The Beginner’s Guide for 7 Standing Core Exercises: Step-by-step instructions included

These standing core exercises are a great alternative to crunches or planks. Standing core exercises work the entire core without getting on your knees.

Understandably, you don’t want to perform crunches or planks or get on the gym floor (ew) to exercise your abs. You don’t need to. It would help if you considered working your core standing up.

You may find it more effective because the core muscles you have are not just those you can see in the mirror. The muscles are all over your body, from your six-pack abs to your obliques that hug your sides and spine to your stabilizing and supporting forces.

What are the best core exercises you can do while standing? Continue reading to learn more.

How do you build a routine to suit your needs?

Standing core exercises can be used to help you achieve your goals.


  1. Begin by gently stretching your core muscles.
  1. Integrate foundational strength-training moves that functionally recruit your core.
  1. You can build on your strength and define your muscles by challenging yourself to more advanced exercises.

You can incorporate core work into your routine at least twice a week. Many strength-training exercises you already perform, such as deadlifts, target your core.

What are the benefits of standing abs exercises?

Standing and core workout on the mat work your core muscles. The difference is the way each movement engages your core muscles. Standing moves are a great way to engage the core. Williams explains that when you exercise while standing,

your body must stabilize to keep you in the right position and resist gravity. If the exercise includes a balance element, such as when you do single-leg deadlifts, your core will also need to be engaged to prevent you from falling. You need to use your heart when you are holding only one weight.

Your body will naturally want to rotate towards the side that has the weight. These unilateral strength-training moves may not seem like “abs exercises,” but their unilateral nature puts your core through its paces.

What are the benefits of standing core exercises for your body?

Williams recommends doing core standing exercises twice to three times per week. Williams suggests sprinkling two or three core exercises into your regular strength training routine. He recommends three sets of 8 to 15 repetitions for each activity.

Williams says that a great way to include standing core exercises into your strength routine is by using them as part of a circuit following a major lift.

After a back squat, do woodchoppers to help you recover. You will also fire up your core muscles, and you can use them in your next major lift.

Williams says that you can increase the intensity of an exercise once it becomes easy so that your body is constantly challenged.

Standing Core Exercises

Are you ready to try out standing core exercises? There are nine awesome exercises you can add to your routine.

Remember: If you suffer from back pain, it’s best to avoid any moves that require a lot of spinal flexion. In this case, the moves 7, 8, and 9 could worsen your condition.

Standing Core Exercises

1. Dumbbell Windmill

  • With your feet about hip-width apart, turn both feet to the left at a 45-degree angle. Holding a dumbbell with your left hand, extend your left arm straight up (don’t bend the elbow) until it almost touches your ear.
  • Pull your left shoulder away and contract your lats to keep the dumbbell raised. Your right arm should rest straight on your side. This is your starting position.
  • Keep your left arm straight overhead, and keep your eyes on the left hand. Push your left hip slightly out to one side. Your left leg will remain straight while your right knee is slightly bent.
  • As you rotate your upper body inward, hinge forward at your hips and lower your right arm to the floor. Your left hand should remain pointing upward.
  • As your right hand touches the floor, take a few seconds to pause before slowly rising. Keep your left hand straight above you as you do this.
  • This is one rep. Repeat this exercise on the other side.

2. Stretch

Begin by getting your body ready for movement with some dynamic stretching. Hold these movements for 20-30 seconds to activate your core.

Side Reach

Stretch out your sides and begin to awaken your core by side reaching.

How to:

  • Standing with your arms at your side, spread your feet wide and shoulder width apart.
  • As you stretch your right side, inhale and raise your right arm to your left.
  • Return to the center after exhaling.
  • Repeat the process on the opposite side.

3. Wide second-side crunch

How it’s done:

Stand apart from your hips and hold a dumbbell in both hands. Turn your toes inwards and lower yourself into a Wide Squat.

You can also tap your elbow on your thigh by bending your right arm into a goalpost position (elbows at 90 degrees).

Alternate between 10 reps on the right and ten on the left. Do 20 reps on each side.

4. Woodchop

How to:

Stand slightly wider than hip-width apart, and hold dumbbells or medicine balls in both hands at chest level. Allowing your knees and feet to pivot, lower the weight on the outside of the right foot.

Bring the weight up and across your torso in a reverse chop motion. Your feet should pivot the same way as the weight.

Then, switch sides and do ten reps.

Pro Tip: Be sure to engage your core consciously. To create a greater challenge, increase your speed.

Standing Core Exercises

5. Standing side bends with dumbbells

How to:

  • Stand hip-width apart. You can hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in your hand.
  • Place your free arm around your waist.
  • Bend your back toward the side where you are having the weights.
  • Use your core muscles to bring your torso upright.

Then alternate sides for 1 minute. Alternate sides for one minute.

Tip: Be careful not to stick your butt when you bend.

6. Thigh-Supported Single Arm Row

  • Step forward with your left leg about two feet and rest your hand on the left quad. This is your starting position.
  • It would help if you bent your left leg, keeping your shoulders straight. Your hip mobility and hamstring range of motion determine how far you can flex. Keep your neck comfortable by gazing at the ground just a few inches ahead of your feet.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body and squeeze your shoulder blades for two seconds.
  • Slowly lower your weight by extending both arms towards the floor. This is one rep. Repeat for the set number of agents.

7. Curtsy Leg Lift to Side Leg Lift

  • Standing with your feet hip-width apart, your core engaged, hands raised above your ears (palms facing forward), elbows bent or clasped together in front of your chest. This is your starting position.
  • Step your right leg diagonally behind your other leg, and bend both knees to create a curtsy.
  • Stand up by pushing through your left heel. Then, drive your right leg outward and upward toward your elbow. Balance for a few seconds.
  • As you drop immediately into the next rep, lower your right leg and bring it back behind your left.
  • After you have completed all agents on one side, move to the opposite side.

8. Overhead Reach Knee Tuck

  • Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart.
  • As you reach up, spread your arms shoulder-width apart so your elbows are at your ears.
  • Lift your right leg as high as possible without rounding your back.
  • Switch to the other leg. Continue alternate marches for another 60 seconds.
  • Repeat the 20-second rest for another minute.
Standing Core Exercises

9. Diagonal Chops

  • Reach both hands toward the outside edge of your right shoe by bending your knees in a squat. Keep your knees behind your toes and your weight on your heels.
  • As you stand up, release the squat and slowly move your arms overhead to the corner on the left of the room. (Your arms should “chop” air diagonally before your chest). As you rotate your core, keep your hips squared towards the front.
  • Repeat 15 to 20 more times. Repeat the process on the other side.


Standing core exercises will help you develop strength, balance, and stability, all important healthy lifestyle components. Our guide is designed to help you begin the journey of a stronger core.

Always start with the basics and progress slowly as you get used to them. We are confident that you will achieve your goals in no time with patience and dedication!

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