Standing Knee Raises

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Standing Knee Raises For Abs

Standing Knee Raises (also known as standing knee crunches and standing knee pulls) is a functional abdominal exercise for boosting strength throughout the core. Unlike standard ab exercises, they don’t isolate abdominal muscles. Instead they work your upper abs and lower abs in conjunction with other important muscles such as hips, back and shoulders.

Plus Standing Knee Raises elevate your heart rate up and helps to burn more calories during an ab workout. At the same time they are more discreet on your body than some traditional abdominal exercises. There is less pressure on the neck, lower back and shoulder area.

This standing abs exercise provides a lot of serious benefits. When Standing Knee Raises are performed correctly they promote better posture, improve balance, coordination and agility. They might even help to prevent and reduce lower back pain.

If you are looking to lose weight or develope functional core strength you need for sports and everyday tasks, this is one of the exercises to include in your ab routine. Standing Knee Raises suits as serious athletes as well as new moms and everyone in between.



  • Discreet on lower back and neck.
  • Burns more calories than other ab exercises done on the mat.
  • No equipment needed. You can do it anytime, anywhere.
  • Improves postural support, balance, coordination and agility.
  • Enhances athletic performance and reduces the risk of injury.


Standing Knee Raises Step 1

Get in a starting position. Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart or closer. Raise your arms straight up. Contract your abs.

Standing Knee Raises Step 2

To begin the exercise lift the right knee up. Tuck your pelvis and bring the knee as close to your chest as possible. Simultaneously crunch your upper body down and bring your hands to the knee you just raised. Forcefully exhale during this part of the movement.

Standing Knee Raises Step 3

In a controlled motion return back to the starting position. Inhale on the way back.

Standing Knee Raises Step 4

Now repeat the same thing with the other knee. Keep alternating knees until you reach a desired number of repetitions or until your muscles fatigue and you no longer can execute quality repetitions.


  • Avoid creating a momentum. Execute controlled movements and focus on breathing to make your abs to do more work.
  • To increase the difficulty for the abdominal muscles use ankle weights or resistance bands for the legs. To make it more challenging for the shoulder and back muscles hold weighed objects in your hands. To decrease the difficulty keep the arms along the sides.
  • Check Standing Single Leg V-ups for a progression.
  • You can perform the exercise slower to improve more of your balance, stability and muscle-mind connection. Or you can do quick moves to improve the explosive power and increase the intensity to maximize fat burning.
  • You can do this exercise unilaterally as well – do all repetitions with one knee first and then with the other one.
  • If standing knee raises cause or exacerbate pain in your lower back or hips, stop the exercise.
About Matiss Bartulis

Sweets and pizza addict. Online and real-life fitness coach. Author of the "From Fat To Six Pack" E-mail training course. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.