This standing abs workout only takes 12 minutes to strengthen your core muscle

No lying on the floor, no crunches, just a simple all standing ab workout to build and define your mid-section muscle area

Defined stomach muscle
(Image credit: Getty)

Floor-based workouts are not for everyone. We get it, lying down on a mat after your regular workouts to smash out endless sit-ups and crunches isn't everyone's idea of sweaty fun. Or perhaps you suffer from back pain and don't feel comfortable working out on the ground. Either way, you can still regularly train your ab and core muscles using this 12-minute all-standing routine.

You might think this involves some form of weight, such as using one of the best kettlebells to challenge your core stability more, but all you need is your bodyweight and full-on core engagement throughout every exercise.

Workout instructor, Maddie Lymburner (opens in new tab) (best known online as MadFit), demonstrates all six exercises included in her standing ab routine. You will perform all six moves for 45 seconds each, followed by 15 seconds rest in-between, and then repeat the total circuit twice over.

It only takes 12 minutes to complete so it's perfect for those days where you crave exercise but can't find a whole hour or half hour to make it happen. Or it can be added to the end of your regular training for an efficient ab blast to help strengthen and refine your core muscles.

You can increase the intensity of any ab workout by adding in a couple of dumbbells or a kettlebell or even by wearing some ankle weights while completing a routine like this.

APEXUP Adjustable Ankle Weights | Was $34.99, (opens in new tab)

APEXUP Adjustable Ankle Weights | Was $34.99,  now $21.59 at Amazon
(opens in new tab) Bump up the intensity of your circuit training with these adjustable APEXUP ankle weights. The pair comes with five weight modules for you to work with and the adjustable straps mean they will fit a range of sizes. Hurry and get yours now while there is 38% off the usual price! 

Signature Fitness Dumbbell Set | Was $69.99, (opens in new tab)

Signature Fitness Dumbbell Set | Was $69.99,  now $50.80 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

This dumbbell set contains 3 pairs of lightweight dumbbells - 1x3lbs (1.3kg), 1x5lbs (2.2kg), 1x8lbs (3.6kg) - made from a durable neoprene material to provide you with good grip and they will be long lasting. The set includes a stand for your weights and is on offer for $20 less! 

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Best Choice 3-Piece Kettlebell Set with Storage Rack | Was $59.99 | Now $49.99 on Amazon (Save 17%) (opens in new tab)

You may not need a kettlebell for this workout, but they're still one of the most versatile training tools out there. In this month's Prime Day sale, a 17% saving means you can now pick up this neat three-pack for under $50. With three weights to choose from (5lb, 10lb and 15lb) it's ideal for beginners looking to build strength. 

Watch MadFit's 12-Minute Core and Abs Workout

A post shared by MADDIE | Workout Instructor (@madfit.ig) (opens in new tab)

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It's good to take note of Lymburner's form for each exercise and apply this to your own movements. This will not only help prevent any unwanted injuries but can improve things like posture and enhance your workout results as it will ensure you are using all the right muscles.

We've listed all six moves below so you can use them as you wish, perhaps you have favorites that you'd like to add to your larger bank of the best workout for abs:

  • Standing elbow to knee
  • Alternating front kicks
  • Oblique crunch
  • Elbow to knee followed by fingers to toes
  • Toe touch
  • Oblique twists

The bonus of this workout is that you can also burn fat while refining the muscles in your midsection. Exactly like any other HIIT workout for fat loss this routine uses an interval-based structure to complete each exercise. HIIT training makes your body source energy from fat instead of carbs and makes losing fat more efficient.

If you're looking to have noticeable definition around your six-pack muscles (the abdominal rectus) then fat loss will help with this. But it isn't just exercise that will help get you the results you want. Nutrition also plays a key role. Rather than restricting yourself to achieve your physical goals, you should focus on filling yourself up with healthy nutrients.

Eating plenty of protein between exercise is a great way to aid your recovery, repair your muscles and maintain growth. Amongst the various different types of protein, some of the best protein powders for weight loss can make a useful addition to your diet if you don't think you reach your daily protein goals all the time.

APEXUP Adjustable Ankle Weights | Was $34.99, (opens in new tab)

APEXUP Adjustable Ankle Weights | Was $34.99,  now $21.59 at Amazon
(opens in new tab) Bump up the intensity of your circuit training with these adjustable APEXUP ankle weights. The pair comes with five weight modules for you to work with and the adjustable straps mean they will fit a range of sizes. Hurry and get yours now while there is 38% off the usual price! 

APEXUP Adjustable Ankle Weights | Was $34.99, (opens in new tab)

APEXUP Adjustable Ankle Weights | Was $34.99,  now $21.59 at Amazon
(opens in new tab) Bump up the intensity of your circuit training with these adjustable APEXUP ankle weights. The pair comes with five weight modules for you to work with and the adjustable straps mean they will fit a range of sizes. Hurry and get yours now while there is 38% off the usual price! 

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 


When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.