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Morning Workout Routine

A woman completing a morning workout routine.

Armed with this morning workout routine you’ll be able to get your fitness fix before breakfast. Starting the day with this sweat session will leave you feeling rejuvenated and energised.

Consisting of cardio and low-intensity resistance exercises, your whole body will be engaged. As well as promoting multiple components of fitness, this morning workout routine is completely customisable.

Because the workout requires minimal equipment it can be adapted to a broad range of exercise environments. From the local park to the deluxe leisure complex, you can tailor this workout to suit your training facility.

For those eager to find out what’s in store tomorrow morning, click the link and skip straight to the Morning Workout Session Plan. Those interested in hearing about some of the health and fitness benefits on offer, read on …

This morning workout routine activates the aerobic system

The primary focus of this workout is cardiovascular exercise. Light cardio training is an ideal morning activity for two reasons.

First, gentle jogging, relaxed rowing, or slow cycling are low-intensity exercises that don’t overstress the body. Thus, they make for a more pleasant way to ease into your morning workout.

Second, cardio kick-starts the metabolism while also stimulating the heart and facilitating increased blood flow. Just what’s needed after a night wallowing in the land of Nod. When sleeping our physiological systems – heart rate and circulation – slow down. This accounts for why blood oxygen levels drop during sleep and why on waking we feel particularly sluggish.

As well as activating (and strengthening) the heart, cardio increases respiration and circulation. Stimulating the ‘cardio-respiratory’ system serves to flood the body with oxygen-rich blood. This explains why we feel energised and cognitively alert after exercise. A consequence of the influx of oxygen to of oxygen to the muscles and brain.

Essential reading: 80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster

Morning fitness fights fat

As we’ve seen, morning fitness fires up the metabolism and stokes the physiological systems. Starting the day with a steady-paced jog or cardio and callisthenics circuit elevates the heart rate and engages many major muscle groups.

With the engines now running hot, they are burning fat even before your first meal. This creates a calorie deficit.

When you have breakfast (preferably a healthy bowl of porridge and within the ‘golden hour’) the calories consumed will quickly be used up. This limits the likelihood of those calories being stored as fat.

But a morning workout routine does more than stimulate your physicality and promote weight loss.

Daily morning exercise promotes positive lifestyle choices

Daily morning exercise is a positive lifestyle choice and one that, if maintained, can confer many health benefits. In the book Exercised, Daniel Liberman, a professor of biological sciences at Harvard University, points out that regular physical activity can reduce your risk of becoming obese and developing certain types of diseases.

As well as supporting healthy body weight and defending against disease, working out improves mental well-being. Studies have shown that people who participate in exercise enjoy a generally happier disposition. It’s good to know that we’re engaging in an activity that is enhancing our longevity.

Morning workouts enforce healthy habits

In addition to bagging all these benefits before most people have even rolled out of bed, a morning workout routine can set you on a healthy path for the rest of the day. This, I think, helps to reinforce self-discipline, which makes us more inclined to select other healthy lifestyle choices.

For example, eating a greasy fry up after 30 minutes of rowing is not only contradictory but also quite possibly negates the health benefits we would derive from training. This raises the unavoidable question of why bother going through the effort of exercising only to undermine it a while later?

It’s this realisation that can make healthy habits mutually reinforcing. Get up and go for a run. Replenish with a healthy breakfast. Up early so prepare a nutritious lunch. No need to snack throughout the day what with all these quality calories. Feeling energetic so get in a gym session (or go for an evening walk). Cook a wholesome meal from fresh. Relax the rest of the evening with a good book.

Essentia reading: Willpower can help you improve habits and strengthen self-discipline

Morning workout routine

Below you’ll find three morning workout routine session plans. As well as varying in duration, each plan provides a different training focus.

For example, the morning callisthenics routine is comprised of body weight exercises which are organised into a circuit. This workout will promote muscle endurance and, to a point, functional strength. Because it requires only your body weight (and a soft training mat), it’s perfect for those with limited access to exercise equipment.

In contrast, the best morning routine for complete fitness can enhance your aerobic capacity, muscle endurance, and upper body strength. As well as being more extensive, and requiring a training area, this workout targets a broader range of fitness components.

Warm up

Before having a go at any of the morning workouts ensure to warm up first. Norris, in his book The Complete Guide To Sports Training, reminds us that a preparatory warm-up can improve exercise performance and reduce injury risk.

