When most people think about core or abdominal exercises, they think of sit-ups and planks. Though these exercises can be effective, can we do it better? Many of the most popular core exercises are performed on the floor. The issue is that most of the sports we play occur standing up. With this in mind, adding core exercises in a standing position, either in a squat, split squat, or single-leg position can improve the benefit of core stability exercises. The result of standing core exercises is a more stable athlete that can hold off an opponent, provide a better base for movement and reduce injuries. 

There are an infinite amount of core exercises that can be performed in a standing position and be extremely effective. One simple exercise that needs little equipment is the Palloff Press. It is a great anti-rotational exercise that works the abdominals, low back, and hip musculature and helps create a more stable athlete. Start with a resistance band attached to a fixed point. Facing ninety degrees from the band, start in a squatted or athletic position with the band in both hands and pull your body sideways or laterally. With the hands at your chest, press the arms out, extending the elbows all the way. The resistance of the band will pull back towards the fixed point. The objective is to resist this force. The resistance does not have to be too high. The biggest focus is to stay nice and stable as the arms extend directly in front of you. To add difficulty, change from a squatted position to a split squat position.

Chris Phillips is a certified Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Specialist with over 25 years of experience working with amateur, professional and Olympic athletes. Chris is the owner of Compete Sports Performance and Rehab with locations in Lake Forest, Yorba Linda, and Westminster. He can be reached through www.competeperformance.com.