Even if waking up in the morning is your least favorite action of the day, you have to do it. Working out upon rising might seem like a nightmare, but there is something to be said for bringing the heat with morning exercise.
Apart from the rejuvenating, caffeine-like burst of energy, a morning workout is usually quick enough to fit in before the morning commute. Here are ten exercises you night owls out there will hoot for.
1. Bodyweight moves in bed
Your mattress does not have to solely be for lounging. The unstable surface adds a new kind of resistance to the workout. Do planks atop the mattress and then switch to incline and decline push-ups by angling yourself between floor and bed. Bed-top stretches, squats, and tabletops also work.
Morning yoga practices are designed to swaddle you in warmth and energy that lasts throughout the day. Every posture gently stretches the muscles, jumpstarts the metabolism, and reduces early morning stress.
Morning yoga does not have to be long either. Simply choose the postures and flows that work best for you and stick to them. That may just be running through a few Vinyasa flows.
Also known as the 4 or 7-minute fat-burner, this is a form of High-Intensity Interval Training that involves vigorous movement that does not stop. This could mean linking burpees together with a jump rope or biking as hard as you can for 20 seconds, resting 10 seconds, then repeating the 20-10 trade-off for another 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Try it on the treadmill too.
4. Jogging or running
If high intensity is not for you but a leisurely run/walk through the park is, there is no reason not to take one. Since the morning temperatures are usually cooler, you will get a refreshing jolt.
You do not need a reformer to get the benefits of Pilates at home. Like yoga, Pilates is mind-body intensive but less about the om and more about the workout. The core is usually the main focus of Pilates, as is the breath and concentration on maintaining control of your posture. Perfect for those night owls who experience back aches.
6. Indoor cycling
Home indoor cycling bikes are what is vogue in the exercise world right now. There is a slew of indoor cycling apps for your smartphone or TV. Within seconds, without leaving the comforts of home, you can be in an Australian spin class or experiencing a VR downhill race. Some of the current favorites are Peloton Cycle and CycleCast.
7. Tai Chi
If you have creaks and crackles in the morning, tai chi is a martial arts practiced loved by generations old and young. Tai chi is all about serenity through gentle, flowing movement that almost feels like a dance. Within 30 minutes, you will feel and be more balanced.
Depending on where you are, you may be able to find an early morning tai chi group class. However, there are plenty of home workouts and routines to watch on TV or stream off of YouTube for free.
8. Foam rolling
This is a form of self-myofascial release (SMR), a massage therapy. However, while you can use foam rolling for its therapeutic tendencies in the morning, you can also exercise with the foam roller.
Think to squeeze it between the thighs during bridges, under the hands during plank, overhead squats, and side rollout push-ups. Get creative with the foam roller and see how much you can do.
So you do not have fancy equipment or enough time to strap on the running shoes and hit the streets. What do you do? Pop a squat. Or several. Squats can be easily made into a full body move that fits in anywhere.
For example, load up a backpack with a few heavy books. Put it on (not low-slung) and then do several anatomically correct squats. You will be sweating in no time. Squats also have different variations, allowing you to work every leg and gluteal muscle.
10. Stability ball work
Not just for bouncing around on. Stability balls have a dozen names, but they are one of the best (and cheap) exercise tools around.
Simple moves like push-ups, sit-ups, and planks get way more challenging when trying to maintain stability on a rolling ball, which increases the effort of muscles greatly. In other words, less time needed to workout but better results.
Exercise is vital, no matter when you do it. By getting up and working out, you not only wake up, you stimulate your metabolism and put yourself in a better mood. All before your shot of caffeine. So night owls, are you ready to catch yourselves an early morning worm?