Best Morning Workout Routine to Crush the New Day

[toggle title=’Click to show/hide spoiler’]

January 31, 2021 Guardian-Elite Fitness Leave a comment
In theory, we’d all like to think of ourselves as ultra-productive, over-achievers who get the most out of every minute of the day. But in reality those dreams of waking up for an early morning workout are usually dashed as soon as the alarm screams for our attention before the sun has even come up.

The truth is that the morning is the best time to workout for busy adults. Things pop up throughout the day that can ruin even the best laid plans for a decent sweat session in the P.M. hours of the day. Sometimes, you could just simply be too tired after a hard day.

The best morning workouts are going to be on the shorter side, with mainly bodyweight exercises and a little cardio and possibly a few dumbbell movements added. It’s not the goal of many to hop out of bed and start pumping iron. So no body building here.

The goal for a good morning workout routine is to boost metabolism and take advantage of the hours long fast you just submitted your body to as you slept through the night.

Adding a quick morning workout will promote increased fat burning, given the fact that your body has already burned through most of its normal energy stores.

We’ll discuss the benefits of a morning workout routine, how you can become a morning workout person and show a 5-minute, 10-minute , 20-minute and 30-minute morning workout.

  • Benefits of Morning Workout
  • How to Become a Morning Workout Person
  • Morning vs. Evening Workout
  • How to Do a Morning Workout
  • Body Weight Morning Workout
  • Morning Workout for Abs
  • 5 Minute Morning Workout
  • 10 Minute Morning Workout
  • 15 Minute Morning Workout
  • 20 Minute Morning Workout
  • 30 Minute Morning Workout

Benefits of Morning Workout

Starting a new routine of waking up early to get in a workout can be a challenge. This is especially true if you’re really not a morning person already. If you are looking for ways to talk yourself into getting up earlier to exercise, here are the benefits of a morning workout that you should consider.

Crank Up the Metabolism

woman doing plank workout
Adding a morning workout routine can actually boost your metabolism into high gear and continue to burn calories at a high level even after you’ve stopped exercising.

This is caused by a phenomenon known as “excess post exercise oxygen consumption”, or simply as EPOC. This is also known as the “afterburn effect”.

What’s happening here? Simply put, your body has to respond to exercise with increased blood flow, heart rate and increased metabolism in order to keep up with the energy demands of the workout.

After you stop exercising, your body doesn’t immediately return to its pre-workout resting state. Just as the engine of a car has to cool after a long trip, your body has to do the same. It takes time for the body to return to a resting state.

All this means is that you can continue to burn calories with increased metabolism for up to 14 hours or more after exercise, depending on the level of intensity.

Improve Overall Energy Levels

smiling woman after morning workout
Exercise in general will increase your energy levels. In fact, 20% of adults worldwide have reported feeling levels of persistent fatigue and low energy levels.

Studies have clearly shown through 12 different population-based studies that there is a direct correlation between physical activity and combating the feelings of low energy and persistent fatigue.

If you’re worried that a workout in the morning might drain your energy for the rest of the day, actually, the opposite is true. An early morning workout benefit can be increased energy through the rest of the day.

Beat the Crowd

empty gym in morning
If you plan on hitting the gym for your workout, going earlier in the morning could be a big plus.

Depending on your gym, if you workout in the evening or after work the gym could be packed with people. Going earlier in the morning might have the advantage of less people crowding the machines or areas you want to use.

Dial in Your Focus For the Day

man focusing on work
Exercising is not only going to wake up the body, but also wake up the mind. Getting in a morning workout can increase your mental state and focus for the day ahead.

When we exercise we’re sending extra blood, oxygen and nutrients through out the body and brain. This helps make us more alert and sharp, even after the workout is over.

Studies have actually shown that a morning workout routine can even increase your on-the-job performance.

Flood Your Brain with Endorphins

man smiling after morning workout
If stress is affecting your mood, then exercise is a great natural remedy for this. Physical activity will release endorphins into the body, creating what is known as a “runners high”.

Chronic stress in and of itself can have a lot negative impacts on our body and mind. Which in turn can affect our mood on a daily basis. Plus, stress can lead to other things like stress eating, which will actively work against any weight loss goals you might have.

If stress eating is also a problem you’re facing, here are 9 ways to overcome it.

Activate Fat Burning in Your Body

woman burning fat during morning workout
Any time you exercise you are sure to burn some calories. However, by working out in the morning you are much more likely to be burning fat instead of carbs as a form of energy.

This is the same concept as with fasted cardio for fat burning. If you got in a good nights rest, it’s likely you’re in a fasted state when you wake up. This means your body has very little in the way of food or spare carbs to use as energy.

When this happens, the body will begin to draw on fat stores for it’s energy. As opposed to working out in the evening, you will almost always be in a fasted state if you’ve not eaten anything before exercising.

Better Appetite Control

small food portion
Logically, one might think that the more and harder you exercise, the hungrier you would be afterwards. Paradoxically, this is not necessarily true. It has to do with how exercise affects the signal our brains are sending to our body about hunger.

