Ab workouts have always been a favorite of mine for one simple reason: You get to lie down on the mat while doing them. Even when they’re burning every single muscle in your torso, that makes it feel just a little better. But now that I’ve found out standing ab exercises are a thing, I might have to switch things up.
While you can certainly get in a great ab workout on the mat, there are some prime benefits to doing core exercises in a standing position. First of all, it makes everything more challenging. Since you’re working against gravity, you have to engage your abs on another level in order to do the movements without falling over. (Because of that, your balance can improve!) And according to ACE, standing instead of lying down is also a great way to avoid neck pain that often comes about in floor-based core work.
At this point, I don’t even have to tell you that standing abs are an all-around win. And before you get started, there’s only one rule to getting the most out of them.
“What better way to work your abs than from standing—and not on the dirty floor you’re too lazy to vacuum (or is it just me?),” Kaitlin Heaney Zuloaga, the certified personal trainer behind Trainer Kaitlin, wrote in an Instagram post. “In order to really get the most from these exercises, you need to learn how to engage your core. Think about pulling your belly button in and up, like someone is going to sucker punch you in the gut.”
Ready to try some standing ab exercise for yourself? From bicycles to windmills, one thing’s for sure: You’re going to be sore tomorrow.
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