Hitting the floor is never high on our to-do lists. So, when we heard we could tone our tummies without ever having to hit the (questionably clean) mats, we were sold! Whether you’re looking to switch up your core conditioning or are recovering from an injury that makes getting on the floor difficult, try one of these standing abdominal exercises from Elite Personal Trainer Kevin Bellinger of Crunch in New York City. Specialising, in weight, endurance, military, plyometric, and core and stability training, he knows what he’s talking about (and we’re listening!).
Standing Side Crunches
Start standing on your right leg (keep your right knee soft and tighten your quadricep and butt), with your left leg slightly bent in front of you and your left arm extended towards the ceiling. Keep your right hand on your hip to help you stay balanced. Lift your left knee up and out towards your armpit as you pull your elbow down to meet your knee. This will look almost like a standing reptile push-up. The key is to stay balanced on your right leg throughout the set. Try to do 20 on each side.
Prefer yoga? Try these yoga for abs moves!
Standing Knee Crunches
Starting in the same position as with the standing side crunches, but with both hands extended overhead, pitch your body slightly forward as you lift your left knee up towards your chest (stright in front of you). Simultaneously drive your elbows down too. Make sure to keep your chest up, back straight and core engaged to protect your back. The goal is to pull your knee up as high as possible while keeping your lower back perfectly straight.
For this next exercise, picture yourself in a canoe. Stand with your feet a bit more than shoulder-width apart, with your knees slightly bent and your toes pointed slightly out. Clasp your hands in front of your chest as if you were holding a paddle. Keeping your hips still (engage your stomach muscles!), bring your hands down to your right hip and then behind you (twisting from your abs, not your hips) in a paddling motion. Bring your hands back up before repeating on the left side. Do 10 alternating reps on each side. If it’s too easy, hold a 2- to 5-pound dumbbell in each hand. Remember, to keep your core activated throughout whole movement, really focusing on squeezing your abs!