For most of us, this is how our mornings look:
Your alarm goes off and you hit the snooze button a few times. You wake up hating the day because now you have to rush to get ready for work.
Now you grab some breakfast from your favorite fast food spot and enjoy the taste of heartburn and bad decisions all day. Once you get to work, you guzzle some coffee and hope that no one bothers you until you wake up.
But what if I told you following this morning workout routine would change how you look at every day. Would you still be interested?
What if I told you starting this workout in the morning shortly after waking up would give you natural energy and an endorphin boost? Well, that's exactly what this workout is going to do for you.
Is Working out in the Morning Good?
Other than needing to set your alarm earlier, fasted morning workouts have been shown to improve fat burning, improve overall performance throughout the day, and the endorphin rush accompanied by the exercise makes this great.
Bodyweight movements in the morning are a great way to get your body ready for the hustle and bustle. You will be prepared mentally and physically for whatever task is at hand, and you will make better dietary decisions as a result.
Get the kinks out of your back early in the morning and get to sweating.
What About Breakfast?
Being in a fasted state in the morning while working out forces your body to use its energy stores (body fat) as its primary energy. Since your body is forced to use fat as energy, your sympathetic nervous system will be activated by exercise and lack of food. Your SNS controls your body's fat burning processes.
Exercising while fasted has also been shown to increase oxidative stress which benefits your muscles.
Choosing the Best Post-Workout Breakfast
Choosing the best breakfast to eat after your workout will make a drastic change in how your body responds. Filling it up with fast food or other highly-processed foods will not help you lose weight at all. Sure, they are calories... But are they the best for you?
Here are a few morning breakfast ideas that can help jump start your fat loss and keep you fuller throughout the day. No more needing a mid-afternoon snack.
- Oatmeal - Many ways to enjoy; sweetened with some honey, add in some fruit, or mix the dry oats in with your protein shake.
- Yogurt - Find some yogurt you like and run with it. I prefer Greek yogurt with a little honey.
- Protein Shake - Smash one of these after your workout and grab some fruit on the drive in.
- Prepared Meal - Ever heard of meal prepping? Eat a nice protein-filled meal post-workout for optimal performance and taste.
Perfect Morning Workout Routine
If you've tried going out to the gym and busting your hump before work and it just doesn't work, this workout is different. This workout contains all body weight movements that you do not need any equipment for.
Ready for a challenge?
Find household items such as a heavy bag of rice, a gallon of liquid, or even some old phone books for extra resistance.
Note: This routine is made to run as a circuit. Start with one circuit and work your way up from there.
Hollow Body Holds
Hollow body holds are pretty easy. They are like a crunch while your legs are slightly elevated.
Engage your core and crunch your upper body up as you keep your legs straight and raise them about 6 to 12 inches off of the ground. Concentrate on a strong contraction, return to your starting position and repeat.
Complete 10 hollow body holds.
Activate those glutes and get some blood flowing to your lower body with glute bridges.
Lay down on your back and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the ground. Press into your heels and raise your butt off of the ground, being sure to keep your shoulder blades on the ground. Get a good contraction and slowly return to your starting position.
Complete 10 glute bridges.
Planks help overall body development and builds mental fortitude. Maintaining a plank is hard, but over time you quickly get used to them.
Get into a push-up position on the ground and maintain that position. Another variation would be to rest on your elbows.
Hold for as long as possible.
Reverse Oblique Crunches
Crunches suck to do, especially when trying to target your obliques. Instead of basically doing a side crunch, use your arms to hold your body sitting up.
Pull your knees to you and twist, as if you were using a hanging leg raise.
Complete 10 reverse oblique crunches.
Get your heart pumping with some mountain climbers.
Get into a push-up position and alternate bringing your knees up to your chest. Maintain core tightness and work on increasing the speed in which you alternate legs. This exercise simulates running up a steep hill.
Complete mountain climbers for 30 seconds.
Simple leg lifts are an easy way to work your lower abs and get some muscular endurance build up.
Lay down on your back with your arms to your side. Keep your legs straight and lift them up as high as you can while keeping them straight. Slowly lower your legs to the starting position.
Complete 20 leg lifts.
The easiest exercise here, body weight squats are an easy way to loosen up tight back muscles, open up hips that have been stuck sitting all day, and is great for cardio.
Holding onto something sturdy will allow you to go as deep as you can and really get a good stretch on your posterior chain.
Complete 20 body weight squats.
Wrapping It Up
Making lifestyle changes can be hard... Wanting to change isn't enough. While this routine won't get you looking like Kai Greene, you are starting a healthy habit that you can use the rest of your life.
Once you are consistently doing this workout in the mornings, you're going to start wanting more. You'll start going to the gym in the mornings because you'll notice how much more productive you are at work.
You'll start to notice changes in your body and you're going to love it. When your co-workers ask you how you did it, make sure to watch their face when you tell them you get up early to go to the gym.
The look of confusion and terror is what sets you apart from the people who will never be. Put the time and effort in and you're going to make great strides towards your fitness goals.