercises to Do While Standing

The trainer Alwyn Cosgrove, owner of Results Fitness in Newhall, California, developed these on-your-feet firmers. His theory: "The abdominals are spinal stabilizers, so they respond better to work done standing versus lying down. On your back, the spine is supported, taking the workload off the abs."

The plan: Start by working three or four of these moves into your regimen no more than three times a week to avoid overuse. In two weeks, try the entire routine at once. You won't feel a burn as you do with crunches, so complete only 10 reps per set to prevent injury. Rest for one minute between sets. You'll need a 3- to 10-pound weight.

Technique tips: Take it slowly. "Performing each exercise in a deliberate and controlled manner will maximize effectiveness," Cosgrove explains. A pacing trick: Count one beat for each phase of the movement. "Allow your abs, not your other muscles, to do most of the work," he says.

Side Reach

Stand with feet together, holding ends of one dumbbell with both hands, arms extended overhead. Slowly lean to left and hold for one count. Return to start. Repeat on right side to complete one rep. Do 10 reps.
WORKS ABS, OBLIQUES

Reverse Wood Chop

Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, one dumbbell in both hands. Lower weight toward left foot and crouch, lifting right heel. Stand, rotate torso right and bring weight across body on a diagonal overhead. Reverse motion to return to crouching on left. Do 10 reps; switch sides; repeat.
WORKS ABS, SHOULDERS, BUTT, THIGHS

Standing Bicycle

Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, hands clasped behind head and elbows pointed out to sides. Straighten left leg as you lift right leg, knee bent, thigh parallel to floor. Keeping knee lifted and steady, twist torso toward right. Return to start. Repeat on other side for one rep. Do 10 reps.
WORKS ABS, OBLIQUES

Side Winder

Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, hands clasped behind head and elbows pointed out to sides. Lift right leg to side, knee bent, thigh parallel to floor. Keeping knee lifted, bend torso to right side, bringing elbow and knee toward each other. Do 10 reps; switch sides; repeat.
WORKS ABS, OBLIQUES

Seesaw

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, hands on hips. Lift right leg, knee bent, thigh parallel to floor with foot flexed. Straighten right leg, pressing heel toward floor, as you lean torso backward. Return to knee lift position and repeat five times. Switch sides and repeat.
WORKS ABS, BUTT, THIGHS

Forward Bend

Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, arms overhead with palms facing in. Lift right leg, knee bent, thigh parallel to floor. Keeping knee lifted and arms raised, bring torso and knee toward each other as close as you can. Return to start; switch sides and repeat for one rep. Do 10 reps.
WORKS ABS

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