Workouts

Best Morning Workout for People Who Hate Waking Up in the A.M.

Don't hit the snooze button just yet—here's how a.m. exercise can help you get more out of your day, plus two great routines to put into action.

Morning Workouts
Per Bernal
Per Bernal
Duration 30 min
Exercises 11-17
Equipment Yes

Some people naturally jump out of bed the moment their alarm clock goes off, revved up and ready to take on whatever workout they’ve planned, whether it’s hitting the gym or going on a run.

And then there are the rest of us. Early morning workouts can seem painful and a drag, but there’s no denying they are possibly the most efficient and effective way to keep your fitness on point. “People who work out in the morning are typically much more consistent than those who wait until later in the day to get to the gym,” notes Ariane Hundt, creator of the Brooklyn Boot Camp, whose a.m. workouts typically begin before the sun is up.

“It’s a no-brainer because by the time your evening rolls around, you may have accumulated 25 reasons as to why you shouldn’t exercise. Your willpower and determination are at their peak in the morning—and the amount of excuses that stop you from moving are significantly reduced.”

Research also shows that people who exercise in the a.m. are more likely to eat healthy all day long. (You’re also likely to be more focused, so you’ll get more done at work or school.) 

Finally, studies show you can burn up to 20% more body fat exercising on an empty stomach—which is easier to do in the morning because you haven’t eaten since the night before. Exercising in the early hours not only helps get your workout out of the way, it also gives your metabolism a jump start.

That’s especially true if you do HIIT or resistance routines, which create an after-burn effect, helping your body burn more calories all day. We tapped two fitness experts to put together their favorite high-powered a.m. exercise routines, each designed to get you up, out, and on your way in just 30 minutes.

Workout 1

Kick-start your morning with a 30-minute total-body strength workout from Katie Chung Hua, a certified trainer and IFBB bikini pro based in Las Vegas.

“This workout has all the ingredients needed to quickly jumpstart your metabolism and kick your day into high gear,” says Hua, who models the moves on these pages. “It starts with a warmup to get the blood flowing and is designed to help you lose fat and put on lean muscle.” Be sure to use enough resistance to keep your muscles challenged. Time permitting, add in 10 to 15 minutes of cardio intervals before you hit the showers and start your day.

Workout 2

This calorie-blasting routine is designed to challenge you no matter how many times you do it, explains Christi Marraccini, training manager at Tone House fitness studio in New York City.

“It’s the perfect morning workout because it maximizes work time and minimizes down time, boosting your metabolism for the rest of the day while waking up your body.” All you need to put it into action and get going is a set of gliding discs (or any sliding tool).

Workout 1

Exercise 1

180 Jump Squat How to
180 Jump Squat  thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Barbell Squat You'll need: Barbell How to
Man Barbell Squat thumbnail
3 sets
15-20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Lunge to High Knee You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Single Leg Lunge Jump  thumbnail
3 sets
15-20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Plié Squat to Upright Row You'll need: Kettlebells How to
Plie Squat Upright Row thumbnail
3 sets
15-20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Dumbbell Bentover Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Bentover Row thumbnail
3 sets
15-20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 6

Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
15-20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 7

Barbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Barbell How to
bicep curl thumbnail
3 sets
15-20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 8

Overhead Triceps Extension
Overhead Tricep Extension thumbnail
3 sets
15-20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 9

Superman from Floor You'll need: No Equipment How to
Superman from Floor thumbnail
3 sets
15-20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 10

Side Plank with Leg Lift You'll need: No Equipment How to
Side Plank with Leg Lift thumbnail
3 sets
15-20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 11

Plank with Knee to Elbow You'll need: No Equipment How to
Plank with Knee to Elbow thumbnail
3 sets
15-20 reps
-- rest

Workout 2

Exercise Warmup

Bodyweight Walking Lunge You'll need: No Equipment How to
Walking Lunge thumbnail
1 sets
60 steps reps
-- rest

Exercise 1A

Squat Jump How to
Squat Jump thumbnail
1 sets
30 reps
-- rest
Complete exercises 1A-1C as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 3 rounds of circuit.

Exercise 1B

Sprint
4 Tips to Fast-tracking Your Fitness Gains thumbnail
3 sets
50m reps
-- rest
Complete exercises 1A-1C as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 3 rounds of circuit.

Exercise 1C

Knee-ins
Knee Ins thumbnail
1 sets
2 min reps
-- rest
Complete exercises 1A-1C as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 3 rounds of circuit.

Exercise 2A

One-Arm Pushup You'll need: No Equipment How to
One-Arm Pushup thumbnail
1 sets
1 min reps
-- rest
*Per side. Complete exercises 2A-2C as a circuit with no rest between exercises.

Exercise 2B

Up-Down Plank How to
Up-Down Plank thumbnail
1 sets
1 min reps
-- rest
Complete exercises 2A-2C as a circuit with no rest between exercises.

Exercise 2C

Pike Pushup
Pike Pushup  thumbnail
1 sets
1 min reps
-- rest
Complete exercises 2A-2C as a circuit with no rest between exercises.

Exercise 3A

Single-Leg Hip Raise You'll need: No Equipment How to
Single-Leg Hip Raise thumbnail
1 sets
1 min* reps
-- rest
*Per leg. Complete exercises 3A-3C as a circuit with no rest between exercises.

Exercise 3B

Hamstring Curl on Sliders You'll need: Sliding Discs How to
Hamstring Curl thumbnail
1 sets
1 min reps
-- rest
Complete exercises 3A-3C as a circuit with no rest between exercises.

Exercise 3C

Out and Up Legs Raise How to
Out and Up Leg Raise thumbnail
-- sets
1 min reps
-- rest
Complete exercises 3A-3C as a circuit with no rest between exercises.

Exercise 4A

Plyo Knee-up How to
Plyo Knee-up thumbnail
1 sets
15 reps
-- rest
Complete exercises 4A-4C as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 2 rounds of circuit.

Exercise 4B

Bear Crawl How to
Bear Crawl Exercise thumbnail
3 sets
50m reps
-- rest
Complete exercises 4A-4C as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 2 rounds of circuit.

Exercise 4C

Mountain Climber on Sliders You'll need: Sliding Discs How to
Mountain Climber on Sliders thumbnail
1 sets
50 reps
-- rest
Complete exercises 4A-4C as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 2 rounds of circuit.

Exercise 5A

High Knees How to
Man using agility ladder.  thumbnail
1 sets
30 sec reps
-- rest
Complete exercises 5A-5D as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 4 rounds of circuit. Rest 10 sec between circuits.

Exercise 5B

Burpee How to
Burpee With Pushup thumbnail
1 sets
30 sec reps
-- rest
Complete exercises 5A-5D as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 4 rounds of circuit. Rest 10 sec between circuits.

Exercise 5C

Raised-Legs Crunch You'll need: No Equipment How to
Raised-Legs Crunch thumbnail
1 sets
30 sec reps
-- rest
Complete exercises 5A-5D as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 4 rounds of circuit. Rest 10 sec between circuits.

Exercise 5D

Plank
Up-Down Plank thumbnail
1 sets
30 sec reps
10 sec rest
Complete exercises 5A-5D as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 4 rounds of circuit. Rest 10 sec between circuits.
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