8 Workouts for Anyone Who Hates Morning Workouts

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You're well-aware of the benefits of morning exercise—it gives your metabolism a boost, helps you stay in a consistent routine and gets your day off to a healthy start. But despite your best efforts, this morning workout thing just isn't happening. You're not the type whose feet hit the floor bursting with energy and ready to get the day going. Mornings are not now, nor have they ever been your most productive time of day, and past attempts to convert to a morning exerciser have been met with frustration and exhaustion.

Does this mean that if you have any chance of creating a regular routine, you'll have to find space in your day sometime after the clock strikes noon? Not necessarily. Lots of people who never thought it was possible have found a way to make exercise a regular part of their morning routine. For some, the secret has been to prep the night before so the morning routine is as smooth and easy as possible. For others, weaning themselves off of the snooze button and getting to bed earlier has made getting up less difficult. Here's something to keep in mind: Most morning exercisers don't do it because they are bursting with energy as soon as the alarm goes off. They do it because they remember what it feels like to finish a morning workout and feel that sense of accomplishment. Feeling good about yourself will always drive you to come back for more.

Maybe part of your problem has been that the activities you pick aren't ideal for someone who doesn't hit their stride until later in the day. Some exercises are better suited to ease you into the day, so consider trying a few of these to convert you into the morning exerciser you've always dreamed of becoming.
  1. Yoga
The calming atmosphere that goes hand-in-hand with most types of yoga is the ideal environment for anyone just rolling out of bed. An early morning session can provide focus and mental clarity, while reducing stress and giving you a burst of energy to start your day. Many yoga studios offer early morning classes, or check out the wide variety of options on YouTube if the idea of leaving your home so early is a deal-breaker. Yoga improves flexibility, strength and can even help with pain management—also known as the perfect way to start the day.
  1. Core Workouts
If a floor routine is what it takes to trick your mind into thinking you're still in bed, then maybe a core workout is what you need. Planks, crunches, Supermans and pendulums can all be done with little movement and in a (mostly) relaxed position. Not only does a strong core help improve posture and balance, but it also makes it easier to perform everyday activities like bending down to tie your shoes or sitting down in a chair. Gain strength in a low-key way first thing in the morning by picking three to four abdominal-focused moves to create your own circuit.
  1. At-Home Workouts
For many, the biggest hurdle of a morning workout is the idea of getting ready to go out and face the world, driving to the gym and waiting for a class to begin. The bleary eyes on top of having to set the alarm even earlier to account for transportation time is all a non-morning person needs to talk themselves out of attempting an early sweat. Eliminate every excuse with a home workout. These days, you can find thousands of varied at-home options, whether it's videos online, a subscription-based workout app or a routine you develop all on your own using tools such as a resistance band and jump rope. Resist the urge to hit the snooze, roll out of bed, spend five minutes changing your clothes and brushing your teeth, and you're ready to begin.
  1. Pilates
Although it's a gentle form of exercise to help ease into your morning, don't be fooled into thinking that Pilates is an easy workout. Pilates is a challenging form of exercise that engages your core to improve posture, body awareness and muscular endurance. It focuses on proper breathing and spinal alignment, making it an ideal way to get your mind and body prepared for the day's activities. Who wouldn't benefit from taking time for a few calming breaths and a progressive stretch as the day begins? If you're looking for an alternative to jumping out of bed and heading out for a joint-pounding run, Pilates might be the burn that works for you.
  1. Full-Body Strength Training
If you can't muster the energy for a heart-pounding cardio workout first thing in the morning, strength training is a good alternative. A traditional strength training routine (i.e. one that doesn't involve a lot of jumping or other explosive movements) can slowly wake up the body, one muscle group at a time. Try compound movements like a squat with overhead press or lunge with dumbbell curls to work various muscle groups at once, thereby saving precious morning time while effectively getting the blood flowing to both the upper and lower body quickly.
  1. Something Short
When the only thing you want to do is hit the snooze button or curl up with a cup of coffee, the idea of a 45-minute workout is likely more than your brain can process. A better strategy might be to start with something small, even if the goal is to eventually progress into longer morning workouts. Can you commit to just 10 to 15 minutes? Most people can get up 10 minutes earlier without a huge amount of protesting from the brain or body. A short workout is just what you need to get a boost of energy and slowly ease into a morning workout routine.
  1. A Class at the Gym
While it's true that a home workout is better for some people because it's easily accessible, it can also be easier to skip it because no one is watching. If you're great at talking yourself out of early mornings, Laura Arndt, CEO of Matriarc suggests trying a live class at the gym with other people. "If you can find an exercise class that is early in the morning and you enjoy, having a set time you need to arrive and a workout mapped out for you is a good idea. You know exactly when you have to be there and [you know] that you’re also going to get a full workout in," she explains. "People don’t usually quit during an exercise class, so you’re more likely to push yourself a bit harder if there are other people around and an instructor there to guide you." For anyone who really struggles with accountability, sometimes finding a class that charges a no-show fee can be just the impetus needed to get up and get there. After all, who wants to waste their hard-earned money?
  1. Anything With a Good Warmup
When you find activities you enjoy, you're more likely to stick with them long-term. If you love to run, though, why is it so difficult to get motivated to wake up and head out sometimes? One reason could be a lack of proper warmup—going right from sleeping to sprinting doesn't sound appealing to even the most seasoned morning exerciser. Steven Mack, owner of Simple Solutions Fitness stresses the need for a good warmup to ramp up the pace of your workout, especially if you're on a mission to become an early exerciser. "If you roll out of bed first thing in the morning, you might feel a little stiff and groggy," he explains. "If you're about to exercise in the morning, the warmup is key because it will elevate your body temperature and help keep you from injuring any stiff areas. You can likely do just about anything if you spend enough time warming up." A good warmup can be done in five to 10 minutes with just a few dynamic stretches focused on the muscles you’re planning to work. A runner, for example, would follow this recommended routine from Mack: "Try bodyweight lunges for eight to 12 reps on each leg, a dynamic ankle or calf stretch on the ground or using the wall as a support, and a few ground-based or standing glute exercises."
 
