Standing core exercise moves are a great way to target, well, almost everything! These fast, effective options are creative and fun, and your attendees won’t even have to get down to the floor to do them. Another bonus: All your participants need is one light dumbbell each.

Lunge and Reach

Standing core exercise move: lunge and reach

This rotational move not only targets the major muscles of the core but is also a great way to teach triple extension (hip and knee extension and ankle plantar flexion).

  • Hold light dumbbell in both hands.
  • Sink into lunge, dropping left knee to hover just above ground as you extend arms, holding dumbbell just in front of right knee.
  • Hinge slightly at hips, pushing glutes back without rounding over. Keep front heel firmly planted.
  • As you stand, rotate to face opposite direction and pull dumbbell toward chest.
  • Pivot, pressing dumbbell out and overhead. As you move, pivot R leg, too, so hip, knee and ankle all extend as you reach overhead.
  • Lower back down, bringing weight to chest and then down in front of R knee as you pivot and sink again into deep lunge.
  • Perform 10 reps, then change sides and repeat.

See also: Core Training for Kids

Squat With Chest Press

This standing core exercise improves core stability while strengthening shoulders, glutes, quads and adductors.

Standing core exercise: squat with chest press

  • Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbell in both hands at chest. Cue: “Imagine your feet are tripods, with two points in the ball of your foot and one in the heel. Drive both feet into the ground. Think ‘wide chest’ as you draw your shoulder blades slightly down toward your back pockets.”
  • Squat, pushing hips back; keep chest up and quads parallel to ground.
  • While holding squat, press weight straight out in front of chest with arms fully extended. Do not shrug shoulders or round forward.
  • Stay low and balanced in squat as you slowly extend weight and bring it back in. While holding dumbbell at chest, stand up, squeezing glutes at top of movement.
  • Perform 10 reps.

Note: Tell participants not to rush this move. Cue them to focus on bracing the abs as if being punched in the gut as they press the weight.

See also: Resist the Twist: Core Stabilization Postures

Dumbbell Cross-Body Chops

Standing core exercise: dumbbell cross body chop

This move builds strong glutes, abs and obliques and is a wonderful way to teach participants how to accelerate and decelerate rotation.

  • Stand tall, feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbell vertically in both hands just outside R hip, arms slightly bent. Turn L toe slightly out.
  • Push hips back R to load glutes. Retain good posture and do not round over.
  • From hinge, quickly drive hips forward to swing dumbbell up and across body, just over L shoulder, engaging glutes to power the swing. Cue participants to feel abs and obliques decelerate weight as it reaches shoulder. R heel may come up during swing.
  • Squeeze glutes at top of move and quickly lower weight back down and across. Before next repetition, hinge slightly to load glutes (without rounding forward).
  • Perform 10 reps, then change sides and repeat.