Do you want to…
…boost your energy?
…get stronger and see some muscle tone?
…feel loose and pain-free?
…this in a very short amount of time?
You want Morning Moves!
Morning Moves prime your body for the day
Make your day easier by starting with moves that warm your muscles and loosen up any stiff joints. You’ll also be setting the tone for your next 16 or so hours by starting with some serious self-care.
Morning Moves help you build a better body composition
Moving before you eat improves your glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity which helps you efficiently burn your own body fat for energy. At the same time, you’re strengthening and toning your muscles, and building stronger bones, to boot.
Morning Moves energize you
These functional moves build you up rather than deplete you. Unlike strenuous workouts where you push yourself to the limit—and want to go back to bed afterwards—you’ll finish these ready to face whatever your day has in store for you.
Morning Moves give your brain a boost, too
Blood rushes to your muscles when you move and it also significantly increases its flow in your brain. This can enhance your cognitive function, protect against neurodegenerative disease, and reduce depression.
Sounds wonderful, but what are Morning Moves?
Every morning you’ll do two exercises. Just two! And you’ll get all of the benefits above in less than five minutes.
So what are these wonderful moves?
Squats with arm sweeps and push-ups. Ta-da!
These two exercises are as basic and functional as you can get—and that’s a good thing! They work your body’s main muscles—and get your heart pumping, too. They move your muscles and joints through a full range-of-motion so you effectively develop strength and flexibility. They can be modified so that anyone can do them, regardless of what condition you’re in when you start.
Set yourself up for success
Try the Morning Moves ahead of time to figure out what (if any) modifications you need to make.
They should feel slightly challenging while you’re doing them—and then really good when you’re done. No recovery time needed!
Determine when you’re going to do them.
As close to first thing in the morning is best, simply so that the day doesn’t get the chance to impose its will on you. But I’ll be honest—I need at least 10 minutes to feel awake enough to do any exercise, so I wash my face, brush my teeth, make my bed, and have a glass of water first. Do what works for you. (It’s not ideal but you can choose to do them at another time of the day.)
Determine where you’re going to do them.
They don’t require much space, but if you’re living in close quarters, you may need to figure out how to make it work. You can, though! I know some women who even do these in their offices—where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Commit to doing them every morning.
Yes, every morning. They take less than five minutes! Don’t make a plan B for these. Don’t complicate your commitment. Eventually, once you have a solid, no-two-ways-about-it habit, you can skip an occasional morning (for me, it’s often Sunday).
Make a mindset-shift.
Instead of seeing your Morning Moves as a chore or an obligation, think of them as a way to support yourself and how you want to feel.
Set your intention.
Research has shown that this is one of the best ways to implement a habit-change. Form a sentence that tells where and when you’re going to do your Morning Moves. (You already figured this out up above, right?)
“I will do my Morning Moves in [my living room, or my bedroom on my mat, or in the kitchen, etc.]when I [finish brushing my teeth, or roll out of bed, or am making my coffee,etc.}.”
You can write this down or just say it out loud. Once is fine, but repeating it frequently can help remind you of your intention!
How to do the Morning Moves
Squat with arm sweeps
Stand with good posture, abs engaged. Have your feet hip-width apart or slightly wider and perfectly parallel (beware—your toes will want to turn out!). Lift your arms straight out to the sides, then pull them back slightly, feeling your upper back muscles engage.
Slowly bend your knees as you push your hips back, like you’re sitting in a chair, and move your straight arms out in front of you, parallel to the floor (this counterbalances your hips moving back). Go as low as you can with good form.
What is good form? Your feet stay parallel. Your legs also stay parallel (don’t let your knees cave in) and your knees don’t move in front of your toes. You keep your heels firmly planted on the floor. Your chest stays lifted and you’re looking forward (not down).
Push into your heels as you straighten back up to standing as you bring arms back out to sides and slightly back.
With good posture and abs engaged, place your hands on a stable surface (the lower the surface, the harder the push-ups will be). Have your hands shoulder-width or slighter wider with your arms straight. Balance on your toes.
Keeping your body in plank position, bend your elbows out and back, lowering your torso towards surface (don’t stick your butt up in the air!). Go as low as you can with good form.
What is good form? Your body stays in a plank position throughout the move—no lifting your hips up (pike position) or lowering them below core level (swayback position). Your elbows don’t bend directly out to sides (perpendicular to your body) or directly back (parallel to your body), but halfway between the two. Ideally your chest will touch the floor or whatever surface you’re using.
Push into your hands as you straighten your arms back to starting position.
These are the basics—please reach out if you want to learn how to modify these 2 moves!