This Early Morning Workout Will Help You Rise and Shine

A member of the Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment gets in a morning workout.
Maritime Enforcement Specialist 3rd Class Ryan Patterson, embarked as part of the Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment, does a morning workout aboard USNS Spearhead (T-EPF 1), Jan. 22, 2016. Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amy M. Ressler/U.S. Navy photo)

As written in the Early Morning Workouts Benefits article, workouts first thing in the morning are not for everyone, but if you try it, you may like it. Here are some classic workouts that you can do with very little equipment before you start your day:

"Wake up with crunches:" A quick core workout is a great way to wake up, and it truly is a little harder than sleeping. Get out of bed and onto the floor and start with this basic four- to five-minute circuit:

Now you are ready to keep rolling with more of a workout: Cardio and/or resistance training.

Cardio in the morning or during lunch

An easy cardio morning is a great way to wake up, too -- even if only for 15-20 minutes. As you get into better shape, you may want to make time for 30- to 45-minute workouts. This can be a variety from a brisk walk, jog, fast run intervals, bike, elliptical, rower or swimming.  All of these events are guaranteed to help you burn calories and be more alert and productive the rest of the morning. Studies and anecdotal evidence have shown that an early morning workout is better or just as good as a large intake of caffeine.

Full-body workout with TRX or dumbbells

Repeat five times.

  • Jumping jacks 10
  • Knee, wall or regular push-ups 10
  • Squats 10 (sit down/stand up)

Repeat three times.

Some other morning classics:

One of the all-time favorites is the PT Pyramid, where you focus on pull-ups, push-ups, abs and dips for a quick pyramid circuit. As you progress, you can "rest" with other cardio exercises, such as a stationary bike or run on a treadmill for 5-10 minutes. The best part of this workout is that it has a warmup, max-out and a cooldown.

The Superset is a moderate way to build up your repetitions with sub-maximal efforts. You can repeat the circuit/superset for a maximum number of rounds in a set time limit. This is another way to warm up the muscles first thing in the morning after a short warmup and not be too strenuous on stiff morning joints.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you're looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to

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