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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.
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.
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).