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Last Updated on January 21, 2021

6-Minute Morning Workout To Help You Stay Healthy Effortlessly

6-Minute Morning Workout To Help You Stay Healthy Effortlessly

Dying to get fit and healthy but struggle to find time in your busy schedule? Many of us have fallen into this dreaded conundrum, but thankfully, fitness can be easily adapted to fit almost anyone’s lifestyle. This is especially when it comes to bodyweight exercises as they require no equipment and be performed anywhere, anytime!

A habit of healthy exercise need not require much time or effort as many first imagine. The easiest way to get started is by performing workouts the first thing in the morning. Not only is it convenient, it will wake your body up and even trigger extra fat burning before breakfast.

Use only these 6 bodyweight movements you will quickly strengthen and stretch your entire body with 6 minutes flat! They’ll get your blood pumping, improve your mood and even make you more productive for day ahead.

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Ready to enter the morning-warrior club? Complete each exercise one after another in a circuit format. Let’s see how far you can get in 6 minutes!

1. Squats

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    Without a shadow of a doubt, squats are the king of the full-body exercises. While they focus primarily on the lower body muscles, hips, glutes, hamstrings and quads, they also help strengthen your entire core. While toning your legs and carving out your buttocks you’ll also improve your balance and improve bone density!

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    1. Start with your feet at a shoulder width distance apart
    2. Tighten your abs as you lower your body and push your hips back
    3. Stop when your thighs become parallel with the floor
    4. Push through your heels to return to the standing position
    5. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions

    2. Push Ups

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      Push ups are another bodyweight exercise powerhouse, this time focusing primarily on the upper body. They will strongly activate your chest, arm and shoulder muscles while also working your core. Don’t understate the effectiveness of this exercise!

      1. Begin from an all-fours push-up position, arms straight and hands just wider than shoulder-width
      2. Lock your body into a straight line position from your head down to your ankles
      3. Lower yourself down until your chest almost comes into contact with the ground
      4. Push back up focusing on contracting your chest and engaging your core
      5. Repeat for 5-15 repetitions

      3. Planks

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        The plank is the gold-standard of abdominal and core muscle strengthening exercises. As a static hold exercise, it may not look like much, but don’t let this fool you! This simple isometric exercise works the core harder than many other common ab exercises. By engaging your core muscles in a natural function of stability, your abs with pop and your lower back muscles.

        1. Position your hands in line with your shoulders
        2. Contract the glutes, engage the core and support your body in a straight line position from head to feet
        3. Maintain with position without breaking form for 20-60 seconds

        It’s never easy to stay healthy with a busy schedule. That’s why you need a program to keep yourself motivated to achieve this goal. Our goal system offers a program that delivers FREE and tailor-made materials to keep you updated with simple and healthy living ideas so you don’t need to spare much time and effort to stay healthy. Click in to learn more!

        4. Walk Outs

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          Known to some as the inchworm, this exercise works both the upper body and core muscles as you support your body weight. It can be made even tougher by adding push-ups during this movement.

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          1. Start from a standing position with feet slightly further than shoulders width apart
          2. Lower yourself down into a squat position
          3. Put your hands on the floor in front of you and gradually walk them out until you are in a push-up position
          4. Steadily walk your hands back towards your feet, then return to the standing position
          5. Repeat for 2-8 repetitions

          5. Low Lunge “Rocking Horse”

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            Lunges focus on strengthening the lower body and stretching out tight hamstrings and calves. The rocking horse variation helps to increase the stretch on your hip flexors and improve overall posture.

            1. Lunge forward with your left leg and bend to approximately 90 degrees
            2. Straighten your left knee and push your upper body forward until your fingers can almost touch the ground
            3. Try to frame your left leg between your hands
            4. Return back to the standing position and repeat for the other leg
            5. Perform between 5-15 repetitions (both legs)

            6. Bicycle Crunch

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              The average crunch just can’t match up to the bicycle crunch and it’s a perfect supplement to the plank. This exercise will help tone your waistline by working your core, abdominal and oblique muscles.

              1. Begin by lying flat on the ground and your lower back pushed flat
              2. Place hands behind the head, but don’t interlock your fingers
              3. Lift your knees up towards your chest and allow your shoulder to raise slightly off the floor
              4. Straighten your right leg at a 45-degree angle to the floor while turning your body left and bringing right elbow to left knee
              5. Focus on moving your rib cage as you move your elbows. Switch sides and repeat the same motion.
              6. Keep alternating sides for 5-15 repetitions (each side)

              Find the content useful to you? Click into the goal box below for more time-saving and effortless tips on exercise and diets. By taking this simple act, living a healthy life is no longer a mission impossible for you!

