6 Energizing Exercises To Do As Soon As You Wake Up

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Working out in the morning is a great way to start your day on a healthy note. However, to get #UpNOut, you have to do everything humanely possible to resist hitting snooze and going back to bed. If your typical morning routine involves lots of coffee, this quick and simple workout can help add an extra boost to your day. That’s because the routine is designed to wake up your muscles and mind—so you can get moving, feel good, and crush it at work.

“You just spent hours asleep in stillness—first thing in the morning, you need moves that aren’t too hard on the body and joints,” says Kit Rich, an L.A.-based trainer and Lucy Activewear pro. This six-minute routine requires focus and coordination, explains Rich, “and that mind-body connection is crucial to awakening the body.”

Ready to go? Take that first morning stretch and ease into this workout that Rich developed for SELF. Do each move for 30 seconds, or up to one minute if you feel like it and you’ve got the time. Repeat the whole thing twice. Be sure to save the pin at the bottom to easily access the routine in the future.

1. Jumping Jacks — 30 seconds


Whitney Thielman

“This is an energizing move because it’s a dynamic stretch for the arms, it helps open up the chest, and it elevates the heart rate,” says Rich.

  • Stand with your feet together and your arms by your sides.
  • Jump your feet out and bring your arms above your head simultaneously.
  • Jump your feet back together and bring your arms back to your sides. Continue repeating quickly.

2. Fast Feet — 30 seconds


Whitney Thielman

“This move requires focus—fast feet is a combination of your brain and nervous system working together,” says Rich. 

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Come on to the balls of your feet with your knees slightly bent. Pick up your right foot and quickly put it back down and repeat on the opposite leg.

3. Forearm Plank — 30 seconds


Valerie Fischel

“This works every muscle in the core, and it requires focus to stay in proper form,” says Rich. “Plus it’s hard, so that will absolutely wake you up!”

  • Start with your forearms and knees on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Elbows should be stacked underneath the shoulders, your forearms straight in front of you on the ground.
  • Lift your knees off the ground and push your feet back to bring your body to full extension, so your body creates one long line.
  • Keep your core tight and your hips lifted, and keep your neck in line with your spine.

4. Pilates Roll-Up — 30 seconds


Whitney Thielman

“This helps stretch and wake up the whole back of the body, including the hamstrings, lower back, upper back, and neck,” says Rich. “The rolling helps to massage tension out of spine and wake up the body, and it works the core. The constant movement keeps the body energized,” she adds.

  • Lie faceup on mat with arms resting on floor above head.
  • Float arms up so wrists are directly over shoulders, and begin to curl your spine up and off the floor.
  • Fold over legs, forming a “U” shape with body. Reverse movement to lower back to mat.

5. Bicycle Crunches — 30 seconds


Whitney Thielman

Rich likes this move for its spine-twisting motion, which gets you moving after a (hopefully!) a long night of sleep. It’s also an amazing obliques move, she adds.

  • Sit on floor with knees bent, feet lifted, hands behind head.
  • Keep chest up and back straight as you lean back to engage abs.
  • Twist to bring right elbow to left knee, straightening right leg.
  • Repeat on opposite side for 1 rep.

6. Superman — 30 seconds


Whitney Thielman

“The extension in this move helps to strengthen the muscles that support the spine,” says Rich. “It also helps open the front of the body and massage the core muscles.”

  • Lie face down with your arms out in front of you.
  • Lift your torso and legs off the floor. Pause and then slowly lower everything back down.

Awake yet? Here’s a pin to save for the next time you need an A.M. boost.


Graphic by Jocelyn Runice

SELF » Fitness

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