The one day 90% of the fitness community hates more than anything is “leg day.” Personally, when having a work out regime I love everything about leg day: the mental toughness, choosing to commit yourself and the patience each exercise demands. I firmly believe my legs are the strongest part of my body (besides my brain of course), so I may be biased. Because who doesn’t enjoy doing something they like to do that will only benefit them? So what’s the one day I absolutely despise? AB DAY. Lord, have mercy. I will argue with myself all day going back and forth about how I don’t really need to and then my train of thought shifts to but you really should, even though you hate it.
To be completely honest, the only reason I don’t enjoy ab day is because it is the weakest part of my body. Which is all the reason as why I should train my abs/core. So how do we fix the problem? How do I teach myself to enjoy something I despise so much? Simple, find alternative ways to train my abdomen while at least semi enjoying it. Turns out, I don’t mind ab day as much anymore. I’ve found 6 standing exercises that target the stomach area, I hope you find them as useful as I do.
Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer, nor do I have any formal education on the body, I am simply a woman who is sharing her own secrets to accomplishing ab day.
Standing Crossover Toe Touches
This exercise really takes me back to my elementary school days in physical education! If I remember correctly I’m pretty sure this was part of the beginning of our class, alongside with all the common stretches to get our little bodies loose and ready for activities. Besides the fact that this exercise made me feel like a kid again, it’s fairly easy to do. No heavy lifting, it’s simple body weight. And trust me, you will feel it in your obliques the next day.
Standing Side Bends with Dumbbells at Side
So this exercise is a little more advanced in my opinion. You can do this with a dumbbell or without. If you’ve never done them before I suggest gradually working yourself up to working with a dumbbell. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll skip straight to the dumbbells. Just a forewarning, you will feel this by the end of the day if you use the dumbbells straight away. My first night was rough, it actually kept me from falling asleep as easily as I normally do. So you’ve been warned!
Cross Body Reverse Chop (with medicine ball/dumbbell/cable machine)
Personally, I find these to be extremely fun. It doesn’t feel like you’re actually working out your core, you are also using your arms, back, legs, hips and shoulders. So it will feel like a whole body exercise which it sort of is, but it focuses on the core, hips and legs the most. The link above demonstrates the exercise with a cable machine. I use a dumbbell. I find it to be less restrictive, and just more pleasurable that way. Oh and prepare to sweat. I am drenched with sweat at the end of every set.
Standing Oblique Twist
Simple, fun and quick. In my opinion, it’s kind of like you’re marching in place with a extra step and certain form. Remember to take these movements slow and steady. Don’t quickly swing your arms and legs around. Take your time, perfect your form.
I’m not going to lie to you. These are extremely hard, well for me anyways. I am not great at these. I’m still working on them. They work your core and arms, both parts of my body that are the weakest. Don’t become discouraged if you can’t finish a set your first attempt. These will take time to accomplish!
I thoroughly enjoy this exercise, however I struggle with keeping my balance while doing them. I fall out of form most of the time. But the more I practice the easier it becomes.
Though all these exercises are not extremely easy I find them to be easier than other core workouts that require you to lay on the floor. Those seems to hurt my back extremely. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not doing the exercise correctly or my back just doesn’t enjoy the position it’s in. Either way, when it comes to working my core I will gladly do so, but my way. I choose to use standing core exercises because they are what works for my body. If you struggle the same way I do with laying down core exercises hopefully these make all the difference in your core/ab day!
“They said I could be anything. So I become the best version of myself.”