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              Last Updated on April 19, 2021

              15 Static Stretches to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

              15 Static Stretches to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

              Stretching is one of those aspects of fitness that many people conveniently forget about. Perhaps you’re one of those who consider stretching nothing but a mere chore meant for ballerinas and gymnasts. While they are great for both, static stretches can offer a boost to any workout routine for people of all fitness levels.

              Irrespective of your reasons for working out, be it for sports or personal fitness, one thing is certain: stretching can help you. Static stretches come with myriads of benefits, such as improvement in flexibility and reduction in muscle tightness, which ultimately allow you to go through your workout routines with greater efficiency.

              For the purpose of this article, we’ll zero in on several great static stretches and take a look at the benefits and when they should be done.

              Benefits of Static Stretches

              Static stretches come with tons of benefits that can help you make the most of your workout routine. Some of them include:

              Improved Flexibility

              If you want to perform better, flexibility is of tremendous importance, irrespective of the specific workouts you do. Luckily enough, static stretches are all you need to get all the flexibility you desire.

              Flexibility, also known as the range of motion (ROM) around a joint, has been shown by several studies to be improved by static stretching.[1]

              Although the specific mechanism through which this occurs is still unclear, static stretches have been shown to greatly increase muscle and joint flexibility[2] and tissue length[3], which work in tandem to make your workout more effective.

              Prevent Injuries

              If you’re looking to push yourself to your training limits without coming down with injuries, then stretching will do you a great service. Research has shown time and again that performing the right stretches pre- and post-workout greatly helps with injury prevention.[4]

              Think of it this way:

              When you stretch, you literally push your joints and muscle fibers to their limit. This increases the stretch tolerance in these muscles and joints over time, and the increased tolerance allows you to perform more rigorous exercises without negatively impacting your body or risking an injury.

              Increased Blood Flow to the Joints

              Another benefit of stretching is increased blood flow – and by extension, nutrient supply – to the joints and muscles of the target areas. This, in turn, improves the performance of these muscles and joints due to the availability of more nutrients, improved oxygenation, and removal of metabolites.

              For static stretching, though, the mechanism of action isn’t as straightforward. When stretching statically, blood flow (capillary oxygenation) temporarily reduces due to vascular compression.

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              However, immediately after releasing the stretch, the blood flow to these areas nearly doubles the pre-stretching levels.[5]

              Improvement in Recovery

              If you’ve been working out for some time, then you’ve probably discovered that a rigorous workout session can leave you battling sore muscles for days.

              Recovery essentially means getting rid of this soreness and returning your muscle fibers back to their tip-top condition.

              Research has shown that practicing static stretches after your workout session helps to reduce muscle soreness. And while some may argue that this effect is minimal, the fact still remains that stretching does help shorten your recovery time.

              Stretching allows tissues to be better hydrated after the induced tension is released, and this encourages reduced inflammation and faster repair of such tissues.

              Other reasons why you really should incorporate stretching into your workout include:

              • Improved relaxation
              • Increased movement efficiency
              • Reduction in the risk of lower back pain
              • Reduction in muscle tension
              • Improvement in neuromuscular coordination
              • Improvement in balance and postural awareness
              • Relief from cramping

              15 Static Stretches to Enhance Your Workouts

              Here are some amazing exercises that will keep your body in tip-top condition and take your workout routine to the next level.

              1. Neck Stretch

                While sitting tall or standing, place your right arm gently on the right side of your head, and place the other arm out to your side. Slowly pull your head towards your right shoulder until you can feel the stretch on the left side of your neck. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing, and repeat for the opposite side.

                Many people tend to hold stress and tension in their neck and shoulders. If you find this is the case, this is one of the best static stretches to use for a muscle release in this area.

                2. Chest Stretch

                  Stand upright, with your fingers interlocked behind your back, near your buttocks. While keeping your shoulder blades together and your back straight, push your arms up behind you until you feel the stretch in your chest. Hold for about 20-30 seconds before releasing.

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                  3. Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch

                  Shoulder Cross-Arm Stretch « CASS FITNESS

                    Stand upright or sit up tall on a chair or mat, and extend one arm out in front to shoulder height. Grab the extended arm with your other arm, and pull it towards your chest while keeping the extended arm straight. Continue the pull until you feel the stretch in your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat for the other arm.

                    4. Triceps Static Stretch

                      Lift your arms overhead, with both arms slightly behind your head and bent at the elbow. Use your right hand to pull your left elbow until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Hold for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the other arm.

                      Many know this stretch from gym class, but it really is one of the best static stretches for the arms.

