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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.

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  • 30 min

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Morning Workouts
Per Bernal
Morning Workouts
Per Bernal

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.) 

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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).

Routine

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Workout 1

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 11

180 Jump Squat

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 2 of 11

Barbell Squat

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
15-20
Rest
--
Exercise 3 of 11

Lunge to High Knee

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
15-20
Rest
--
Exercise 5 of 11

Dumbbell Bentover Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
15-20
Rest
--
Exercise 6 of 11

Dumbbell Bench Press

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
15-20
Rest
--
Exercise 7 of 11

Barbell Biceps Curl

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
15-20
Rest
--
Exercise 8 of 11

Overhead Triceps Extension

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
15-20
Rest
--
Exercise 9 of 11

Superman from Floor

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
15-20
Rest
--
Exercise 10 of 11

Side Plank with Leg Lift

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
15-20
Rest
--
Exercise 11 of 11

Plank with Knee to Elbow

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
15-20
Rest
--

Workout 2

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 12 of 11

Bodyweight Walking Lunge

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
60 steps
Rest
--
Exercise 13 of 11

Squat Jump

Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
30
Rest
--
How to
Complete exercises 1A-1C as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 3 rounds of circuit.
Exercise 14 of 11

Sprint

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
50m
Rest
--
Complete exercises 1A-1C as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 3 rounds of circuit.
Exercise 15 of 11

Knee-ins

Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
2 min
Rest
--
Complete exercises 1A-1C as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 3 rounds of circuit.
Exercise 16 of 11

One-Arm Pushup

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
1 min
Rest
--
*Per side. Complete exercises 2A-2C as a circuit with no rest between exercises.
Exercise 17 of 11

Up-Down Plank

Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
1 min
Rest
--
Complete exercises 2A-2C as a circuit with no rest between exercises.
Exercise 18 of 11

Pike Pushup

Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
1 min
Rest
--
Complete exercises 2A-2C as a circuit with no rest between exercises.
Exercise 19 of 11

Single-Leg Hip Raise

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
1 min*
Rest
--
*Per leg. Complete exercises 3A-3C as a circuit with no rest between exercises.
Exercise 20 of 11

Hamstring Curl on Sliders

Equipment
Sliding Discs
Sets
1
Reps
1 min
Rest
--
How to
Complete exercises 3A-3C as a circuit with no rest between exercises.
Exercise 21 of 11

Out and Up Legs Raise

Equipment
Sets
--
Reps
1 min
Rest
--
How to
Complete exercises 3A-3C as a circuit with no rest between exercises.
Exercise 22 of 11

Plyo Knee-up

Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
15
Rest
--
How to
Complete exercises 4A-4C as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 2 rounds of circuit.
Exercise 23 of 11

Bear Crawl

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
50m
Rest
--
Complete exercises 4A-4C as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 2 rounds of circuit.
Exercise 24 of 11

Mountain Climber on Sliders

Equipment
Sliding Discs
Sets
1
Reps
50
Rest
--
Complete exercises 4A-4C as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 2 rounds of circuit.
Exercise 25 of 11

High Knees

Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
30 sec
Rest
--
How to
Complete exercises 5A-5D as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 4 rounds of circuit. Rest 10 sec between circuits.
Exercise 26 of 11

Burpee

Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
30 sec
Rest
--
How to
Complete exercises 5A-5D as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 4 rounds of circuit. Rest 10 sec between circuits.
Exercise 27 of 11

Raised-Legs Crunch

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
30 sec
Rest
--
Complete exercises 5A-5D as a circuit with no rest between exercises. Do 4 rounds of circuit. Rest 10 sec between circuits.
Exercise 28 of 11

Plank

Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
30 sec
Rest
10 sec
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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