If exercise isn’t part of your morning routine, perhaps it should be. Why? Numerous studies have found there are some pretty significant benefits derived from morning exercise. They range from more energy and a better mood to increased calorie burn and a boost in brainpower. As someone who’s spent many years as a personal trainer, I also know that if you can knock out your workout early in the day, there’s a better chance that it won’t get derailed when other things come up that need your attention. Want to give it a try? Here are five morning exercises to jumpstart your day. Even better, you can do these anywhere!
If you’re having trouble finding an incentive to get started, check out: 5 Tips to Help Stay Motivated to Workout
You can’t go wrong with the standard squat, which you can do before work at home, at the gym, or even in your office. Start by standing with your feet a little more than hip-width apart, with your hips over your knees and your knees in line with your ankles. Keeping your chest lifted and arms in front of you, lower your body as if you’re about to sit down in a chair until you reach a 90-degree angle. Then return to a standing position and repeat. Try to do three to five sets of 15 squats each morning.
Plank with Knee Tap
The plank is perhaps one of the best exercises of all time. It works pretty much every part of your body and is definitely an exercise that will jumpstart your day. While the standard plank is awesome, if you add in a knee tap, it takes it a step further. To do this workout at the start of your day, get into a plank position, with your hands under your shoulders and your shoulders right in line with your hips. Without shifting your weight to either side, pull your left knee to your chest while lifting your right hand to tap your left knee. Then pull your right knee to your chest while lifting your left hand to tap your right knee. Aim for three sets of 12 of these planks, working your way up to a total of five sets if possible.
The Inchworm Pushup is another exercise that’s a twist on a classic. With this workout, you start out standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Then, bend at the hips until you can touch the floor with your hands. Walk your hands out in front of you on the ground until you’re in a high plank position. Bend your elbows and slowly lower your chest to the ground, and then push back up. Slowly walk your hands back toward your feet and stand up to complete this morning exercise. Do three sets of 12 of these Inchworm Planks.
If some of these morning exercises seem too challenging due to discomfort in your back, read: 5 Simple Exercises You Can Do If You Have Back Pain
Double Leg Lift
You might have done leg lifts in the past, but have you lifted both legs at the same time? It’s a little more of a challenge. Start this exercise by lying face up, with your legs extended straight up to the sky so your body is at a 90-degree angle. Engage your core and concentrate on keeping your lower back pressed against the floor as you slowly lower your legs, keeping them as straight as possible the whole way. Note that the lower you can get your legs without them touching the floor, the more challenging the exercise will be. Lift your legs back up to the starting position, making sure not to let your lower back come up off the floor. Do three sets of 15 of these Double Leg Lifts as part of your morning exercise, working up to five sets of 15.
For your last morning exercise, you can keep it simple. The lunge is a well-known, effective way to work the legs. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart with your hands on your hips. Take a big step forward with your left leg, ensuring your knee does not go past your toes. Drop your right knee almost to the floor. Depending on how much space you have for your morning exercises, you can just keep moving forward so you’re lunging all over the room, or you can simply stand in place, alternating which leg goes forward. Either way, this is one of the best morning exercises to jumpstart your day.
The great thing about these morning exercises is that you can do them anywhere, whether you’re in your home, at the office, or even on the road. And no matter what order you do these exercises in, be sure to fuel your body after your workout with a protein shake or smoothie. And every protein/smoothie drink is better when you add FitFormula’s Cal-EZ Calcium+Vitamin D powder to it, ensuring strong bones and muscles stay in peak shape.
You can also feed your muscles with these high-protein options: 10 Muscle-Building Post-Workout Breakfasts