standing core exercises

7 Standing Core Exercises to Strengthen and Define Your Core

Most fitness enthusiasts may have this thought, that is, I love working out, but usually, I need to spend a lot of time dedicated to abdominal training. When it comes to abdominal training, most people think of sit-ups. When we perform sit-ups on the mat, it only takes a few minutes for us to feel pain in our neck and hips. But if you don’t want to experience the pain, but still want to work on your abdominals, I can recommend a variation that’s easy to do and challenging: standing core exercises.

We all know how important a strong core is to our bodies. In our lives, whether we are walking, running, or lifting weights, strong core muscles can make you feel huge changes in your life and sports. So to strengthen our core muscles, especially the abdominal muscles, we can do it through standing core exercises, but this may take you some time and energy.

In the standing core exercises introduced in this article, we mainly describe how to do standing core exercises, the benefits of standing core exercises, and some of the best moves for doing standing core exercises. Here’s how to get started.

What Are Standing Core Exercises?

Standing core exercises are exercises that specifically target and strengthen the muscles of the core while in an upright standing position. These exercises work the muscles of the abdomen, lower back, hips, and pelvis to improve stability, balance, and posture. Unlike traditional core exercises that are performed on the floor, standing core exercises involve a combination of movements that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Learn more about exercises to strengthen your core: 13 Plank Exercises To Strengthen Your Core.

How Standing Exercises Engage Your Core

Standing core exercises engage your core differently compared to exercises performed on the floor. When you are standing, your core muscles are responsible for maintaining stability and balance, which requires greater activation and coordination.

Stability and Balance
Standing requires the activation of multiple muscles in your core to stabilize your body against the forces of gravity. To maintain balance, your core muscles, including the rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis, and erector spinae, work together to keep your torso upright and aligned.

Anti-Rotation and Anti-Lateral Flexion
Many standing core exercises involve movements that challenge your core’s ability to resist rotation or lateral flexion. For example, exercises like standing oblique crunches or woodchops require you to resist twisting and bending movements, making your oblique muscles and deep core stabilizers work harder.

Whole-Body Integration
Standing core exercises engage not only the core muscles but also other muscle groups throughout your body. Many standing exercises involve compound movements that integrate the core with the legs, hips, and upper body. This integration helps develop functional strength and improves overall core stability.

Improved Functional Movement
Since standing core exercises mimic real-life movements and activities, they train your core to function in a way that is more applicable to daily activities or sports. Movements like walking, running, lifting, or reaching involve a strong and stable core, and standing exercises help functionally strengthen those muscles.

Posture Enhancement
By training the core muscles in a vertical position, standing core exercises promote better posture, reduce the risk of slouching, and improve overall spinal stability.

To maximize the engagement of your core during standing exercises, it’s important to maintain proper form and focus on consciously activating your core muscles. Engaging the deep abdominal muscles, such as the transverse abdominis, can help provide a solid foundation and support for your spine during the exercises.


Why Do Standing Core Workouts

There are so many reasons to do this; standing core exercises have many benefits. Standing core workouts offer several benefits over traditional floor-based core exercises. After reading the information below, you may want to incorporate it into your daily training.

Functional Strength
Standing core exercises involve movements that mirror real-life activities, such as lifting, bending, twisting, and reaching. By training the core muscles in a standing position, you develop functional strength that translates into improved performance in daily tasks and sports.

Improved Balance and Stability
Standing core exercises require you to engage your core muscles to maintain balance and stability. By challenging your core and proprioception (sense of body position), standing core workouts can enhance your ability to maintain an upright posture, reduce the risk of falls, and improve coordination.

Enhanced Posture
Strong core muscles play a crucial role in maintaining good posture. By training your core in a standing position, you promote proper alignment of the spine and improve postural awareness. This can help alleviate common posture-related issues, such as rounded shoulders or excessive forward leaning.

Increased Caloric Expenditure
Standing core exercises typically involve larger movements and engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. This increases the overall intensity of the workout and can lead to a higher calorie burn compared to isolated floor exercises.

Variety and Versatility
Standing core exercises offer a wide variety of movements and can be modified to accommodate different fitness levels, ranging from beginner to advanced. You can incorporate equipment, such as weights, resistance bands, or stability balls, to add further challenge and variety to your workouts.

Core Activation in Functional Movements
Standing core exercises train your core muscles to engage during functional movements, transferring the strength and stability gained to real-life activities. This can help prevent injuries, improve performance, and support a healthy and active lifestyle.

7 Standing Core Exercises to Try

1.Dumbbell Windmill

The dumbbell windmill are standing core exercise that primarily targets the core muscles, particularly the obliques, while also engaging the shoulders, hips, and legs. It involves a rotational movement, promoting stability, flexibility, and mobility in the entire body.

How to:

1. Start by standing with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and toes pointing slightly outward. Hold a dumbbell in one hand, with your arm extended directly overhead.
2. Rotate your hips and torso to the side opposite the arm holding the dumbbell. The foot on that side should pivot slightly outward.
3. Maintain good posture with your core engaged, chest lifted, and shoulder blades pulled back.
4. Slowly return to the starting position as you exhale, focusing on using your oblique muscles to drive the movement.
5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then switch sides and repeat the exercise with the dumbbell in the other hand.

