By: Joni Sweet
If you're not a morning person, the idea of strapping on sneakers and schlepping to the gym at 6:30 a.m. is a total joke. But what if you could get an effective workout at home in the amount of time between snooze alarms?
Four fitness experts, ranging from a celeb trainer at Barry's Bootcamp to a marathoner, shared ideas for morning workouts you can do before work, in your pajamas, in just 15 minutes. When you try the in-bed workout, you'll have no excuse not to sweat in the morning.
The still-in-bed workout
You don't have to leave your bedroom to do this full-body, cardio-strength workout. Brynn Putnam, a certified personal trainer and founder of high-intensity interval-training studio Refine Method, says that the elevated surface of a bed adds an extra challenge to these morning exercises.
Perform these five exercises for 60 seconds each. Repeat the sequence three times.
Single-leg sit to stand: Sit on the edge of your bed with your right leg extended in front of you and your left foot on the ground (knee bent). Use your glutes to lift yourself off the bed into a standing position on one leg. Hinge forward 45 degrees, send your hips back, and sit down. Switch legs and repeat.
Elevated push-ups: Lying with your stomach down, grab the edge of the bed with your inner elbows facing in. Step your feet back into plank position with your abs tight. Lower yourself to the bed, then extend your arms to lift yourself up.
Step-ups: Standing next to the bed, place your right foot on the bed and hinge forward 45 degrees. Step your left leg up, driving through your right foot and engaging your right glute. Hinge forward and slowly step down with your left foot. Switch sides and repeat.
Plank to side plank: Come to a plank position on the bed with your hands under your shoulders. Squeeze your abs, place your right arm flat on the bed and lift your left arm, focusing on keeping your hips in line with your shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the left side.
Double-leg hip lift: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the bed, hip-width apart. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips up, keeping your shoulders on the bed and arms extended beneath the hips. Only lift high enough that you feel your glutes working with no help from your lower back. Lower down slowly and repeat.
Runner's "speed play" workout
For this workout, Beth Weinstein, an endurance runner and founder of running-gear brand OnlyAtoms, looked to Sweden for inspiration. "One of the most effective and quick workouts you can do in 15 minutes is the 'fartlek,' a Swedish word meaning 'speed play,'" she says of the technique, which involves mixing sprinting with jogging at varying intervals. While you don't need to prep your muscles before the workout, she recommends stretching after. "To save time, stretch in the shower," Weinstein suggests. "Your muscles will be warmer!"
This workout involves different levels of effort on a scale from one to 10. Think of one as a brisk walk and 10 as a full-fledged sprint with maximum effort.
Start with a warm-up, jogging at a level-five effort for four minutes.
For the next eight minutes, run at varying intervals, gradually increasing the time spent running at full speed. Run for one minute at a level nine or 10, then slow to a five to seven for 45 seconds. Speed back up to maximum effort for 90 seconds, then slow down to a medium-fast jog for 45 seconds. Speed back up to the maximum for two full minutes, then slow down to a level six to eight for two minutes.
Cool down with a slow jog (level three to six) for three minutes.
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