Standing abdominal exercises are useful for people who have difficulties getting on the ground and standing back up, such as people who are extremely overweight, people with physical disabilities and the elderly. A common misconception people have is that abdominal exercises have to be performed on the ground. In reality, the abdominal muscles are worked whenever the hips and torso are brought closer together, regardless of whether you are on the floor or standing.
The standing crunch is exactly what it sounds like, a version of the classic abdominal exercise performed while standing. The crunch is often performed on the ground because the lying position of the body offers more resistance with gravity pulling down on the upper body while you lift it up toward your hips. The standing crunch is effective for those who find it difficult getting on the ground. While standing, put both hands behind your head and crunch your right elbow down toward your left knee while lifting your left knee up to your right elbow. Come as close as you comfortably can to touching your elbow and knee together, then alternate sides. Do as many reps as you can while maintaining proper form.
Cable Standing Crunch
The cable standing crunch is much like the standing crunch, but with added resistance. Attach either a standard pull-down bar or a rope handle to a pull-down station and hold the bar or handle behind your head. Do not press the bar against your head. Pull the weight straight down toward your hips and return to the start position. Do as many reps as you can while maintaining proper form.
Grab a kettlebell with your palms facing down. Lift the kettlebell to your shoulders by lifting through your legs and hips and press it over your head. This is the starting position. Keep the kettlebell locked out at this position, push your hips back and bend down at the waist to the side opposite of the kettlebell until your upper body is parallel with the ground. Keep your eyes on the kettlebell, and return to the start position. Complete a set on one side, then repeat on the other side. Do as many reps as you can while maintaining proper form.
Double Kettlebell Windmill
Grab a kettlebell in each hand with your palms facing down. Lift one kettlebell to your shoulders by lifting through the legs and hips, then press it over your head and keep the other kettlebell at waist level. This is the starting position. Keep the kettlebell locked out above the shoulders, push your hips back and bend down at the waist to the side opposite of the raised kettlebell while lowering the other kettlebell to the floor. Keep your eyes on the raised kettlebell, and return to the start position. Complete a set bending on one side and repeat on the other side. Do as many reps as you can while maintaining proper form.
Kettlebell Figure 8
Stand with a kettlebell between your legs with a stance that is wider than shoulder width. Bend over, push your hips back in a squat position, and grab the kettlebell with both hands with your palms facing toward your body. Lift your body to a standing position while lifting the kettlebell to your waist. Lower the weight between your legs with one hand. Wrap your empty hand through your legs and pass the weight from one hand to the other. Move your hand that's holding the kettlebell from behind you to in front of you, then move your empty hand from in front of you to behind you and pass the weight from one hand to the other. Do as many reps as you can while maintaining proper form.
Jason Cooley began writing in 2005 as the owner of a personal-training business, authoring advertising copy and business contracts. He has since served as a writer with Oral B and On Top of My Diabetes.