Aerobic exercise in particular (cardio) has been shown to be the most effective at curbing appetite. This is because exercise is known to reduce Ghrelin and Leptin, which are hunger inducing hormones.

But further study has shown that working out in the morning is the most effective for curbing hunger and can lead to better food choices throughout the day.

This particular study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise showed that 17 women, after walking for 45 minutes on a treadmill had less response when exposed to pictures of food than those that had not exercised. This showed that the brain itself is more responsive to food when not exercising in the morning.

Better Sleep

woman stretching after waking up
The National Sleep Foundation says that for optimal sleep, you should exercise at 7 a.m. everyday. A morning workout is said to help you to sleep longer and sleep deeper.

As an added bonus, by going outside in the sunshine for that early morning workout, you can help to regulate your wake/sleep cycle, which could make it easier to get up in the morning for that workout in the first place.

Avoid the Heat

man stretching before morning workout
If you plan on venturing into the great outdoors during the warm summer months, it helps to go earlier in the morning to avoid the heat.

Working out in the heat of the day can not only affect your workout negatively, but depending on what kind of heat you have to deal with, it could be dangerous.

Typically the hottest part of the day ranges from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. so plan accordingly.

How to Become a Morning Workout Person

The best morning workout is going to be the one you are able to get out of bed for. You can create the most effective morning workout routine anyone has ever witnessed, but if you aren’t able to actually you know, wake up, it will be all for nothing.

How does one become this super productive morning workout person? Here are some tips to get you started and out of bed in the morning.

how to become a morning workout person
1. Take Baby Steps
If you want to get up earlier for a morning workout, it might be hard to cold turkey start waking up 1-2 hours before you’re used to. Mentally and physically.

Instead of instantly trying to push your wake up time back, progressively set your alarm 15-20 minutes earlier every 2-3 days to give your body time to adjust.

2. Keep Your Gear Close By
By making sure everything you need for the next morning’s workout is ready the night before, it will make it easier to get up and get ready.

If you have your clothes, shoes and whatever else you might need right next to your bed or close by, it gives you all the more reason to actually get out of bed.

3. Move the Alarm or Make it Harder to Turn Off
Move your phone (or if you still have an alarm clock) away from your bed-side. This, while most likely annoying when you wake up, will force you to drag yourself out of bed and shut off the alarm.

Added bonus: you’re now out of bed. Might as well workout.

4. Have a Workout Buddy
Being accountable to another person is great motivation for a morning workout.

No one wants to leave a friend hanging and by knowing that someone else is also getting up early to do the same thing, it might make it easier to turn off the alarm and get up in the morning.

5. Plan Your Workouts
Make sure you have a plan in place for what you want to exercise and what the actual workout will consist of. Not having a morning workout routine ready to go could give you the excuse you need to not get up at all.

If you have a clear plan for a workout before you get out of bed, it will help to keep you in check when you’re less motivated to get going.

6. Program Your Coffee Maker
It’s perfectly fine to get in one cup of coffee before a morning workout. The added shot of caffeine will get you going and ready to start working up a sweat.

By pre-programming your coffee maker to start making coffee even before you wake, it will just make it easier to get out of bed knowing there is caffeine waiting on you.

Also, you don’t have to worry about the coffee breaking your fast if you’re goal is to workout in a fasted state. The good news is that plain black coffee will not break your fast. Find out why here.

7. Make Sure to Actually Get Enough Sleep
Most adults should be getting at least 7 hours of sleep in at night. If you are burning the candle at both ends you won’t last long on your quest to become a morning workout person.

If you are used to staying up later, try to go to bed a little earlier. This will undoubtedly make it easier to get up earlier the next morning if you are fully rested.

Morning vs. Evening Workout

Those who exercise exclusively in the evening may disagree with this post’s slant toward a morning workout session and the accompanying benefits.

However, it’s safe to say that they probably aren’t reading this anyway unless they are considering making a change to an early morning workout routine.

Let’s be clear though. Evening workouts are not “bad”.

Any workout completed is a good workout. If you are a natural night owl, a switch to a morning workout might not be in your best interests.

In fact, depending on your goals, a morning workout might not be the best fit.

Here’s why:

Goal: Muscle Gain
man with muscle posing
If your goal is to lift heavy weights and build more muscle mass, working out in the evening might be more beneficial to you.

Two hormones our body produces, cortisol and testosterone, play an important role here. First, cortisol, which is considered a catabolic hormone is known to break down muscle, fat and other substances.

Cortisol levels are highest in the morning, and will decline throughout the day into the evening. Lifting weights with the goal of muscle gain can be diminished with a hormone like cortisol very active right at the same time you’re lifting weight.

Testosterone on the other hand plays a huge role in muscle gain. While testosterone levels in the body are at their lowest in the evening, strength training can cause these levels to spike significantly in response.

Goal: Fat Burning

If your goal is cardio and fat burning, morning workouts are superior. This is because of the benefit we’ve already discussed: fasted cardio.

While it’s true, through intermittent fasting you could be in a fasted state at any time during the day. The most likely time four our body to be in a fasted state is first thing in the morning.