If packing your bag the night before, sleeping in your workout clothes, calling a buddy to meet you or posting your plans on social media haven't provided enough motivation to get out of bed for a morning workout, perhaps it's the type of workout that's holding you back. Don't be afraid to experiment with different kinds of activities to find something your body will tolerate at the crack of dawn. Although you might never love it, you'll find that, over time, your body gets used to exercising first thing and it comes to expect the burst of energy a morning workout provides.

If you're a morning exerciser but not necessarily a "morning person," what activities work best for you at this time of day?
 

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Comments

PRUSSIANETTE 6/23/2018
A gentle yoga session is usually how I begin my day. Helps with do more vigorous types of exercise later in the day. Report
KHALIA2 6/20/2018
I am a very early riser, but I don't began exercising that early. Report
CKOUDSI617 6/17/2018
Walking is best for me, at least until my "brain wakes up". I have music that goes 150 beats per minute. (It's pretty brisk!) Whatever works for you that you can keep doing is best! Report
RSCHWARTZ2 6/2/2018
I wake up early before anyone else in the house is up to work out and do housework. I enjoy having the house to myself to do what I please. I vary my workouts, strength training, Zumba, taebo, walking, yoga and core. Report
1SUZIQ11 5/26/2018
Whatever it is, it will be in my home. Whether strength training, pilates or exercising to a DVD, the thought of having to dress and go to the gym I not my cup of tea. Report
CHLWILLIAMS 5/26/2018
I find that prepping the night before helps. I walk every morning with the exceptions of Wednesdays. My husband is my accountability partner. We walk together. During the work day I incorporate some chair exercises. I walk the long way throughout the day. Report
APPLEPIEDREAMS 5/25/2018
I have an exercise bike at home that I use. I ride it in my pajamas with my crocs on. It's great. Report
RHODAPENNY 5/25/2018
Great ideas. Report
JUSTFURKIDS 5/25/2018
Morning yoga does it for me! I put the coffee on and reward myself with a nice cup afterward! For the second cup, I grab a to go cup & go out for the first walk of the day with the 6 Kitchen Wolves! Nothing like a good healthy routine you don’t even have to think about! DOWN 48.6 lbs in 4 months! Report
ROBBIEY 5/25/2018
I hate morning workouts and these are great tips, but I don't get my energy until night. Report
LESLIELENORE 5/25/2018
I find early morning workouts get me set for the day... Report
IRSHJUMPINBEANS 5/21/2018
Great article! I never thought I would be a morning workout person, but with my schedule the way that it is, the only constant is that I never know what time I'll be done at work or what plans will happen afterward. Getting my workouts in the morning gets it out of the way and doesn't allow me to make excuses.

