Most people work their core from the floor performing crunches, sit-ups, planks and other variations. The core is extremely important because it’s the foundation for all your movements.

When your core is strong that strength radiates out to your extremities allowing you to perform activities of daily living better and enjoy enhanced sports performance.

If you think about it though, most activities that require a strong core are from a standing upright position. That’s why it’s extremely important to perform some of your core conditioning movements from a standing position.

Here are a few exercises to get you started that require only your body weight and something to hold like a hand weight, water bottle, jug or soup can.

Chop Low/High

Start by standing tall, good posture and abdominals engaged. In a controlled fashion, swing your weight downwards to the side of your body as you pivot to that side. Then swing the weight upwards reaching high in a diagonal pattern as you pivot your body in that direction. Perform 8-15 reps in one direction and repeat the other way.

Torso Rotation

Start by standing tall, good posture and abdominals engaged. Hold the weight in front of your body with your elbows bent and locked at your side. In a controlled fashion, rotate your torso as you twist the weight side to side. Keep the rotation tight and compact. Control the rotation movement side to side using your abdominal muscles. Perform 8-15 reps each way.

Stir The Pot

Start by standing tall, good posture and abdominals engaged. Hold the weight in front of your body with your elbows bent at your side. Now slowly move the weight in a big circle as if you are stirring a large pot. Keep your shoulders back and maintain a strong core. Perform 8-15 circles each way.

One Leg Deadlift

Start by standing tall on one leg, good posture and abdominals engaged. Slowly lower the weight towards the ground keeping your back and both legs extended. Try to stretch the legs away from each other. Go as low as you feel comfortable. Complete 8-15 each leg. 

Try to work your core 2-3 times per week for optimal health and functioning. 

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

Scroll to top