Your must do morning workout. We’ve all been there, lying in bed in the morning trying to motivate ourselves to get up and go to the gym. Then we start thinking about everything we have to do that day and then we get a little drowsy and pretty soon, it’s time to get up for real and the morning workout is a distant memory. That’s okay, however, because we comfort ourselves with the fact that we’ll just go to the gym later, but then life gets in the way again and there’s another day without a workout. Of course, this happens to everyone sometimes and that’s okay, no one is perfect. The problems start when days like this become more numerous than the workout days and pretty soon, your sneakers are gathering dust and the gym is a distant memory and you start feeling bad about yourself and the downward slide begins. So here’s what I’m proposing. What if you never actually not work out? What if you fit in, at the very least, 20-30 minutes of working out every single day. No stressful workouts that have you running to a gym, just something you can roll out of bed and do.
YOUR MUST DO MORNING WORKOUT
This workout will take just a few minutes out of your day and is meant to be done first thing in the morning. If that means you need to get to bed 20 minutes earlier then so be it.
Push ups. Holding your stomach muscles engaged, shoulders away from your ears make sure that you are breathing as you lower your body to the floor. Do as many push ups as you can in a fully lengthened position and as soon as you can’t do anymore lower your knees to the floor and do a few more.
Tricep dips. This is a classic move. Standing with your back to a chair or the back of your couch (about a foot behind you) place your hands shoulder width apart, fingers pointing forward. Keep a slight bend to your elbows and slowly lower your body to the floor and press back to your start position. Aim for 2 sets of 20 dips. To increase the difficulty, straighten your legs or even lift one off the ground. Just make sure that you are using a stable surface.
Side lying leg circles. Lying on your side but keeping your stomach muscles engaged so that you are not collapsing into the floor, lift your leg about 12 inches into the air and without moving your torso, do small circles. Do 10 circles clockwise and 10 circles anti-clockwise on each leg. If this is easy, take it up a notch. Start by kneeling on your right knee with your right hand on the floor beneath your shoulder. Lift your left leg up so that it is in line with your body and do your circles in the air, 10 on each leg.
Sit ups. There are many variations for these and if you want to read up on the 5 best abdominal workouts you can do that here but for the purpose of this workout, we are going to do a classic oblique exercise. Lying on your back with your feet hip distance flat on the floor or with your knees bent and your feet 90 degrees off the floor, start by placing your hands behind your head. Slowly curl your torso off the floor and rotate it to one side, then the other and then return back to the floor. Do this set 30 times.
Squats. Give those glutes a burn a with a classic squat (you can also to this with your back against the wall). Standing with your feet flat on the floor, toes pointed forward and a little bit wider than hip width apart, bend your knees without collapsing your body or lifting your heels off the floor. Go as low as you can and repeat 15x. Now turn your toes slightly out and repeat another 15x.
Plank. You should be feeling pretty good and awake by now, so let’s finish this off with a plank. It’s simple, easy and you are working your whole body. Work your way up to 1 minute.
Try not to take too many breaks during this workout. You aren’t using weights, so you can do one set after another. If you do need to stop for a few seconds then here are some great must do morning stretches you can perform. I think that the problems start and working out becomes “hard” when we set unrealistic goals for ourselves. If we take a few minutes each day to make some small changes then they slowly become a part of our every day and we don’t even think about it. Besides, everyone needs a little bit of me time and these exercises will help you get ready for your day and you’ll find yourself more energized and rearing to go.
Do you like to sneak in a few exercises first thing in the morning?
Images courtesy of Dollar Photo Club