Make an energetic start to the day with this quick morning workout. It should only take you about 10 minutes, no need to get down on the floor and you can do it in your pyjamas if you want! It’s a full body workout that will mobilise your joints and warm up your muscles, ready for the day. If you do it regularly, you’ll see improvement to the muscle tone in your arms, shoulders, core and thighs. Ideally you need a set of hand weights for this routine. You can do without, but the upper body exercises will be less effective.
First, please check the general safety guidelines. If you’ve just got up, make sure you have a drink before you start. Because you will have been inactive for several hours, it’s important to make sure your muscles and joints get a chance to warm up properly before you use the weights. After a short warm up, the first set is without weights to warm your muscles up further, the second set with weights, then the third set without weights again to cool down.
Quick morning workout – the exercises
Warm up: to warm up, do the following without weights (see exercise instructions below). For the warm up, start with a small movement and make it bigger on each rep.
- 10 x squats
- 10 x side bends (5 to one side then 5 to the other)
- 10 x side leg raise (alternating sides)
- 10 x upper body rotations (alternating sides)
1st set: 20 reps/10 each side no weight
2nd set: 16 reps/8 each side with weight
3rd set: 10 reps/5 each side no weight
#1 squat and arm raise
- Have your feet a little more than hip distance apart, parallel or slightly turned out
- Bend at your knees and hips as you lower into squat position. Aim to get your thighs parallel with the floor and then come up again
- Straighten up gently, don’t jerk your knees backwards
- Keep your neck in line with your spine
- Arm action: at the same time, raise your arms in front of your body up to shoulder height, with your palms facing inwards
#2 lunge and chest press
- Stand with your feet about hip distance apart.
- Leg action: Take one leg out behind you and touch your toes to the floor. Now bend at both knees, so that you lower your body towards the floor.
- Arm action: start with your elbows bent and your hands at shoulder height, palms facing downwards. Keeping your hands at shoulder height, extend your arms in front of you.
- Return to the starting position and repeat on your other leg.
#3 side bends
- Stand with feet hip distance apart, holding a weight in one hand, palms facing towards your body
- Making sure you don’t lean your body forwards or backwards, reach down to the side
- When you’ve done half the reps, repeat to the other side
#4 arm circles
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance
- Have your arms horizontal at shoulder height, palms facing forwards
- Make small clockwise circles with your hands
- Do half the reps clockwise, then change to anti-clockwise
#5 side squat with shoulder press
- Stand tall with your arms by your side, palms facing behind.
- Squat to the side. At the same time, lift your hands above your head. Stop just before your arms are completely straight.
- Come back to the starting position.
- Repeat, this time squatting to the other side.
#6 side leg lift with side arms
- Make sure you are standing straight (not bending forward), with your butt pulled under your body
- Lift one leg to the side, making sure it is in line with your body
- At the same time as you lift your leg, lift both your arms to the side, up to shoulder height, your palms facing in towards your body
- Lower your leg and arms and repeat with the other leg
#7 upper body rotations
- Stand with your feet about hip distance apart and lift your arms up in front of you. Hold one weight out in front, with your arms slightly bent.
- Keeping your arms at shoulder height and your hips facing forwards, rotate your arms and upper body to one side
- Come back to the centre and repeat to the other side
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