The One Simple Standing Exercise You Need For Cardio & Core Work
Want to strengthen your core but don't want to break your workout momentum by lying down on your mat? We've got just the move for you: enter, the lunge with upper body twists. Here's how to do it, as demonstrated by fitness instructors Rachel Warren and Caitlin Riley, plus tips, modifications, and the benefits.
How to do lunge + upper-body twist:
- Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Extend your arms straight out to the sides.
- Bend your left leg, engaging your core to bring your knee toward your chest.
- At the same time, twist your right arm across your body, to the left side.
- Bring your arms back to start as you bring your left foot down behind you, into a high lunge.
- Repeat for 10 reps or roughly 30 seconds before switching to the opposite side.
- Feel free to repeat this sequence as much as you like.
Tips & modifications:
- Maintain good posture throughout this exercise to help with balance.
- Make sure you're properly engaging your core to get the benefit from this exercise.
- To add an extra challenge, you can incorporate wrist or ankle weights.
- Don't compromise form for speed. In fact, you can take this as slow as you like to ensure you're properly engaging your muscles.
- As you're twisting with your right arm, keep the left arm active and extended out next to you (and vice versa on the opposite side).
What are the benefits?
Lunges with upper-body twists are great for strengthening different parts of the body, from the glutes and thighs, and of course, your core. In particular, this move will challenge your obliques, thanks to that gentle twisting motion. And thanks to the relatively quick speed, it can be a great cardio burst, too.
What's more, this exercise can challenge your balance and coordination and help improve posture.
The bottom line is, if you're looking to switch up your core routine—and try an abs move with a cardio component—lunges with upper-body twists are a great place to start.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, as well as a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.