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5 Standing Exercises Women Should Do Daily To Stay Fit, Firm & Toned

Cinch your waistline with these expert-recommended core exercises.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Whether you want to shrink your waistline or keep your fit body in tip-top shape, standing exercises are a fantastic way to tighten and firm your body. However, staying healthy isn't just about looking toned and feeling good in your skin. According to the National Institute on Aging, regular exercise boosts emotional and mental health, improves sleep quality, supports healthy weight management, and increases energy. That's why we chatted with Nadia Murdock, CPT, a certified fitness instructor at Garage Gym Reviews, who dishes out five stellar standing exercises for women to stay fit, firm, and tight. These moves will boost your health and help you sculpt the body you want.

Murdock points out the benefits of standing exercises, telling us, "If you want to diversify your core exercises, try adding standing exercises for your abs. This style of workout helps to strengthen the deep core muscles and also targets oblique muscles."

We understand that life can get hectic, and finding time to exercise can be a struggle. But fortunately, these exercises are designed to fit into your busy schedule seamlessly. You can do them anywhere, any time, and they require minimal equipment. Read on for a detailed breakdown of each move, and when you're finished, check out these 22 Simple Exercises That Reveal How in Shape You Are in Your 40s.

Cross-Body Bicycles

Standing exercises like cross-body bicycles engage your obliques (side abs) and enhance your balance.

"Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and your hands behind your head. Keep your lower abdominal muscles pulled in and tight, and begin to lift one knee as the right shoulder rotates toward that knee. Lower your leg back to the starting position, and repeat on the other side. Do this for three rounds of 30 seconds," says Murdock.

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Standing Oblique Crunches

Standing oblique crunches will elevate your core stability, helping to sculpt and tighten your waistline.

"Standing helps you enable your core and legs simultaneously, activating the entire body," explains Murdock. "Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lift your right arm over your head. At the same time, you'll want to bring your right knee up to meet your right elbow (as close as possible). This action engages your oblique muscles. Bring them to touch and release. Repeat this movement on the same side for about 15 reps, then repeat it on the other. Perform three sets."

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Dumbbell Halos

Dumbbell halos are fantastic for tightening your core while building shoulder strength.

"Not only is this move good for your core, but it's also ideal for the upper back and shoulders," says Murdock. "Begin with your feet hip-width apart, and hold a dumbbell at a desirable weight. Make sure to hold the dumbbell end to end at the right hip. Keep a soft bend in your knees. Slowly bring the dumbbell up to your opposite shoulder, and then halo it around the back of your head. The dumbbell should end down at your left hip." Aim for three sets of 15 rotations.

Reverse Twist Lunges

illustration of reverse lunge twist

Another killer standing ab exercise, reverse twist lunges engage your quads, glutes, and obliques, creating a powerhouse move for your lower body.

"This move's twisting action allows the center of the body to get a little extra attention by firing up the obliques and challenging your core stability. Start with your feet hip-width apart. Hold one dumbbell in your hand from end to end. Extend your arms straight out in front of you. Slowly step back into a reverse lunge with your right leg keeping your arms slightly bent. Begin to twist your torso to the left over your left thigh. Ensure your front knee does not go over your toes; it should be at a 90-degree angle. Go back to your starting position, and repeat on the other side. Alternate this movement for three sets of 12 reps," says Murdock.

Standing Pelvic Tilts

Stay fit, firm, and tight with this lower ab exercise that boosts pelvic stability.

"This exercise is excellent for building deep core strength and supporting your lower back," states Murdock. "For this move, you'll need a wall to stand against to master the movement. While leaning against the wall, put a soft bend on your knees. As you breathe out, tilt your pelvis forward, moving away from the wall. As you breathe in, your back will return to the wall pressing gently against it. Keep your abdominal muscles engaged to maintain proper form. Slowly release, and repeat for three sets of 10 to 12 reps."

Adam Meyer
Adam is a health writer, certified holistic nutritionist, and 100% plant-based athlete. Read more about Adam
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