However, not just doing fasted cardio in the morning is going to cut it. If you truly want the most bang for your buck when it comes to fasted weight loss through accelerated fat burning, you need to be doing HIIT workouts while fasted. Here’s why.

It comes down to this decision then, evening workouts are probably better for strength training and muscle building. Morning workouts are probably better for fat burning and weight loss through cardio and HIIT exercises.

How to Do a Morning Workout

Given all the we’ve covered on a morning workout routine. Here are is a quick summary of tips to help put together your morning workout:

Decide what your goal is: fat burning or muscle gain. If you want to get in a good workout and burn fat, a morning workout is going to be ideal.
Get everything ready the night before: this means get your clothes and gear ready to go and close by, Program the coffee maker to fire up first thing and get the alarm(s) set and ready.
Plan your workout: tailor your workout routine to your own fitness level and time limitations. If you’ve created a specific workout plan that is just right for you, you’ll be extra motivated to complete the workout.
Not sure what morning workout you need? Below we’ll show you 7 different morning workouts that range from 5 minutes to 30 minutes and a couple more specific workouts to try.

Body Weight Morning Workout
Bodyweight exercises are a perfect blend of aerobic and strength conditioning exercises for a morning workout session.

In the morning, it’s important to take advantage of being in a fasted state by incorporating higher intensity aerobic style exercises using light weight or only body weight.

Choose from any of the following exercises below to create your own bodyweight morning workout routine, or keep scrolling for some pre-made workouts.

Jump Squats

Elevated Push-ups

Mountain Climbers



Single Leg Squat


Reverse Lunges

High Knees

Jumping Jacks

Box Jumps

Walking Lunge

Close Grip Push-ups

Morning Workout for Abs

Workout 1:

Medicine Ball Toe Touch:

3 sets x 12 reps

Side Plank:

4 sets x 30 seconds

Bicycle Crunches:

2 sets x 25 reps

Workout 2:


2 sets x 60 seconds

Straight Arm Medicine Ball Sit-up:

2 sets x 20 reps

Laying Leg Lifts:

3 sets x 10 reps

Medicine Ball Toe Touch

Side Planks


Bicycle Crunches

Straight Arm Medicine Ball Sit-up

Laying Leg Lifts

morning workout for abs

5 Minute Morning Workout

With only a very short time to exercise, you need an exercise that will give you the most in a very short amount of time. This means no isolation exercises.

A burpee is the perfect full body exercise, followed by jumping jacks to round it out. Five minutes is not much time at all to get in a workout, but when you are really limited on time, you have to do what you have to do.


2 sets x 10 reps

30 seconds rest between each set

Jumping Jacks:

Remainder of time

10 Minute Morning Workout

With a 10 minute workout, while still short, allows a little more time to get in some bodyweight and cardio work.

Jump Squat:

2 sets x 10 reps

60 seconds rest

Mountain Climbers:

2 sets x 25 reps

60 seconds rest

Close Grip Push-ups:

2 sets x 12 reps

30 seconds rest

High Knees:

2 sets x 30 reps

30 seconds rest

15 Minute Morning Workout

15 minutes is enough time to work up a sweat for this routine. Make sure to keep the pace quick and intensity high.

Take the recommended rest in between each set. You should keep a timer of rest so you don’t run over time.

Walking Lunge:

4 sets x 10 reps total

30 seconds rest

Box Jumps:

2 sets x 10 reps

60 seconds rest


2 sets x 60 seconds

60 second rest


2 sets x 10 reps

60 second rest

20 Minute Morning Workout

Keep a consistent pace during each exercise with the recommended rest time in between each set.

By keeping the intensity high you can complete all the exercises within the 20 minutes.

Single Leg Squat:

2 sets x 10 reps

60 seconds rest

Reverse Lunges:

4 sets x 10 reps total

60 second rest

Elevated Push-Ups:

2 sets x 15 reps

60 seconds rest

Mountain Climbers:

3 sets x 25 reps

60 seconds rest

Jumping Jacks:

1 set x 50 reps

30 Minute Morning Workout

This is the full morning workout routine. Keep the same consistent pace for each exercise.

Intensity should be high, but not rushed. Keep a timer of the rest in between each set to stay on track.


2 sets x 10 reps

60 seconds rest

Box Jumps:

2 sets x 8 reps

60 seconds rest

High Knees:

2 sets x 25 reps

60 seconds rest

Jumping Jacks:

1 set x 50 reps

60 seconds rest

Close Grip Push-ups:

3 sets x 15 reps

60 seconds rest

Single Leg Squat:

2 sets x 10 reps

60 seconds rest

Jump Squats:

3 sets x 10 reps

60 seconds rest

Mountain Climbers:

2 sets x 35 reps

60 seconds rest

Walking Lunge:

2 sets x 10 reps

30 seconds rest


1 set x 60 seconds

Reverse Lunge:

2 sets x 10 reps

30 seconds rest

Elevated Push-up:

1 set x 20 reps

30-minute morning workout


Posted in: Fitness, Lose Weight Filed under: cardio, fasted cardio, Fat Burning, Full Body Workout