Whether you’re a morning person or not, working out in the morning can have benefits that will help you live a healthier life. Not only can a morning workout give you more energy throughout the day than your regular cup of coffee, that am workout can also boost your metabolism. This, in turn, results in your body burning more calories throughout the day to replenish your body. This is called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC for short.
EPOC does some amazing things inside the body, but we first must expend enough energy to reach it. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the best ways to reach EPOC effectively because intensity is key. Higher intensities result in a larger EPOC output. HIIT allows the body to use great amounts of energy that could not be sustained for a long period of time. You’re then allowed a short recovery or active recovery period to allow your body to replenish your energy systems and get you ready to hit the ground running in the next interval.
While burning some extra calories can be good, it’s not even close to the only benefit of a morning workout. Getting a big task done early in your day can lead to more productivity throughout the rest of your day. Completing a workout in the morning doesn’t allow time for things to come up and throw you off schedule, so procrastinators – this might be your ticket to making daily workouts work. By prioritizing your workout and getting it done in the morning, you guarantee there won’t be a last-minute work meeting, a sick kid, or any of the other BILLION reasons that could possibly throw your day off course. Take control of your day and start it on your terms.
It might seem crazy if you haven’t tried it but getting up in the morning to work out leads to improved sleep, overall. By expending energy early in your day, it creates a natural fatigue that allows you to fall asleep more easily and get better, more restful sleep through the night.
Now that you know what working out in the morning is effective, we can put together a workout that allows you to start your day on the right note and get the EPOC going! For our 30-minute workout, we’ll be using interval training to effectively use our time. To make it simple, we will be working for 45 seconds on, followed by a 15 second rest. This will be completed for 9 exercises in a row, followed by a 1-minute break in between rounds, going for 3 total rounds. Don’t worry about equipment, this full-body workout uses bodyweight. Think of the first couple exercises as the warmup. Once you feel ready, step up the intensity to ensure that you elevate your heart rate!
Remember, when completing HIIT, you should be tired at the end of the round, but able to recover enough to do your next interval. Make sure to take some options as needed.
30-Minute Bodyweight Morning Workout
45 seconds of work, 15 seconds of rest
Modification: Static lunges
- Start by standing on the floor with your right leg in front of you, your left leg back, and your right knee bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Jump up, pushing through both your right leg and left leg, and land with your left foot in front of you and your right foot behind you. You can land with your legs straight or with your knees bent, whichever is best for your fitness level.
- Drop back into a lunge position, and repeat for 20 reps. If this is too hard, you can always perform traditional lunges, lunging either back or forward with your right leg and then switching sides to your left.
Modification: Push-up from knees
- Get into a proper push-up starting position on the floor. Your palms should be slightly wider than your shoulders, your feet should be placed straight out behind you on the floor, and your body should form a straight line without bend in your knees. Don’t let your butt stick up – think of your spine as a long, straight bar, and keep it level with your hips and thighs. If your wrists start to hurt, move your palms slightly in or out to take the pressure off your wrists.
- With your arms fully extended, slowly lower yourself to the floor as you press against your hands, being sure to keep your abs tight and engaged.
- Push back up through your shoulder blades and repeat.
Modification: Hold plank from knees
- Get into the plank start position on the floor with your bodyweight resting on your forearms, while balancing on the toes of your feet.
- Make sure there is no bend in your knees.
Modification: Squat to calf raise
- With feet shoulder width apart, lower your body so your thighs are parallel with the floor.
- Sit back in your heels and make sure your knees aren’t tracking over your toes.
- Using power from your legs, jump up and return back to squatting position.
Bear Hold Shoulder Tap
Modification: Plank shoulder tap
- In tabletop position, lift your knees 2-3 inches above the ground while engaging your core. This will help keep you stable!
- Lift one arm up and tap the alternating shoulder, while keeping the rest of your body still.
- Switch arms and continue to alternate.
Bird Dog with 3-second hold
Modification: No hold
- In tabletop position on all fours, reach one arm to the wall while lifting the alternating leg back in the opposite direction.
- Hold for 3 seconds before moving to the opposing arm and leg.
- Keep your core tight as you alternate between sides.
Modification: Jog in place
- Standing in place, lift one knee up to hip height.
- With power, alternate legs back and forth keeping your back tall.
Single Leg Hip Bridge
Modification: Hip bridge
- Lay on your back with your hands and arms out straight by your sides. Your feet should be placed flat on the floor.
- Pushing from your heels, slowly raise your hips off the floor and up to the ceiling, creating a straight line from your knees to your belly button. Be sure to engage your core and glutes.
- Now lift your left leg, trying to raise your right foot as high as you can, while keeping your hips off the ground. Depending on your flexibility, it’s OK if there’s a slight bend in the left knee of your raised leg, but try to keep it straight, rather than at a 90-degree angle.
- Squeeze your glutes at the top and return to the starting position. Keep your left leg lifted for all 25 reps, then bring both feet down to the floor and switch to your right leg
Modification: Slowly alternate sides
- Beginning in high-plank position (on your hands, not forearms) tighten your core.
- Bring one knee towards your chest and return to plank position.
- Moving swiftly, alternate sides while keeping your core engaged.
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