You are hard pressed for time and the thought of rolling out the mat and doing a few crunches or changing into something comfortable to do other core workouts turn you off. Fret not! There are a number of standing exercises that you can do easily when a situation like this comes up. Vesna P. Jacob, holistic fitness guru, Pilates expert and author, says “We usually think about crunches, planks when talking about strengthening abdominal muscles. But there is so much to the functional aspect of these muscles that we ignore. Our core muscles are far more involved in our movement than we think. There are loads of exercises we can go against gravity while standing up or kneeling to help us get strong and great looking abs. Balancing exercises also challenge and use our core muscles, the key here is to engage the core rather than transfer the weight to one side.”
She suggests five exercises that you can do for a flat stomach and a strong core. “All you need is an elastic band and a hook on the wall to tie it up to for these exercises. Do each exercise 10 -15 times and you can repeat the set 2-5 times depending on your fitness level,” adds Vesna.
Kneel with your back to the wall, you can decide how far away you want to be from the wall depending on your strength. The stronger you are, the further you can be from the wall. Grab the elastic band with both hands with yours arms towards the ceiling. As you exhale, pull the hands forward as your bend over, engage the core and try to keep your arms as straight as possible, inhale as you come back to the starting positions.
Stand with your back to the ball, arch your back with hands above the head, move the right foot back so that the left knee is slightly bent, and the right leg is straight. As you exhale bring the right knee up and pull your hands forward to stand upright and once you have done one set, repeat on other side.
This next exercise is great for obliques, stand sideways with the band in both hands arms extended in front as chest level. Exhale and initiate the movement from the hips and not the shoulders to the side, come to the starting position as you inhale. One way of ensuring that you don’t initiate from the shoulders is to keep your eyes on the hands.
This exercise may look a bit intimidating, but it is great fun to do and works very well on both the core and your glutes. Balance on your right leg while holding the band in left hand, try to get your upper body as parallel to the ground as possible. Exhale and come up, and as you inhale go back to the starting position. Repeat on both sides.
Push-ups and mountain climbers are great for the core and they are equally effective standing up again the wall. Place your hands shoulder width apart against the wall with your feet as far away as your strength allows, bend the elbows and great little closer the wall, engage the core and bring one knee up to the chest, repeat with the other leg.
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