09 Jan Standing Abs Workout
Working your abdominal muscles out while standing has a few advantages for moms – we tend to be baby/kid magnets for tackles as soon as we lie down, and we need to multitask about 90% of the time.
If you’re trying to squeeze exercises in throughout your day, there are a few times you can swing it, but it may not be appropriate to lie down. Take, for example, the waiting room at the pediatrician’s office. Fifteen minutes will no longer be wasted if you can get some ab work done in there, right?
There are also those times when you want to get your ab routine done outside, say during a stroller walk or run, but the ground is muddy or there’s no great place to lie down. If only you could do your ab work standing up…
Standing ab routines are all over the internet, and most focus on somehow finagling a way to get your crunches done while standing. They’re pretty creative, I’ll give them that, but there are 3 big downsides to most of them.
- You’ll be targeting your 6-pack ab muscles and obliques, for the most part. If you’re a mom, you’ll really want to be targeting your transversus abdominis as the big priority with the rectus abdominis (6-pack) and obliques (internal and external) as secondary priorities. That’s especially important if you have a diastasis recti.
- Even while you’re targeting those outer ab muscles, you’re actually going to be missing the mark most of the time, using a lot of hip flexors and back muscles, which isn’t all bad – it’s better than nothing. But it’s not really true to what you’re setting out to do, and if you’re a mom, you don’t have time to waste.
- Some of the exercises are so creative that you’ll just end up feeling really silly without working much of anything. And being silly is fine too – but I’ll bet you’d like to save your silliness for your playtime with your baby and get down to business with your precious workout time.
The great news is that there’s a solution, and it’s research-backed. A recent randomized controlled trial showed that you work your transversus abdominis (your deepest abdominal muscle and key for restoring your core after pregnancy) best during standing exercises. That’s great news! Usually, when you’re just starting out, you’ll begin with exercises done lying down, and then you’ll gradually progress to standing as you get stronger.
If you’ve perfected your transversus abdominis contraction (find out how by watching the basics video series), you can progress from working on your core lying down to kneeling to standing up.
Each one of the exercise progressions on this website (including the mini-programs) includes a 10-level progression through core strengthening exercises. Once you get to Level 7, you’ll be working your core standing up.
But you don’t have to wait all the way to Level 7 to employ the magical standing ab workouts. Once you’re comfortable doing a core drill in the supine (lying on your back) position and while sitting or kneeling, you can go ahead and start doing a standing ab workout standing with you back leaned against a wall… or tree. Or if you don’t have anything to lean against, just stand on the ground – it will actually be a little easier with no wall.
This collection should get you started!