When you hear the phrase “exercise your core” what comes to mind? Is it laying on your back doing crunches? Or perhaps holding a plank for a long time? Or maybe doing a Pilates class? Or rolling around on one of those giant exercise balls that are actually used more by your kids than you?
Anyone who has ever done exercise routines has heard of the term core exercise. Hopefully, most of us have a good idea of why it is important. Today I am going to talk about a different approach to doing core exercises, one in which you never even have to lay on your back.
I first heard about this intentional concept at a fitness conference in 2019 when I attended a session by a fitness guru named Leslee Bender, and it just made so much sense to me. In short, she provided some great illustrations of how our bodies have evolved into this hunched posture thanks to all the time we spend looking at computers and phones. One of the terms for this is “tech neck.”
She showed photos of a person sitting at a computer with rounded forward shoulders, forward head, a slumped upper back (kyphosis) and we could assume a weak core and tight hips. Then she took that same photo and rotated it 90 degrees so that we could visualize this person on their back doing core work such as crunches.
Leslee’s question was “Why would we have someone lay on their back to do core work when that is the exact position we are trying to relieve them from?”
What a great point, right?
Since attending that conference, I have challenged myself to incorporate more standing core exercises into my classes and sessions with personal training clients. I also explain why these exercises are important and how they contribute to strengthening the core in a way that also enhances balance and posture.
Do I still have people do core exercises on their back? Of course I do! I love having a variety of options with a variety of different tools and techniques. There are just some things that I want to address that have to be done while lying on the back.
The great part about integrating more standing core exercises is that when they only require your body as equipment, they can literally be done anywhere! For example, you could do some of these exercises during virtual meetings. Turn the camera off for a while so that you can multi-task in an acceptable way. Your brain can still focus on a meeting while your body does some simple movements.
Here are three of my favorite standing core exercises.
Try these and notice how your deep core muscles must become activated in order to stabilize your body. So fun!
How to get more standing core support:
Get access to my 20 minute Crunchless Core Workout if you would like to learn some new ways to give your core an effective workout while at the same time honoring your need to reset your posture.
I incorporate this concept into pretty much all of my fitness classes that I teach. The Fit Mom Connection Virtual Exercise Class Membership could be just what you need to give your body some very effective workouts that won’t overstress your body. My approach is to encourage my students to do their best quality movements so that means my classes are shorter (30 minutes avg.) and not filled with excess repetitions. Exercise should be an experience that you enjoy and that feels like a gift you are giving your mind, body, and spirit. I would be honored if you’d considering joining this community.
As always, I thank you for taking time for self-care so that you can give your best to others.