I also used to pay for classes up front or join classes that had a no-show fee. Interestingly, I felt much less guilty about eventually sleeping in and skipping these classes, because I didn't have the social pressure to show up (it was covered by the fee I paid, and the class would still happen whether I was there or not). Inevitably I'd drop out after a couple of weeks. What I found now works for me is that I do personal training in the mornings, and I'm his first client. So if I sleep through a workout, yes I have to pay a fee, but the real thing that gets me there is knowing how bad I'd feel that he woke up a half hour earlier than he had to! I've only no-showed about three times in the last year, and I've stuck with this 6am workout for an entire year, which for me is ridiculously impressive. Report
SHANEMARTINE1 5/12/2018
Very useful. Report
NASFKAB 5/11/2018
Interesting ideas as I did my workout with my therapist this morning days she does not come walk or dance Report
IAMAUNTYEM 5/7/2018
Never thought I'd find the time to do a.m. exercises; can't imagine not doing a.m. exercises. 8-) Report
IRONADONIS 5/5/2018
thx Report
CAROLYNINJOY1 5/2/2018
Thank you for good reminders. Report
AIYANASMAMA 5/1/2018
Thanks Report
MARTHA324 5/1/2018
Generally I like to get up, have tea & breakfast, watch the news then go and exercise. Just back from vacation and took a walk or went to fitness center before breakfast every day and that really set up the day! Report
RHOOK20047 4/30/2018
Thanks good idea! Report
PICKIE98 4/30/2018
Something for everybody. Report
RHOOK20047 4/29/2018
Great articles with some great ideas. Report
NANCYPAT1 4/29/2018
Great article! Report
BIKE4HEALTH 4/29/2018
Great article. I attempt to make every other day a new workout. These were some great ideas Report
SUNSET09 4/29/2018
Whatever works for you, SparkFriend. I prefer to work out in the evening, however I do not have a husband nor children to contend with, yet. Keep sparkling. Report
MIYAMO 4/28/2018
Very informative. Report
JUNETTA2002 4/28/2018
Thanks for sharing. Great information Report
RD03875 4/28/2018
Thanks for the article Report
2DAWN4 4/28/2018
Thanks for the article! Report
PATRICIA-CR 4/27/2018
Yes! I like them. Report
SHOAPIE 4/27/2018
Let’s go! Report
MBPP50 4/27/2018
Great Report
CECELW 4/27/2018
It makes no difference when you workout. I workout according to my work schedule Report
1CRAZYDOG 4/27/2018
Personally prefer morning workouts. Done for the day then. Report
PLCHAPPELL 4/27/2018
It's the best time for me. Report
DEEYOUCANDOIT 4/26/2018
I haven’t really found a morning exercise that fits me. When I exercise before work in the morning, I’m always sleepy by midday. Report
SISTERPRETTY 4/26/2018
awesome...thanks.... Report
BOLEBRON 4/26/2018
These are good suggestions and I have tried most of them (even meeting up with a training group to run a marathon) and I still prefer to stay on bed a few minutes later. I am going to get up earlier at least twice per week to workout now that is light out. I am very slow in the morning. Report
LEANJEAN6 4/26/2018
very informative Report
FITANDI40 4/26/2018
I workout in the mornings, not because I want to or because I think it's better, but because I know myself. If I don't get my workout in before my day gets going, I won't get my workout in at all. It can be hard to get out of bed, but when I make it a non-negotiable part of my morning routine, I have a much better attitude about it (and actually even enjoy it)! Report
ARTJAC 4/26/2018
GREAT Report
SPUNOUTMOM 4/26/2018
surprisingly, me not being a morning person likes running. I can start by walking and don't even have to think, just get up and out. Coffee maker programmed so when I come in, coffees ready. Report
GOLDENRODFARM 4/26/2018
I prefer to exercise in the afternoon, besides the cows don't like to wait to be milked lol Report
LIS193 4/26/2018
I love my morning yoga routine Report
PICKIE98 4/26/2018
I change from cardio to strength, using the ball in short, ten-minute workouts. Report
CHELLEAZ03 4/26/2018
I don’t necessarily like working out in the morning, but I know I don’t have it in me to workout after work. So, the night before I just set my mind to it and I get up and head to the gym around 4:30 am. My motivation is working out 3 days in a row, skip a day, then workout the next 2 days and rest again the following day. Report
LADYG67 4/26/2018
I do a 20 min walk at home workout and 5 min stretch before heading out to work each morning Report
ALABAMASUSAN17 4/26/2018
Nice! Thank you! Report
AZMOMXTWO 4/26/2018
thank you Report
DMEYER4 4/26/2018
thanks Report