Too many workouts shown on the web these days are way too intense for first thing in the morning. If you can perform burpees right when you wake up, then you are truly a morning person! I guarantee I would get injured.
Here’s a more realistic approach for a full body workout you can do first thing in the morning to not only wake you up and get you energized, but get that blood circulating, build lean muscle, and boost your metabolism.
First, drink a 1/2 a glass of water. *Next, sit on a chair and warm up with these exercises:
- Shoulder Rolls: Make big circles with your shoulders in both directions 12 times, really exaggerate the movement.
- Side Bends: Reach arms up and lengthen both sides of your waist; lift your chest and breathe. Hold position without forcing for 5 breaths. Next, side bend to your right while keeping the left sit bone pressed down onto the chair – focus on lengthening and reaching towards the ceiling; hold 3 breaths and switch sides. Take it back to the center and reach the arms back even more; hold position another 5 breaths.
- Chest and Upper Back: Clasp hands behind your head but don’t pull on your neck. Open up your elbows as wide as possible. Next, round your spine and pull your abs in tight; repeat the motion 5x center and 5x each side at a 45° angle.
- Twist: Rotate your torso to the side as much as possible without jamming your spine or forcing the motion. Stay tall with your chest open and take 5 deep breaths before rotating to the other side.
Drink more water and now that you are feeling loose and limber, it’s time to add in 15-25 repetitions of each exercise below.
- Chair Squats: Stand with your feet hip width and press your hips back barely touching the chair. Your weight stays on your heels. Squeeze through your glutes to raise back up. Your chest stays open and your abdominals are pulled in tight.
- Plank with Leg Lifts: In a plank position, alternate leg lifts only as high as you can keep your spine straight. To make easier, place your hands on a wall with your body at an angle. To make harder, perform plank from the floor.
- 1 Arm Bent Over Rows: Lean forward in a staggered stance with your back straight. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and pull your elbow up and back towards the midline of your body. Slowly lower your hand straight down; repeat.
- V ups with Side Bicep Curls: Sit in a chair and lean back slightly with your abdominals contracted, chest open, and toes barely touching the floor. Simultaneously pull your knees in towards your chest as you bend your elbows, performing your bicep curl. Slowly lower back down. To make easier, alternate 1 leg at a time.
- Tricep Dips: Your hips are close to the chair as you bend your elbows towards 90°. Keep length in your neck by pressing your shoulders down. Raise back up, but don’t lock out your elbows. To make easier, keep feet in close and modify how much you bend your elbows.
- Lat Pull to Overhead Shoulder Press: Holding a dumbbell in your right hand, pull your right elbow back and squeeze your back (latissimus dorsi muscle) while lengthening your left arm straight up. Now reach your right arm straight up to a shoulder press. For a greater range of motion and oblique work, see if you can take the dumbbell just past the midline of your body.
- Chest Flyes: Keep your arms in line with the chest as you lower your arms into the chest fly and have a slight bend in your elbows. Keep your shoulder blades retracted and depressed throughout the motion.
- Supine V Ups: Lie on your back with your heels actively pressing into the chair. With your abdominals pulled in tight, raise up slowly as high as possible. Keep the abdominals engaged as you slowly lower back down. Don’t use momentum. If you can’t go all the way up, it’s fine. The stronger you get, you will increase your range.
Go through each each exercise once w/ no break in between (circuit training), then take a mini 30 second break to drink some water. Repeat the exercise sequence 2-3 times. Don’t forget to stretch at the end and drink more water. Here’s a few stretches that can be done with a chair here.
Now get out there and enjoy your day!
*Consult your physician before starting any new exercise program.