You have heard me stress the importance of CORE strength. Your CORE powers everything you do throughout the day-from walking to lifting groceries to playing basketball. A strong CORE stabilizes your pelvis and your spine, helping you maintain good posture. A strong CORE will require less work of the muscles and joints in your extremities. Your CORE is all the muscles in the middle of your body-from your shoulders down to your glutes. I recommend at least 5 minutes of CORE work each day to maintain and build strength.

Try these 8 standing CORE exercises for a change of pace or when you can’t get down on the ground. For reference, most exercises start in the athletic position with feet hip distance apart, slight bend in knees, and upright posture.

Start with 1 set of 8 reps on each side, working up to 3 sets of 12 reps, you can add weight to most exercises for more challenge

1. Good mornings-hands behind your head, lower down until back is parallel to the floor, raise back up, using the muscles on your backside to lift you back to standing

2. March and touch- goalpost arms, bring left knee to right elbow, alternate sides

3. Stir the pot- extend your arms out in front of you, hands clasped or holding a light weight, pretend stir a large pot out in front of you, alternate directions

4. Sumo side crunch-with legs in a wide position, toes pointed out, goalpost arms, lower right elbow to right knee, alternate sides

5. Chops-clasped hands, raise hands forcefully up to the right, come onto left toes, bring hands back down forcefully to left hip, repeat on same side, use your core to resist the force

6. Single leg lift-balance on left leg, lift right leg out to the side, lean against a wall if balance is a challenge

7. Step back to crunch-with arms extended, step back, bring knee and arms together

8. Knee to elbow push-balance on left leg, bring right leg up, push left arm into right knee, right knee into left arm hold for 8 seconds

Work your CORE muscles everyday to power all your movement, prevent injuries, maintain a healthy posture and get strong! Try this standing routine for a new challenge.

by Christy Coughlin

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