This 30-Day Challenge Will Turn You Into A Morning Workout Person

Photographed by Filippo Del Vita.
For a lot of us, the only exercise we get in the morning is the wild flailing to pull ourselves out of bed, the stumble across the room to turn off the alarm, and maybe a mad dash to catch the bus or train. It can be hard enough to get up and out the door on time, let alone early enough to fit in a good sweat session.

But hear us — and science — out: Research shows that morning exercisers are more alert and energetic, sleep better, and are more consistent about their fitness routines.

“There’s something so rewarding when you look at your watch and see it’s 9 a.m. and you’re done with your workout for the day,” says Jenna Wolfe, a fitness expert, certified personal trainer, and former correspondent for the Today show (so, she knows a thing or two about getting up and going). And because it’s over and done before the clock hits double digits, when a work meeting goes late or a 2-for-1 happy hour happens across your radar, there’s no I-skipped-my-workout-(again) bummer.

So, how can you join the wake-up-and-workout club? That’s where this challenge comes in. All you’ll need is some floor space and your own body weight — no gym or equipment. The workouts start short and build up, so you’ll incrementally set the alarm a bit earlier as you get into the swing of things.

One last tip: Wolfe suggests having your workout clothes laid out and ready to go.

“For me, everything is there — sports bra, tank top, bottoms, socks, sneakers,” she says. “You are a conveyor belt! No one has ever put on a sports bra and sneakers and said, 'Nah, I’m going back to bed.' Get up and put that stuff on.”
1 of 6
Illustrated by: Mallory Heyer.
Here's Your Key To Decoding The Calendar:

Main Moves:
Plank TLs = Plank Toe Lifts (both toes is 1 rep)
Pikes = Pike Hops
Crabs = Crab Toe Touches (both sides is 1 rep)
Jump Shuff = Broad Jump Shuffles

Bonus Moves (you know how to do these!):
Jacks = Jumping Jacks
Knees = High-Knee Jog in Place (both knees up is 1 rep)
Buttkicks = Buttkicker Jogs in Place (both heels up is 1 rep)

Read on to learn how to do each Main Move.
2 of 6
Photographed by Filippo Del Vita.
Plank Toe Lifts (Plank TLs)
Challenge your core strength and balance.
Get into a forearm plank, aligning your head, shoulders, and hips in one long, straight line. Keeping your glutes squeezed tight, lift one toe a few inches off the ground for a few seconds, then lower it down. Lift the other toe and hold, then lower. Repeat — and don’t let your hips rock from side to side.
3 of 6
Photographed by Filippo Del Vita.
Pike Hops (Pikes)
Raise your heart rate while working pretty much every muscle in your body.
From a straight-arm plank position, hop your feet in toward your hands, so your body is piked up in an exaggerated downward dog. Hop your feet back out to a plank. Repeat.
4 of 6
Photographed by Filippo Del Vita.
Crab Toe Touches (Crabs)
Shoulders, core, and glutes take the brunt of this one. Sit on the ground, knees bent, and hands flat on the ground behind you. Pick your butt off the ground, so you’re in a reverse tabletop position. Lift up opposite arm and leg and touch fingers to toes. Replace those limbs — without letting the butt drop — and repeat with the other side. (Too much? Keep your hands firmly planted and alternate picking up your feet and bringing your knees up toward your nose.)
5 of 6
Photographed by Filippo Del Vita.
Broad Jump Shuffle (Jump Shuff)
Challenge your lower body and raise your heart rate.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat back slightly, throw your arms back behind you, and launch yourself forward in a broad jump, landing in a deep squat. Stand up, then quickly shuffle your feet backwards to where you started your jump. Repeat.
6 of 6

More from Fitness


R29 Original Series