With the welcomed arrival of extra daylight, we also get to look forward to fresh flowers blooming, and spring showers showering. This all sounds nice and rosy, but you may have noticed that daylight savings time has left you feeling sluggish and groggy. The time change is easy on clocks, but can take a real toll on our bodies, even weeks after. Good news: your morning workout is here to save the day! A few simple changes to how you rise and shine can make all the difference. If you’re interested in becoming a morning warrior or just need a few springtime tweaks to your routine, consider this workout your new wake up call to help you rise and energize!
These 5 exercises are meant to help wake up the body gently with low impact movements to get your blood flowing, and as your energy increases you can turn it up a notch and really get your heart pumping, or turn the dial back down and chill things out. Within each exercise are a few options, so try them all or just stick to what feels good for you that day. Challenge yourself to perform these moves back-to-back at a high rep count (10-12 reps per move), and then repeat 2-3 times.
Begin by stretching out your body in a basic child’s pose. With toes together, you can bring your knees wide apart or keep them together and relax your torso on your thighs. Extend arms out in front of you and reach your fingers towards the front of your mat. To add some movement to this stretch, walk hands over the right side of your mat to stretch your left side, and then walk hands over the left to stretch your right side. Then return to center.
Tabletop stretch & crunches
Tabletop & Cat/Cow: Come to all fours, with hands underneath your shoulders and knees under your hips. Begin with a simple cat/cow stretch… warming up the spine by arching and rounding your back. When coming into cow, relax the belly towards the floor, reach your heart forward and lift your gaze up as your tailbone lifts. Transition into cat by lowering the tailbone to the ground, pulling your belly in and gently lowering your head down as you lengthen the back of your neck.
Tabletop Crunches: Return to your neutral tabletop position with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Extend your right leg back and flex the foot, then reach your left arm forward. Engage your core as your leg and arm reach in opposition. Place a bend in the knee and pull your elbow in to connect the two underneath your belly button in a crunch position. Extend arm and leg long before returning to your crunch. Repeat on the other side.
Plank to Down Dog: Start in downward facing dog, with feet hip distance and hands about
shoulder distance apart. On an inhale, shift forward to your plank pose or top of a push-up. Pause here and then on an exhale shift your hips back, returning to your downward facing dog. Continue shifting forward and back, between plank and down dog, keeping abs engaged and arms strong. If this is too challenging, a great modification is to lower down to your knees for your plank pose.
Plank with Alternating Leg Lifts: Shift forward to your plank pose, hands underneath shoulders and feet together. Keep hips in line with your shoulders as you slowly lift your right toes off the ground and extend the right leg straight. Lower the right foot, and return to your plank position. Repeat on your left side to complete a full rep. If this is too challenging, lower to a forearm plank or perform this move against a wall.
Plank Mountain Climbers: Start in plank pose with hands underneath your shoulders and feet hip distance apart. Drive your right knee towards your right elbow, then bring it across to your left elbow before stepping back to your plank. Repeat on your left side to complete a full rep. If this is too challenging, lower to a forearm plank or perform this move against a wall.
Modified Pushups: Start on your knees with legs together and hands placed under your shoulders. Keep hips pressed forward to maintain a straight line and long spine. Bend at the elbows and lower your chest, keeping abs engaged, then press down through your palms and return arms to straight.
Tricep Pushups: Start in plank position with feet hip distance apart and hands underneath your shoulders. Bend at the elbows as you lower your chest down, keeping abs engaged. Keep your elbows close to your sides, press through the palms of your hands and return to your straight arm plank.
Single Leg Pushups: For an added challenge, perform the Tricep Pushup described above, this time adding a lift of one leg at a time.
Chair Pose Squats
Chair Pose Squats: Begin standing with feet hip distance apart. Place a bend in the knees as you sit your hips back similar to chair pose, hands in front of your chest. Drive your weight into your heels and press back up to standing. Repeat, sitting a little lower with each rep.
Chair Pose Squat Jumps: Begin standing with feet hip distance apart. Place a bend in the knees as you sit your hips back similar to chair pose, hands in front of your chest. Drive your weight into your heels and use your glute muscles to help jump off the ground before landing carefully with bent knees.
Next, get dressed in your most empowering workout gear and you’re good to go!