You don’t have to rise with the sun to fit in an effective a.m. workout. This few workouts makes it easy to become (and stay) a morning exerciser. Simply roll out of bed and into these moves to wake up your muscles and kick your body into gear.
Stretching Warm up your body with this gentle move before you really start to sweat.
How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides. Take a deep breath in and stretch your arms overhead, pressing palms together and lifting your chest as you look up to ceiling. Exhale and slowly fold forward, opening your arms out to your sides and then to the floor (bend knees as much as needed to press hands flat on the ground).
Slowly walk your hands out away from your feet, shifting weight forward, bringing shoulders over hands and lowering torso into full plank position. Brace your abs in tight and hold for 1 count.
Gently release your hips to floor and arch your lower back, lifting head and chest to the ceiling, taking a deep breath in as you stretch. Exhale, draw your abs in tight and use your abdominals to lift your hips back up into full plank position. Hold for 1 count and then slowly walk your hands back to your feet and roll up through your spine to return to standing. Repeat as many times in a row as you can for 1 minute.
Now that your body is warm, get ready to kick things up a notch with this pushup variation that works your chest, arms, abs, and legs.
How to do it: From a kneeling position, press your hips up and back behind you so that your body resembles an upside down “V.” Bend your knees and press your chest further back towards your thighs, stretching shoulders. Shift your weight forward, extend your legs, and lower hips, bending elbows into a full pushup (try to tap your chest to the ground if possible).
Press your hips back up and return to “V” position, keeping knees bent. Power back and forth between the pushup and press back position as many times as you can for 1 minute.
How to do it: Stand with feet just wider than hip width, hips stacked over knees, knees over ankles. Hinge at hips then send hips back and bend knees to lower body. Keep chest lifted and lower to at least 90 degrees. Lift arms out in front of you for balance if needed. Rise and repeat.
Double Leg Lift
How to do it: Lie face up on mat, legs extended up toward ceiling so body forms a 90-degree angle, arms by sides. Keeping core engaged and lower back pressed to mat, slowly lower legs down to mat as low as possible (the lower you go the harder it is). Don’t let lower back pop up off mat. Slowly lift legs back to starting position and repeat.