7 Standing Exercises for Core Strength

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

Core strength is important for improving posture, avoiding injuries, and maintaining balance. These exercises will help you build strength—without getting on the floor.

Follow SilverSneakers Trainer Andi as she demonstrates a series of standing exercises designed to strengthen core muscles.

Exercise 1: Twist

Stand with your feet hip distance apart and knees slightly bent. Keep your feet planted as you twist your torso to the right side and then the left.

Exercise 2: Crunch

No getting on the floor for this crunch! Stand tall with feet planted firmly to the ground. Let your arms rest at the sides of your body, make gentle fists, then bend your elbows to align your fists with your shoulders, if comfortable. Then, engage your core muscles as you gently curl your torso forward then return to standing. This is a standing crunch.

Exercise 3: Core Rotation

Maintain the same form as used for your crunch for this core rotation move. With your feet hip distance apart and elbows still bent, lean forward from your core, then move your torso to one side and continue rotating until you reach the other side of your body, then straighten your spine to stand tall. Continue this rotation, alternating sides, for as many times as you like.

Exercise 4: Side Bend

Stand tall with your feet apart at a comfortable distance. Let your right arm rest at your side and bend your left elbow to create a gentle fist in front of your left shoulder. Next, bend laterally toward the side of your extended arm, then return to standing tall. Repeat this side bend move on both sides of your body.

Exercise 5: Wood Chop

Stand tall and clasp your hands together in front of you. Then, bring your clasped hands up and to the right, near or above your shoulder. Next, swing your hands down and across your body to toward your left hip. You should feel like you’re chopping wood. Keep your core engaged and try to keep your hips from moving too much as you swing. Repeat on both sides of your body as many times as you feel comfortable.

Exercise 6: Knee Rotation

Clasp your hands together in front of your body with elbows bent. Bring your hands to the right side, twisting your torso along with them. Then, twist to the left side. As you rotate, raise your left knee. This move is great for your core and helps to build lower body strength. Alternate this move on both sides of the body.

Exercise 7: Figure-8 Row

Extend your arms out in front of you, then bend both elbows and rest one hand atop the other in front of your chest. Keep your hands together as you move your right elbow toward your right hip, next bring your elbow up toward your right shoulder, and then across your body toward your left hip, then up and across again. Your elbows will draw an imaginary figure-8 that moves across your body.

You don’t have to get on the floor to strengthen your midsection. Add these standing moves to your weekly exercise plan, and try this seated core workout to build strength in a chair. If you want to keep living life the way you want and doing the things you love, don’t ignore your core.

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