Finding fun core exercises and trying out new routines that are accessible to everyone is something that I love to do. Not too long ago I wrote about an exercise that single handedly transformed my core (it’s easier than you think) and recently I shared what happened when I did deadbugs for months.
There’s good reason as to why I spend so much time on my core. It’s the group of muscles deep within the abdominals and back that stabilise our spine and trunk of the body. It’s what helps us move, keeps us stable and the stronger your core is, the more you reduce the likelihood of experiencing lower back pain (something I've struggled with previously).
If you hate planks and crunches, then standing workouts are a great alternative, and, recently, I came across this speedy five-move standing core workout and was actually shocked at how effective it was, especially for my obliques. It took me less than 10 minutes and didn’t require any home gym equipment. In fact, all the exercises were completed using a wall.
In this workout video by certified personal trainer Dana Stilley (Faith Fit Home on Instagram) I had five exercises and I had to do each one for 45 seconds, then I'd get to rest for 15 seconds. I'll be honest, at first I was slightly sceptical about it as some of the moves are a little alternative and definitely not ones I'd heard of, or seen anyone do at the gym.
First up were 'star hugs', something I'd never heard of (if you haven't either, just watch the video above for a quick demo). These basically require you to lean one hand against the wall (so you create a little arch) and then you reach your other arm through that arch, whilst balancing on one foot. 'Easy' I initially thought and, to be honest, the move is. However, doing this for 45 seconds seriously works your obliques, but it also burns the inner thigh of the leg that's lifted and your glutes.
I loved the second exercise – wall sits with a knee tap. Wall sits in general are great for your core as you have to squeeze your stomach to help you remain stable (as well as your quads, glutes and calves). Lifting the leg slightly to tap the knee, almost felt like I was doing a seated crunch. It's best to do this exercise slow and controlled, otherwise you risk your lower back coming away from the wall. You want to focus on digging your remaining foot into the floor whilst lifting the other.
If you're someone who hates mountain climbers, then you need to try these wall mountain climbers. I thought this was such an amazing alternative, because you're literally performing the exact same movement, but instead of your hands on the floor they're placed on a wall – genius! And I can confirm they work just as well too, as my torso felt very tight afterwards. The fourth exercise surprised me too, single leg hold with punches – where you place one foot against the wall and then punch side to side. I didn't think this would do anything for my torso, but punching side to side engaged my obliques and doing this on one leg really challenges your stability.
The final move was a classic wall leaning side crunch. I definitely found this engaged my core more than doing a floor side crunch, as your range of motion is far greater, therefore challenging your stability more. However, I found it easier to do in general than a floor one, as leaning against the wall to do it does help – so a great one for beginners!
All in all, I thought this is an excellent core workout for beginners who aren't keen on floor-based core exercises and want a simple routine to do at home. Around 35 seconds into the workout I was already starring down at my timer to see how much longer I had left as, if you do the exercises slowly and controlled, you really do feel the your abdominal area aching. However, I do think more experienced fitness enthusiasts will be better of with something a little more challenging, like this three-move standing ab workout.