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  • Writer's pictureHeather

5 Standing Core Exercises To Get You Off The Floor

Core exercises are challenging and often uncomfortable. Not everyone can easily get down on the floor to perform crunches or bicycle kicks. Standing core exercises are more accessible, and experts recommend five distinct movements for a tighter core.

1. Squat Crunches

To perform squat crunches, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on your head and extend your elbows outward like wings. If possible, bend at your knees, bringing your thighs parallel to the floor. If you cannot get that low, go as low as you comfortably can. Your spine should be in a neutral position with your chest straight ahead.

While engaging the core muscles, rotate your upper body to one side and touch the opposite elbow to your knee. Again, keep things comfortable. Do not overextend or risk injury. Your hips should remain steady, and you should focus the movement on the torso.

Repeat the process on the opposite side. Do a minimum of 20 reps per side.

2. Lunge Crunches

You will start in a standard lunge position, with the front knee bent 90° and the opposite leg stretched behind. Then, extend your arms diagonally in front of you, bringing that at an angle to the ceiling.

As you engage the core muscles, drive the extended leg's knee toward your chest. Simultaneously, swing your arms down. The arms will frame your knee to complete the peak of the movement.

Return your arms and knee to the starting position. The movements are explosive and deliberate. Do a minimum of 15 reps with each knee and then repeat.

3. Cross-Body Chops

You can use your body weight or additional weights for the cross-body chop exercise. Extend your arms above your head, leaning to the right or the left. If you choose to use a weight, grip it with both hands. Bend your knees slightly to get in a squatting position (not a full squat).

Rotate your torso and bring your arms down toward your toes. You want to use your obliques to perform the movements. Next, stand up, twist to the other side and drop back toward your toes. Continue the up-down movements for 15 complete reps on each side.

4. Leaning Obliques

Find an appropriate barbell plate, dumbbell, or kettlebell for the leaning obliques exercise. The weight should be heavy enough to engage the muscles but not so heavy as to strain the body. Lift the weight over your head using both hands. Tuck your hips and engage the core muscles to reduce the risk of arching your back.

With your hips square, lean to the right, keeping your torso and arms aligned. Move slowly and do not overextend. Your body will tell you when you have leaned over enough.

Engage your obliques by squeezing as you lift and return your torso to the center. Then, lean to the opposite side and continue to alternate for 20 reps.

5. Standing Bicycle

Stand tall with your elbows extended and hands behind your head for the standing bicycle exercise. Your feet should be about hip-width apart.

Lift your right knee across your body toward your left pectoral muscle. At the same time, bring your left elbow down toward your knee and squeeze your abs through the movement. Return to a standing position and repeat for the opposite side. Perform 20 complete reps.

Stop getting down on the floor. Instead, you can work your core in a standing position, providing more comfort and accessibility for fitness enthusiasts.



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