You don’t need endless sit-ups and crunches to strengthen your core. Instead, you can switch things up with this standing ab workout to sculpt your waist and improve your balance in just eight minutes.
All you need to get started is a set of the best adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab). These are a great space-saving option if you’re training at home, as they combine multiple weights into one. Also, you can gradually increase the weight as you get stronger over time.
If you have fixed weight dumbbells or work out at the gym, you should choose a weight that will challenge your muscles but won’t affect your form at the end of a set. Then you’re ready for this standing ab workout from trainer Sophie van Oostenbrugge, known as her handle Gainsbybrains (opens in new tab).
It’s ideal if you don’t feel like doing floor exercises, as it keeps you upright for eight minutes and strengthens core muscles through dumbbell ab marches, side bends, and dumbbell haloes. These moves are designed to challenge your stability and activate your abdominal muscles.
Whether you’re new to these weight exercises or could use a refresher, it’s worth following van Oostenbrugge’s demonstrations to practice your technique. This is how you get the most out of your training and avoid injuries.
Check out Sophie van Oostenbrugge’s 8-minute ab workout
If you’re wondering why we’ve talked about building core strength through ab training, that’s because the two terms are similar, but they have some key differences. Your core is made up of several muscles located around your stomach, including your rectus abdominis. Sometimes referred to as the six pack muscle, that’s what most people usually mean when they refer to the “abs.”
However, the best abdominal workouts (opens in new tab) Recruit all the muscles in your core, including the stabilizing transverse abdominals and both the internal and external obliques (which play a central role in rotational movements). This is something this standing ab workout does well, as holding the weight in one hand throws you off balance and gets your core working overtime to keep you upright.
And since the five-movement workout only takes eight minutes, you can add it to the end of your regular session as a core-focused finisher. Alternatively, you can repeat it several times or combine it with other core strengthening exercises (opens in new tab) for a more comprehensive mid-body workout.
If your goal is to build visible abs, it’s worth noting that core development has many benefits beyond aesthetics. It can improve your posture, improve your balance and stability, and even improve your blood circulation. After adopting this routine, you may find that you enjoy abdominal training (opens in new tab).
If that’s the case, it’s worth grabbing one of the best kettlebells (opens in new tab) and learn how to do kettlebell swings (opens in new tab). This multi-muscle exercise builds total-body strength, gets your heart rate up, and boosts your metabolism for fat-burning and muscle-building results.
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