It’s for these reasons that we should always warm up before every training session, even if it’s only a short-duration low-intensity workout. A 10-minute progressive warm-up plan has been provided.

Quick morning workout

If you wake up a little late (or hit the snooze button one too many times), you’ll still be able to squeeze in a session with this quick morning workout. Because it’s organised into 3-minute ‘rounds’, you can trim the workout to fit even the most constricted time constraint.

Let’s say that you have only 20 minutes in which to shoehorn some exercise, you could complete 9 rounds taking 30 seconds rest after every 3 minutes. In place of a warm-up, the first two rounds would be completed at a low intensity. Once warm and awake, you can pick up the tempo with each successive round.

The exercises that feature in the training plan are only suggestions. Of course, you can chop and change them to suit your preferences and training facility. You have a couple of options when it comes to the organisation of exercises.

First, you can focus on one exercise for the full 3 minutes. When the round concludes take a short break before changing exercises. Second, you can select three different exercises performing each one for a minute prior to transitioning to the next.

Of the two options, the latter is superior as it enables you to incorporate a wider range of exercises into your workout. In addition, because of the regular transitions, you can invest more effort into each minute before fatiguing.

Quick morning workout key points

  • Integrate the warm-up into the workout if necessity dictates.

  • The workout is structured into 3 minute rounds.

  • Complete as many rounds as time permits.

  • There are two ways to structure the exercises:

  • Option 1: focus on one exercise for the full 3 minute round. Take a short rest (or not) before changing exercises.

  • Option 2: select three different exercises and focus on each one for a minute. When you’ve completed the three exercises take a short rest.

A quick morning workout that you can be used as morning workout routine.

Morning calisthenics routine

The focus of this morning calisthenics routine is entirely on body weight movements. This makes it ideal for those with limited access to training equipment. When I created this workout, I had in mind a person living in a high-rise flat or confined to a prison cell.

All you need to complete this workout is an exercise mat and a patch of ground big enough to accommodate your body. As well as being uber-minimalistic, this morning routine can be moulded to fill as few as 10 minutes or as many as 60 minutes. Hell, when you’ve set a minute repeat timer, you can go all day if you’ve got nothing better to do.

The workout is comprised of 10 calisthenics exercises. You will spend precisely one minute on each exercise prior to moving to the next in line. The objective is to progress through one full cycle before resting. No rest duration has been stipulated; take as long as you feel you need.

Morning calisthenics routine key points

  • Suitable warm-up activities for this workout include mobility exercises, jogging on the spot, a reduced-intensity run-through of the exercises, or a combination of the three.

  • Set a one-minute repeat countdown timer.

  • Using the session plan provided, progress through the 10 exercises ensuring not to deviate from the ordering.

  • Take a short rest after the final exercise.

  • Complete as many cycles of the plan as you have time for.

A calisthenics routine that can be used for morning training sessions.

Best morning workout for complete fitness

Our final morning workout routine has been crafted to cultivate complete fitness. Comprised of cardio and calisthenics exercises, this workout will improve aerobic capacity and muscle endurance.

In addition, if you decide to include resistance exercises – kettlebell swings or powerbag deadlifts (for example) – you’ll also develop functional strength.

Though designed to be performed outside (at a park or sports ground with a perimeter track), the workout can be completed in several different training environments. It begins with an 800-metre run. But running can be substituted for any other cardio exercise. Just ensure to sustain output for a minimum of 2 minutes.

Concluding the cardio station, you’ll progress through a calisthenics complex. The complex consists of four bodyweight exercises. You will complete 25 reps on each exercise before moving on. When you’ve performed 100 reps total, you’re straight back into the cardio.

Maintaining a steady pace, one full lap of the circuit should take between 4 to 6 minutes. You can complete as many laps as you have the time and fitness for. However, I recommend aiming for a minimum of four laps.

Best morning workout key points

  • Warm up with a few minutes of mobility exercises followed by a light jog.

  • As mentioned in the introduction, if you are unable to run (which can also be completed on a treadmill), you can row, cycle, skip, or even swim. Whichever cardio exercise you settle on, ensure to sustain output for 2 minutes.

  • Concluding the cardio, you’re into the calisthenics complex. This involves progressing through four bodyweight exercises completing 25 reps on each one – 100 reps total.

  • That’s one full lap of the circuit.

A session plan of the best morning workout.


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The blog author bio that concludes this article of the morning workout routine.

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