Training your core, the part of your body that connects your arms to your legs, has become a major focus in fitness. A strong core will improve your balance, posture, overall strength, and athletic ability.
Most traditional core exercises are done on the floor (think planks and leg raises). While these exercises can be beneficial, if your goal is to build a strong, stable core that will help you move better with fewer aches and pains, you need to focus on exercises that work all the muscles in your midsection.
This is why we’ve put together this standing core workout.
These four exercises target all the muscle groups in your core. Because they are done standing, they also challenge your balance and stability, and are great for people who have difficulty getting up and down off the floor.
Exercise #1: Farmers Carry
Equipment needed: Dumbbells or other weights
- Hold a heavy dumbbell in each hand (it’s helpful to set up the weights on a bench first so you do not need to bend down and pick them up).
- Engage your core, stand tall and with good posture.
- Keep the weights a few inches away from your thighs. If you are not able to do this, start with a lighter weight.
- Step forward and begin slowly walking. Keep your head up, shoulders back, and core muscles engaged.
- Continue walking for 30-45 seconds.
Exercise #2: Pallof Press
Equipment needed: Band or cable machine
- Stand with good posture and position your body perpendicular to a band or cable column.
- Engage core and extend the arms out in front of the body, resisting the pull of the resistance band.
- Keep the arms extended for 2-3 seconds, maintaining vertical posture (no leaning!)
- Continue for 10-15 reps.
Exercise #3: Standing March with Dumbbell
Equipment needed: Dumbbell or other weight
- Stand tall with good posture.
Engage your core and extend your arms forward while holding a dumbbell or other weight
- While maintaining good posture, lift one leg up as if you are marching. Keep standing tall; do not lean to one side when you lift your leg. Slowly return leg to starting position and switch legs.
- Continue for 10-12 reps per side.
Exercise #4: Straight Arm Cable Press down
Equipment needed: Cable machine or band
- If you’re using a band, anchor the band high up, so that the handles hang around chest level. If you’re using a cable machine, attach a straight bar to the cable stack and position the bar high up on the cable column.
- Grasp the handle with your palms facing down, roughly at shoulder height.
- Engage your core and initiate the movement by pressing the shoulder blades down.
- Press the handles down toward your thigh. Keep your ribs in during the pull down action (a common mistake we see is the ribs ‘popping up’ due to lack of scapular range of motion). You should feel this exercise in your core and your lats (the muscles along the sides of your back)
- Continue for 10-15 reps.
If you’re ready to start taking care of yourself, Ascend Fitness is here to help. We specialize in helping people over 40 improve their strength, fitness, health and energy so they can live fully. Learn more about Fit for Life, our 6 Week New Member Program at www.getfitchilliwack.com or call us at 604-392-0892.