Abdominal exercises do not have to leave you flat on your back. Standing crunches offer a challenging exercise option. Use upright crunches when you are searching for a variety in your abdominal training. These beneficial exercises also give you a way to work your abdominal muscles if you are not able to get down to and up from the floor easily.
Standing Side Crunch
The standing side crunch does not require any equipment. Stand tall and then shift your weight onto your left foot. Bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle. Lift your right foot behind your body so your knee points out to the side. Place both hands behind your head with your elbows pointing to the sides. Exhale and bend to the right, bringing your right elbow toward your right knee. Concentrate on shortening the distance between your lower right ribs and your right hip. Complete 15 standing crunches on both sides.
Standing Knee Crunch
Because the standing knee crunch doesn't require any equipment, you can do this exercise anywhere. Stand on your left foot and, keeping your right leg straight, extend it behind your body. Lift your right foot slightly off the floor. Reach both arms up over your head. Exhale and bend your right knee as you raise your knee in front of your body. Bend both elbows and aim to reach your elbows to your right knee. Return your arms overhead and your right leg behind your body. Complete 15 knee crunches on each leg.
Standing Side Bend
The standing side bend uses a dumbbell for resistance to strengthen the sides of your stomach. Stand tall with your feet underneath your hips. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand. Keep your left arm straight, with your left palm facing toward your body. Inhale and bend to the left as the dumbbell slides down your leg. Concentrate on closing the distance between the ribs on your left side and your left hip. Exhale and stand tall. Complete 15 side bends on each side.
Standing Water Crunch
Water exercise is gentle and effective for strengthening your stomach. Any of the above movements can be performed in the water for strength training variety. A kickboard can also be used as a stomach training tool in the water. Stand in chest-deep water. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle with your hands palms down in front of your torso. Place the kickboard underneath your palms. Exhale and fold forward from your waist as you press down on the board. Keep the 90-degree angle in your arms. Inhale and return to a standing position. Repeat 15 times.
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.