                      5. Biceps Stretch

                      Arm Exercises | Seated Bent-Knee Biceps Stretch

                        Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. With your fingers pointing away from your body, place your two palms flat on the floor behind you. While your hands are steadily in place, slowly slide your butt downward toward your feet until you can feel the stretch in your biceps, shoulders, and chest. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing.

                        6. Wrist Stretch

                        11 Best Tennis Elbow Exercises For Pain Free Mobility [PDF]

                          While standing up straight or sitting tall, extend your right arm forward to shoulder height with your fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Grab your right fingers with your left hand, and pull your right hand to bend the wrist until you can feel the stretch. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the opposite arm.

                          7. Side Stretch

                            Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Take your right arm and reach over your head towards your left side while bending your side. Keep bending your side slowly until you can feel a stretch on your right side. Maintain this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the opposite side.

                            The muscles down your side body are notoriously difficult to stretch out. This is one of the best static stretches to try on a consistent basis to get them loosened up.

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                            8. Abdominal Static Stretch

                              Lie down on your stomach with your face towards the ground and your palms facing the floor as though you’re about to do a push up. While keeping your pelvis firmly on the floor, gently push your upper body up from the ground. This should make your feel some stretch in your abs. Maintain this position for about 30 seconds before releasing.

                              9. Reclined Spinal Twist

                              Supta Matsyendrasana - Supine Spinal Twist - Yogaasan
                                Lie down, with your arms extended to the sides and placed on the floor. While keeping the right leg straight, pull up your left knee towards your chest, tilt it toward your right side, and then drop it slowly over your extended right leg.

                                Keep your shoulder blades flat on the ground, and you should feel the stretch around your back. Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the opposite side.

                                10. Knees to Chest

                                Knee-to-chest exercise from Physical Therapists' Advice to Manage Pain at Home - The Active Times

                                  Lie on the ground facing the ceiling, with your knees bent. Hold your shins, and pull your knees toward your chest. This should make you feel some stretch in your lower back. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing. If you’re looking to loosen up your back muscles, this is one of the static stretches you can do daily.

                                  11. Hip Flexor Static Stretch

                                  How to Do the Standing Lunge Stretch

                                    Stand upright in a standard lunge position, and place your two hands on your hips. Step out on your right foot into mini-lunge position, without your knee going beyond your right toe. Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left side.

                                    12. Figure 4 Stretch

                                    How to Do a Figure 4 Stretch | Openfit

                                      Sit tall on the ground with both knees bent and both feet on the floor. Lift your right leg and cross it over your left thigh, while your left knee remains bent. Pull both legs inwards toward your abdomen for a deep stretch of your glutes. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat with the other leg.

                                      13. Standing Quad Stretch

                                        Stand tall while maintaining a straight posture. With your left hand, grab a pole, wall, or anything durable for balance. With your right hand, grab your right foot and pull up your heels until they touch your buttocks.

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                                        Keep your knees close together while doing this, push your hip forward, and you should feel the stretch in your quadriceps. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the other side. This is one of the best static stretches for the quads.

                                        14. Hamstring Stretch

                                          Sit on the floor with your right leg extended straight in front of you and your left leg bent. Reach forward with your right hand, and touch your right toes. This should cause a stretch in your right hamstring.

                                          Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the left leg. If you’re unable to reach your toes, try holding your shin instead, but seek to go further every time you perform the stretch until you can touch your toes.

                                          15. Calf Stretch

                                            Sit on the ground and extend your right foot straight in front of you. Gently pull your right toes backwards with your right hand. This should cause a noticeable stretch in your calf.

                                            Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left leg, if you’re unable to reach your toes, use a rope or towel to pull your toes inward.

                                            Bonus: Stretch With a Resistance Band

                                            Resistance bands offer a unique benefit from free weights and create tension throughout your movement. Get the free 30 Day Resistance Band Full Workout Challenge, and challenge yourself to stretch with a resistance band.

                                            When Should You Do Static Stretches?

                                            Static stretching is great when done correctly and at the right time. Over the years, research has shown that static stretching produces best results when done after working out or on rest days,[6] but not as a part of warm up routines before an explosive workout session.

                                            This is because static stretches have a cool-down effect on each muscle group and are more effective when done after the muscles are already warm.

                                            That doesn’t mean you must never ever perform static stretches before working out, but do it sparingly. Dynamic stretches, which involve more movement, are generally recommended for warming up as it helps the body prepare better for the work ahead.

                                            The Bottom Line

                                            Carving out the body of your dreams isn’t only about lifting weights and running. You need to keep your body “elastic” if you’re going to make the most of your training, and that’s the whole point of static stretches.

                                            Starting today, be sure to incorporate these static stretching exercises into your routine, and in no time, you’ll find yourself recovering faster and performing better than ever before.

                                            More Tips on Stretching

                                            Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

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