So you’re looking for a standing ab workout and don’t know where to start. Standing ab exercises are designed to target your core muscles, without forcing you to lie down on the floor. It's perfect for moving your ab workout outside this Spring, or for when there’s no floor space in the gym.
In my quest to find the best ab workouts for my readers, I’ve tried just about everything — from the Pamela Reif six-pack workout everyone was talking about on YouTube, to the Bretman Rock “ab-solutely not” challenge. But nearly all of these workouts have been done lying on my yoga mat, so I was intrigued to find out how effective standing ab exercises could be at targeting my core.
Of course, a strong core is far more than just an aesthetic goal — it can help you run faster, lift heavier, and improve your posture. During my search, one standing ab workout that came up time and time again was the Chloe Ting 10 minute standing abs workout, which has racked up over 30 million views on YouTube. Keen to find out more, I pressed mute on my slack (sorry, colleagues) and gave it a go.
Read on to find out what happened.
What is the Chloe Ting 10-minute standing abs workout?
The description kind of tells you everything you need to know, but this workout is designed to target the muscles in your core, without lying down. Standing ab exercises are good for people who are short on space, as you won’t need to unroll a yoga mat, but they also work your core muscles harder, as your core is working to keep you upright and balanced.
Here are a few of the exercises that came up in Chloe Ting’s workout:
Oblique jacks: This one looks a little strange, but targets the oblique muscles, which run along the outside of the body. Start with your legs wider than shoulder-width apart, and your arms bent at the elbow, so your hands are in line with your face. Raise your right knee up your side, and crunch your right elbow to it. Quickly jump and repeat the motion on the opposite side. Go back and forth between sides as quickly as you can.
Wood chop: The wood chop exercise works the entire core, and can be done with a dumbbell in your hands during a weighted circuit. Start with your legs wider than shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointing outwards slightly. Bring your arms down to your right side, fingers interweaved, and then swing them with control up to the left above your head, turning your torso as you do so, then chop them back down to their starting position.
Side leg raises and bend: Another exercise that targets the oblique muscles, start with your legs shoulder-width apart, and your hands behind your head, with your elbows outstretched to the side. Starting on the right side, raise your extended leg out to the side of your body, and as you do so, crunch to the side, thinking about dropping your elbow to your outstretched leg.
I tried Chloe Ting’s 10-minute standing abs workout — here’s what happened
The first thing I noticed when doing this standing abs workout was that my heart rate was a lot higher than it would normally be when working on my abs. My goal when working out is never focused on burning calories, but I definitely found I was working harder during this standing ab circuit than I’d normally be lying down.
Like a lot of Chloe Ting’s workouts, the format was 40 seconds of work, with 10 seconds of rest, although sometimes you moved straight onto the next exercise without this 10 seconds of downtime. It went quickly, and after doing a hard running workout in the morning, I felt like I was engaging my whole body, not just my abs.
As I’ve mentioned in other workout reviews, I suffer from sciatica, so often have to be careful when doing ab exercises, as not to put too much pressure on my lower back. I found that standing up forced me to engage my core more, thinking about sucking my belly button into my stomach. I also found I didn’t have as much tension in my back during the workout. I also liked that Ting offered low-impact alternatives for anyone who didn’t, or couldn’t jump.
As I’ve mentioned if you’ve spent more than 20 seconds with me, I also have a cocker spaniel puppy, who often makes lying down on an exercise mat and focusing on a workout nearby impossible. The fact this entire workout could be done standing up was handy from a practical point of view, but I’ll also definitely be working it into my summer workouts, which I prefer to do in the garden.
A few hours later, I definitely felt like I’d worked my core, and at just ten minutes long, this is one I’ll be fitting into my lunch break again.
Looking for more workout inspiration? Here’s one of the best exercises for working your back muscles, a Jo Wicks dumbbell workout perfect for beginners, plus a Chloe Ting ab workout with 420 million views.