The benefits of regular core work are clear. Strong muscles in your middle support better breathing and improve the quality of your movements from head-to-toe. But, all core can be a bore if you find every workout is an endless array of floor-based sit-ups, back-lifts, and crunches. Can you get it done without rolling around on the ground during your workout? Abs…olutely.
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Remember your core includes all the muscles above your knees and below your chest: abdominals, back muscles, hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. There are multitudes of exercises you can do to target this area. Add in all the fitness toys available out there and your options are endless.
5 Ways to Work Your Core (and More) Without Lying on the Floor
A deadlift involves squatting down to retrieve a heavy weight off the ground. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees while pressing through your heels. Contract your glutes and stabilize your back by bracing your abdominal muscles. As you rise, keep your arms in front of you so the weight taps your thighs when you are upright.
2) Overhead Plate Walk.
All you have to do here is grab a heavy plate or weight and lift it over your head with your arms extended. Then, walk with the weight. Your abdominal muscles, including your obliques, have to coordinate with your back muscles, like the erector spinae, to maintain stability. In addition, your shoulders have to hold strong and steady.
3) Med Ball Wood Chop.
Your obliques and quads will chime in during woodchops. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab a medicine ball with both hands. Bring the ball over your right shoulder with your arms mostly straight. In a sweeping motion, take it down diagonally in front of your body to the outside of your left hip as you bend your knees in a squat.
4) Lunge with Torso Rotation.
Work your legs, abs and back with walking lunges with a twist. Step right foot forward so you are in a staggered stance. Keep your back heel lifted and bend both knees so the front knee flexes to a 90-degree angle. As you are dropping down, twist your torso toward the right. Come back to center when you stand up. Then, step forward left, lunge and twist toward the left.
5) Kettlebell Teapots.
Hold a kettlebell in your right hand. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart with the kettlebell resting next to your right thigh. Take your left hand behind your head. Your kettlebell arm is the “spout.” Your left elbow in the “handle.” Contract your right oblique and do a side bend to the right while keeping your shoulders in the same plane as your hips as you bend. Repeat on the other side.