2. Thigh-Supported Single-Arm Row

Thigh-supported single-arm rows are standing core exercises that primarily target the muscles of the back, particularly the rhomboids, lats, and rear delts. It also engages the biceps, shoulders, and core muscles. This exercise is a great way to build upper body strength, improve posture, and correct muscle imbalances.

How to:

1. Begin by setting up a bench or a sturdy surface at a 45-degree angle. You will be leaning your chest against the bench while keeping your legs extended and your toes on the ground for stability.
2. Grab a barbell set or kettlebell with your right hand and place your right knee on the bench, keeping your left leg extended. Your upper body should be parallel to the floor, with your back straight.
3. Engage your core and brace your abs to maintain stability throughout the movement.
4. Start with your arm fully extended, hanging straight down toward the floor.
5. Pull the dumbbell or kettlebell up toward your waist by retracting your shoulder blade and squeezing your back muscles.
6. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions on one side before switching to the other arm.


3. Chest Opener

A chest opener stretch is a great way to counteract the forward-slumping posture that many people develop from sitting or hunching over a desk for long periods. It helps improve posture, relieve tension in the chest and shoulders, and increase flexibility in the upper body.

How to:

1. Bring your arms behind your back and interlock your fingers.
2. Roll your shoulders back and down, while keeping your back straight and your chest lifted.
3. Gently straighten your arms and lift them away from your body, allowing your chest to open up.
4. If it feels comfortable, try to lift your arms as high as you can without straining or causing any pain.
5. Take slow, deep breaths and hold the stretch for about 20-30 seconds.
6. Release the interlock of your fingers and bring your arms back to your sides.

4.Single-Leg Deadlift

Single-leg deadlifts are standing core exercises that target multiple muscle groups, including the glutes, hamstrings, core, and lower back. It is a unilateral exercise, meaning it works one side of the body at a time, which can help improve balance and stability.

How to:

1. Engage your core muscles to stabilize your body.
2. Shift your weight onto one leg while maintaining a slight bend in the knee of the supporting leg.
3. Begin the movement by hinging at your hips, pushing your butt back, and allowing your torso to lean forward. At the same time, lift the opposite leg behind you, extending it straight and keeping it in line with your body.
4. Keeping your back straight and your gaze focused forward, continue to lower your torso until it’s parallel to the floor or until you feel a stretch in your hamstring.
5. Pause briefly in the lowered position, then engage your glutes and hamstrings to bring your torso back upright. Contract your core and squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.
6. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions on one leg before switching to the other leg.


5. Hip Circles

Hip circles, also known as pelvic circles, are a movement exercise that involves rotation and circular motions of the hips. They help to improve flexibility, mobility, and strength in the hip joints, as well as enhance core stability and body awareness.

How to:

1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, keeping your knees slightly bent and your core engaged.
2. Place your hands on your hips or let them hang by your sides for stability.
3. Begin the movement by pushing your hips forward.
4. Then, move your hips to one side, pushing them out to the side.
5. Continue the circular motion by bringing your hips back, then to the other side, and finally forward again, completing a full circle.
6. As you move through the circle, focus on engaging your core muscles and maintaining a controlled and smooth motion.
7. Perform several circles in one direction, and then reverse the direction and do the same number of circles in the opposite direction.

6. Forward Fold

Forward Fold, also known as Uttanasana in yoga, is a standing forward bending pose that stretches the entire backside of your body, including the hamstrings, calves, and spine. It helps to lengthen the spine, relieve tension in the back, and promote relaxation.

How to:

1. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, gently begin to fold forward from your hip joints.
2. Keep your spine long and extend your torso forward as you fold, aiming to bring your chest towards your thighs.
3. Allow your arms to hang loosely towards the ground or grab hold of opposite elbows.
4. If you can, try to relax your head and neck, allowing them to hang freely.
5. Keep a slight bend in your knees to protect your hamstrings, especially if you have tightness in that area.
6. Breathe deeply and hold the pose for 30 seconds to a minute, or for as long as feels comfortable and beneficial for you.


7. Standing Cat Cow

The Standing Cat-Cow is a modified version of the classic Cat-Cow pose, which is typically performed on the hands and knees. The Standing Cat Cow allows you to stretch and move the spine while standing, making it convenient and accessible for those who may have difficulty getting down onto the floor.

How to:

1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and place your hands on your hips or let them hang by your sides.
2. Begin by inhaling deeply and arching your back, bringing your chest forward and gently extending your spine.
3. As you exhale, round your back, tucking your tailbone under and bringing your chin towards your chest.
4. Continue with this slow and controlled movement, inhaling to arch your back and exhaling to round your back.
5. Coordinate the movement with your breath, allowing it to guide the flow of the exercise.

The Takeaway

Mat sit-ups are great, but standing core exercises may take your muscles to the next level. A variety of exercises is also important, you may want to keep your muscles guessing so you can mix different movements (standing, lying, etc.) into your workout plan.
The core of our body is the source of physical power, and strengthening core strength can also make us more elegant and confident. So what are you waiting for, get started!

The 5 Best Hamstring Exercises To Build Muscle and Boost Your Athleticism
100 PushUps a Day: Should You Attempt This Fitness Challenge?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close My Cart
Close Wishlist
Recently Viewed Close