The Ultimate Morning Workout to Kick-Start Your Day

A man performing the ultimate morning workout

A man performing the ultimate morning workout | iStock.com

It’s not always easy, but working out in the morning is one of the best things you can do. Morning workouts boost your energy levels and shock your metabolism into action allowing you to burn more calories the rest of the day. Plus, you’ll be less likely to skip your workout and may be more productive throughout the day. As you probably know by now, not all exercise routines are equal in difficulty or results. If you’re looking to build mass and burn fat you’ll need the ultimate morning workout, which will leave your muscles throbbing. This is a good place to start.

Warm up

man stretching

Man stretching | iStock.com

You may just want to dive into the meat of the exercise, but a low-intensity warm up can actually alter your performance, making you stronger. Perform one set of each of these warm-up exercises before starting your morning workout.

  • Kneeling rotation — Start on all fours so your back is flat and arms are straight. Put your right hand on the back of your head and twist down so you’re bringing your right elbow towards your left. Then, reverse the motion as you bring your right elbow toward the ceiling. Do eight rounds and then repeat on the other side.
  • Inner thigh mobilization — From the same kneeling position, straighten your right leg and move it to the side so it’s perpendicular to your core. Keep your right foot on the floor as you push your hips back as far as you can. Then, push your hips forward and past the starting position before returning to the middle. Do six to eight reps and repeat on the other side.
  • Hip raise and reach — Lie on your back with your knees bent to 90 degrees keeping your feet flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart. Let your arms rest out by your sides so that your body is in a cross position. Raise your hips off the ground so that your hips are in line with your knees and shoulders. Then, lift your right arm and shoulder off the floor and reach for the ceiling before reaching across your torso to tap the floor behind your left shoulder. Return to the starting position and repeat eight times before switching sides.
  • Yoga plex — Find a bench or chair and place your hands on the surface as you step back with your right foot as far as you can. Lower down until your right knee is a couple inches off the floor. Extend your right arm in front of your body and move it in a clockwise circle above your head, behind your body, and back to the bench as you follow your hand with your eyes. Step forward and return to the starting position. Do five of these and then repeat on the left side.

Cardio

athlete warms up for exercise with high-knee skips

High knee cardio | iStock.com

To make the ultimate morning workout truly ultimate, some killer cardio is needed. Perform the following exercises for 15 seconds each, rest for 15 to 30 seconds, and then repeat the entire cardio series three to five times.

  • Jumping jacks — Start with your feet hip-width apart and raise your arms above your head. Jump as you simultaneously bring your arms down to your sides and your feet together. Jump again to bring your arms back up and your feet back out. Repeat.
  • High knees — Run in place as you drive your knees energetically into your chest.
  • Side hops — Start with your feet touching and then push off of your right foot to hop laterally to the left. You should be able to jump around three feet as you land on your left foot and follow with your right. Hop back as you push off of your left foot. Repeat.
  • Mountain climbers — Bring your body to a plank position making sure your head is in line with your body. Lift your hips slightly towards the ceiling and bring your right knee to your chest and then back to the starting position. Alternate with the left leg and repeat rapidly.

Strength circuit

muscular man in a white tank doing pull-ups

Man doing pull-ups | iStock.com

Spend 20 seconds on each of the following exercises with a goal of getting in as many repetitions as possible. Rest for 20 seconds in between exercises and repeat the entire strength training circuit three to five times. Feel free to alternate with the cardio section.

  • Push-ups — Start in plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight as you lower to the ground. Repeat as many as possible while maintaining proper form.
  • Burpees — Enjoy your short rest and then return to plank for a series of burpees. Start by jumping both knees to your chest, landing between your hands in a squat. Then, explode into a jump before returning to the squat and kicking your legs back into plank. Do a push up and repeat.
  • Lunges — Get off the floor and come into a comfortable standing position. Take a large step forward with one leg and lunge forward and back for 10 seconds before alternating to the other side to fill the entire  20-second burst.
  • Pull-ups or lateral raises — Dedicate 20 complete seconds to busting out as many pull-ups as possible. If pull-ups aren’t yet an option for you, grab a pair of dumbbells or full water bottles and stand with your feet shoulder width apart, arms down, palms facing in. Raise your arms out to a ‘T’ shape and return them to your sides. Repeat.
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