Getting out of bed in the morning is one of the hardest hills you climb every day, so naturally, getting out of bed and making your way over to the gym can be even harder. Sometimes your schedule can become so intense that you barely find anytime to get your workout in. When that’s the case, here are some morning exercises to wake you up and start you day off strong – all of which you can do right in your bedroom!
Starting off with a simple and easy stretch to wake your body up. To do the “cat and camel” – which is an exercise people of all levels can do – get down onto your hands and knees, making sure that your arms are extended directly from your shoulders and that your thighs are at a 90º angle from your hips. Without hyperextending your arms, keep your arms straight as you release your spine towards the ground and extend your back while lifting your chest upwards, allowing your head to look up while doing so. Make sure you are breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth whilst performing this exercise. Relaxing back into the stationary position, reverse the action by rounding your back upwards and tucking your chin to your chest, letting your tailbone fall downwards. Repeat this exercise a few times to wake up and warm up your muscles.
To tone your legs and bum, squats create an anabolic movement; this movement boosts total body muscle building. You don’t need a bar or weights to do squats at home – just a little space and an medicine ball if you’d like. Starting by standing up, make sure your feet are just a bit wider than hip-width apart. If you are using one, take your medicine ball and hold it directly in front of your chest with your arms fully extended. As you start to bend your knees, be careful not to let your knees cross over your toes. Keeping your back in a neutral position, continue to bend your knees, ankles and hips until your hamstrings are as close as you can get to a 90º angle without letting your heels lift from the ground. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat the squat for 15-20 reps.
Ready to really get your heart pumping? Jumping jacks are beneficial for your cardiovascular health because the exercise elevates your heart rate in a healthy way. When you are jumping, you are taking in more oxygen due to the heavy breathing, and that oxygen is delivered to your bloodstream and your muscles. To do a jumping jack, you do not need any extra props – just your body and some space! To start, begin in a neutral standing position, your feet almost together and arms rested down to your sides. Begin to bend your knees and jump upward, spreading your legs and your arms out to create an “X” with your body. Be mindful when you land in the “X” that your knees should be slightly bent to avoid injury. After jumping out, jump back into the neutral position you started in. Continue to perform the move for about a minute, then take a short break and pick up for another minute. Aim for about five 1-minute sets to start. By performing jumping jacks consistently, you can get your heart pumping and a bit of sweat going.
Planks aren’t usually a crowd favorite since they’re kind of boring and super hard! But planks are really beneficial for those that have back pains because the exercise helps tighten and strengthen your core muscles. If you really want to work out your abs, this is a way to do so! To do a plank, you need space big enough to fit the length of your body. Laying down facing the ground, put your weight on your toes and align your hands and forearms with your shoulders. Hold your balance while on your toes and hands – the position should be like the starting position for a pushup – for twenty to thirty seconds. When in the plank, think of tightening your stomach and pulling in your belly button to work your abdominal muscles. Repeat the exercise about three times, allowing yourself resting time between each plank.