If you hate doing endless crunches in order to strengthen your core and tone your midsection, you're not alone, according to Jeffrey Beck, exercise specialist with the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray. Thankfully, Beck says, you can do both of those things while standing.He recommends that you complete the following routine a few times per week in order to not only tone and strengthen your core, but also work other muscles in your upper body.
1) Overhead Circles With A Ball Or Weight: Stand with your feet hip-width apart with a slight bend in your knees. Keeping your spine in neutral, lift a ball or small weight overhead. Begin to circle the ball/weight to the right, in the largest circles you can make, while maintaining a still and stable torso. Circle eight times to the right; then repeat, circling eight times to the left. Do three sets.
2) Leaning Chair Twist: Hold onto the back of a chair with both hands and inch your feet away from it until your upper body is parallel to the floor, arms outstretched. Keeping your core engaged, raise your right hand toward the ceiling while rotating your torso. Return to starting position and repeat on the left side. Complete three sets of ten reps per side.
3) Stomach Vacuum: This exercise works the transverse abdominals, which is a significant part of the core and somewhat hard to train. From a standing position, inhale deeply and hold that breath for five seconds while sucking your belly button in toward your spinal column as much as you can. Release and repeat five times. This is exercise is also helpful with aiding in digestion. Complete three sets of five reps.