11 Morning Workouts to Try to Make Your Day Better

The 11 Best Morning Workouts for Women


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Why can't hitting the snooze button be considered a workout? Well, it doesn't really require much effort or energy and will not get your heart pumping—we wish it did, though! But what will get that blood flowing is adding a quick workout to your morning routine. The thought of working out bright and early isn't everyone's cup of tea, but regardless of your experience level, there are workouts that can change the trajectory of your morning whether it's providing an energy boost or setting the tone for the rest of the day. Did you know exercise releases neurotransmitters shown to promote mental clarity and an increased attention span? Those are just a few benefits of morning workouts, and there are more.

We talked with a few of the most esteemed fitness trainers to gather some of the best exercises to jump-start your morning, from squats to toe touches. Not only are these workouts quick, but there's no need to worry about form, as we've provided step-by-step instructions illustrating how to do these movements safely and effectively at home.

Disclaimer: Talk with your doctor before starting any new workout regimen.

1. Prisoner Squat

The 11 Best Morning Workouts for Women



Ackeem Emmons, head trainer at Clmbr, is a huge fan of the prisoner squat. "With hands interlocked behind the head, it allows you to increase your range of motion without sacrificing form," he says.

Instructions from Coach:

1. Start with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing out slightly. Keep your chest up and place both hands on the back of your head, with your elbows pointing out to the sides.

2. Lower slowly by moving your hips down and back, keeping your back straight and looking forward, until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Then drive back up, pushing through your heels.

3. Aim to take three seconds to lower, pause at the bottom of the move, then take one or two seconds to return to standing. Aim for three sets of 12 reps.

2. Elbow to Knee + Toe Tap

The 11 Best Morning Workouts for Women



Emmons shares that this exercise is great for obliques and overall core activation. He reminds us that the two movements together make one repetition.

Instructions from OncoLink.org:

1. Bend your knees, with heels on the ground. Put both hands behind your head, with elbows pointing outward.

2. Contract or tighten your stomach/abdominal muscles. Lift your upper body off of the ground and reach your right elbow to your left knee. Pause. Slowly and with control, lower your upper body back to the starting position on the ground.

3. Repeat the abdominal exercise, this time reaching your left elbow to your right knee. Continue to alternate or switch sides for eight to 12 repetitions.

3. Hundreds

Melissa Wood-Tepperberg, the founder of Melissa Wood Health and creator of the MWH Method, is a fan of hundreds.


1. Legs in tabletop, head flat on the floor.

2. Tuck your chin in toward your chest.

3. Extend arms long, hovering an inch above the ground as you slowly extend your legs with heels together and toes apart (make sure heels are pressing together).

4. Five short breaths in and five short breaths out while holding position and pumping your arms vigorously for 10 rounds.

4. Toe Taps

Wood-Tepperberg shares four easy steps to doing effective toe touches. 


1. Bring your legs into tabletop.

2. Knees directly above your hips.

3. Long energetic arms pressing into the floor in a V shape.

4. Keep your left leg in tabletop, reach your right toes down to the top of the mat, and alternate for 10 on each side.

5. Single-Leg Glute Bridge

The 11 Best Morning Workouts for Women


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Tonal coach Allison Tibbs loves the following three moves, which help wake up the body, boost energy and metabolism, and help you move throughout your day with more ease and strength.

This exercise "gives the glutes and hamstrings a nice burn while strengthening your hips and core," Tibbs says.


1. Lie on the ground and bend one knee so that your foot is planted on the floor about six inches from your butt.

2. The other leg is bent with the foot off the floor and the knee close to your chest.

3. Squeeze your glutes and press into the foot that is on the floor to drive your hips up to the sky and opposite knee closer to your chest.

4. Slowly lower your hips back down to the ground, bringing your torso with you. Complete 15 reps on each leg.

6. Plank Jacks

The 11 Best Morning Workouts for Women


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"These are a perfect upgrade to a traditional plank because it requires more control while raising the heart rate to give you a cardio boost to start your day!" Tibbs says.


1. Get into a plank position with your wrists and elbows stacked directly below your shoulders and feet hip-distance apart.

2. Quickly jump your feet out wide and then back to the starting position. The goal is to maintain a strong plank position and keep a soft landing with your feet.

3. Use your core to stay in position and maintain control. Perform this move for 30 seconds.

7. Sprinter Crunch

The 11 Best Morning Workouts for Women


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"This is my favorite crunch variation because it requires massive amounts of core strength and power. Plus, it helps you tap into your inner athlete!" Tibbs shares.


1. Lie on your back with your legs extended straight out and arms straight at your sides.

2. Engage your core to simultaneously lift your torso and one knee off the ground.

3. Bring your opposite elbow toward the knee that is off the ground by rotating at the torso.

4. Lower back down with control. Then switch sides.

5. It should mimic sprinting every time you crunch up. Perform this move for 30 seconds.

8. Bear to Half Getup

James Shapiro, a sports performance coach, shares the following four morning exercises to get the blood pumping.


1. Start off in an elevated quadruped position (hands and toes on the ground, knees elevated an inch or two off the ground).

2. Begin rotating your body by keeping opposing limbs on the ground (think right arm and left foot staying down) and moving the other limbs in a motion to open your hips to the ceiling.

3. The finished position has the free-moving hand making a fist with arm straight to the ceiling and the free-moving leg extended with your heel touching the ground.

4. Return back to the start position. Feel free to move either in an alternating pattern or stay with the same side.

9. Jumping Bowler Squat


1. Start off focusing on one foot on the ground while the other foot hovers off the ground.

2. Perform a curtsy squat with the floating leg curling behind your body.

3. As you start going up, apply more force into the ground and jump up on one leg and land on one leg.

4. Land, stabilize, and perform another repetition.

10. Oblique Hollow Body Rockers


1. Start on the ground, lying on your back with your legs together and extended with arms overhead.

2. Raise your legs up a tiny bit off the ground along with your shoulders and arms. Your low back should be pressing into the ground (aka the hallow-out position).

3. Tilt your body to one side and begin rocking with small oscillations while keeping your body's position. Perform for time or repetitions.

11. Alternating V-Up Pulses


1. Start on your back with legs straight and arms straight overhead.

2. Raise opposing limbs (leg and arm) toward the ceiling and attempt to reach the shin or foot.

3. Once you've made your attempt or contact, lower only by 10% before attempting another contact.

4. Return back down to the ground and alternate to the other arm and leg that were not active in the previous repetition.

Activewear to Shop

This tank has a cooling effect on the skin.

Designed for yoga, this tank has four-way stretch and is breathable.

Wacoal's super-supportive sports bra has a powerful exterior underwire and convertible straps.

These are made from buttery-soft fabric and have a flexible, comfortable waistband.

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Add this extra layer if you're feeling chilly during outdoor workotus.

This tee is just a classic. It's also made with the silkiest, softest material.

Here's another pair of leggings that will be your go-to. It has a high-rise waist and a ribbed knit design.

Get on the bike-shorts trend with this pair.

Everyone needs a basic tank for their workouts. This one fits the bill.

Beyond Yoga's leggings have a wide waistband for extra comfort.

A two-in-one bra and tank, this piece makes dressing for your next sweat session a breeze. It has mesh details for breathability and offers light-to-medium support.

Natori's bra has a hidden underwire and light foam cups so it can support your during high-impact workouts.

Next, Tested: 11 High-Waisted Leggings That Can Withstand Any Workout

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.