7 Morning Exercises That Can Be Done Anywhere

7 Best Morning Exercises to Try When You Wake Up


Inti St Clair

Do you know someone who wakes up super early in the morning to get a workout in? There are so many morning workouts for women videos on YouTube that it's safe to say there is a community for that. Whether you're one of those people who work out in the morning or are envious of those who do, it's never too late to start.

Even if you don't have a gym at your disposal, that's no excuse because there are tons of morning exercises you can do with the help of your body weight and a few dumbbells (if you want to add them). As with any exercise, moving your body is the most important part and to help you get started, we've tapped some top fitness trainers to get their best morning workouts that you can do pretty much anywhere and at any time.

1. Forearm Plank

7 Best Morning Exercises to Try When You Wake Up


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Heather Perren, senior master trainer for Lagree Fitness, suggests starting your morning workout with a forearm plank to set your intentions for the day.

Here's how to do it:

1. Start in a modified position with the knees down and a straight, neutral spine. Avoid any arching of the lower back. (If you feel pain in the lower back, lift the hips slightly.)

2. Have shoulders stacked over the elbows or slightly behind.

3. Keep forearms parallel to each other.

4. Keep head slightly ahead, not allowing the chin to rest on the chest.

5. Remember to breathe!

"To increase the intensity, lift off of the knees to the toes while maintaining a flat back, where the shoulders are in line with the hips," Perren says. "Push back through the heels, squeezing the legs together. Aim to increase the duration of the plank holds each day by five to 10 seconds."

2. Glute Bridges

7 Best Morning Exercises to Try When You Wake Up


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You've probably seen people at the gym doing glute bridges, but you can add this exercise to your morning workout routine for some additional strength training.

"Glute bridges are a great way to strengthen your glutes and hamstrings and help to open up tight hip flexors," says Perren. "You'll also engage your core in the process as well. They are great for improving hip mobility and strengthening your lower back—perfect if you'll be sitting at a desk all day!"

Here's how to do it:

1. On a mat or carpeted surface, lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground and slightly in front of your knees. You should not feel like your heels are coming under your glutes.

2. Keep your arms at your side and begin to lift your hips off the ground until you form a diagonal line from your knees to your shoulders.

3. Squeeze your glutes and engage your core so you don't overextend your back during the exercise.

4. Hold your hips at the top for a couple of seconds before slowly lowering back down.

5. Perform this move for a minimum of two minutes.

3. Spinal Articulation Roll Downs

7 Best Morning Exercises to Try When You Wake Up


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"Spinal articulation roll downs are great for aligning the spine, opening up the chest, releasing neck and shoulder tension and overall core activation including the pelvic floor," says Lia Bartha, founder of B The Method.

Here's how to do it:

1. Start seated with your knees bent, slightly apart, and heels squeezed together.

2. Reach your hands out in front of you towards your toes, deep inhale, and then exhale while slowly rolling backwards all the way to the floor. Articulating through the spine the entire way down.

3. Find your neutral pelvis at the bottom, take a deep inhale, and exhale as you roll back up to seated, articulating through every vertebrae.

4. Repeat five to 10 times.

4. Length And Reach Bridging

7 Best Morning Exercises to Try When You Wake Up


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If you like glute bridges, then you'll love this version that will give you a nice stretch in the morning. "These bridges are great for aligning the spine, releasing back tightness and tension, stretching the hip flexors and overall core activation," says Bartha.

Here's how to do it:

1. Lay on the floor, in a neutral pelvis, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. With your arms by your side, slowly start to articulate your spine until you get into a bridge.

2. Make sure not to clench the glutes, rather, guide the movement with the lower abdominals and pelvic floor in a neutral spine.

3. Reach your arms above your head and then slowly articulate the spine back down towards the floor until you are back to where you started.

4. You can do the entire movement with one breath or break it into two parts with two deep breaths.

5. Repeat five to 10 times.

5. Circuit Morning Workout

7 Best Morning Exercises to Try When You Wake Up


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One of the benefits of morning workouts is they can have cognitive benefits that'll stay with you throughout the day.

"To get the biggest brain-boosting effects, it's important to do a workout that increases your heart rate up to at least 60% of your max for at least 15 to 20 minutes," says Raphael Konforti, senior director of fitness for YouFit Gyms.

Here's a circuit that alternates between the upper and lower body:

1. Perform four rounds resting as little as possible between exercises.

2. TRX row for 30 seconds.

3. Kettlebell swing for 30 seconds.

4. Pushups for 30 seconds.

5. Agility Ladder for 30 seconds.

6. Rest one minute.

6. Up And Down Squats

7 Best Morning Exercises to Try When You Wake Up



When you need a little extra support during those morning workouts, Nikki Gnozzio, personal trainer and founder of Junction Bodyworks, suggests opting for a chair squat.

Here's how to do it:

1. Start by sitting and standing. Slow controlled movements. Pay attention to your form.

2. Keep your knees steady, your chest up, your heels down, and your toes grounded

3. Once you start warming up, if you're feeling good, move further from the bed (or chair) and work on your full squat. Go as deep as you can without pain.


7 Best Morning Exercises to Try When You Wake Up


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For a great full-body stretch and exercise all in one, Fhitting Room trainer Alex Clayton suggests the inchworm.

Here's how to do it:

1. First forward fold so that your hands touch down right in front of your toes ( try to keep the legs as straight as possible but okay to bend if you're working on that flexibility.)

2. Walk your hands forward into a plank position, shoulders right above the wrists, core nice and tight avoiding any sinking of the low back. Hold this for two to five seconds.

3. Walk the hands back to the feet, again attempting to keep the legs as straight as possible to wake up the hamstrings.

4. Come to a full stand before you go right back into your foreword fold.

Workout Gear to Shop

Add these weighted bangles to your arms or ankles during your next workout for some extra resistance. Available in 1-pound and 2-pound sizes and in seven vibrant colors.

Finding a supportive sports bra to work out in can be difficult, however, this one provides support for high-impact workouts and features sweat-wicking fabric to keep you cool and dry.

Get a set of three resistance bands for under $20 at Target. These bands are a part of fitness influencer Cassey Ho's collection and include light and medium resistance levels for varying intensity.

If it starts raining during your morning workout, don't fret with these waterproof wireless headphones. Place the silicone hooks around your ears for steady and sturdy support designed to stay in place.

Compressive leggings are essential for any workout to keep everything in place. Available in nine colors, step into these squat-proof leggings that provide four-way stretch and ultimate comfort. Available in sizes XXS–6XL.

Whether you’re stretching or doing a workout, a yoga mat is a staple item to have on hand. Its matte finish creates a chic and colorful space for you to get moving.

Toss on this lightweight and breathable tank made from lyocell, spandex, and polyester. It features a scoop neck and racerback straps for extra breathability and support.

Improve your stamina and endurance with a jump rope that stretches to nearly 10 feet. It's made with non-slip handles so your hands will keep a firm grip while in use.

You can't work out without a supportive pair of sneakers. These running shoes offer added support and a lightweight feel for long runs and at-home workouts.

During your morning yoga practice, use this dense foam block for more leverage and support during numerous poses and positions.

If you're serious about working out at home, try The Mirror, which features 10,000 on-demand classes and daily live classes. Plus, the device is a literal mirror so it won't mess with your decor.

Ditch the sports bra and leggings and opt for a workout dress instead. Featuring built-in shorts, complete your morning workout in comfort and style with this dress.

Wipe the sweat off your forehead and hands with this absorbent towel made from polyester and nylon microfiber.

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