You know the benefits of working out in the morning, and you probably have the best of intentions of doing so. That is, until that alarm goes off. We are going to give you the key to getting the best sleep ever, and a great workout to do in the morning to give you that morning high that only exercise can provide. 

get 10% off the storeBETTER SLEEP

Try this little trick to wake up without the snooze button, and ready to take on your workout and the day ahead.

For an hour prior to bedtime, avoid blue light — this is the type of light found in sunlight as well as emitted from electronic screens like TVs, computers, and cell phones.

In the morning, use it to wake up. Natural sunlight (if available!) is the best option, of course. Otherwise, this is the one time we do recommend staring at a screen. Blue light suppresses melatonin, making you feel more alert almost instantly. Blue light first thing will take you off sleepy, snooze-button-whacking autopilot.

However, we don’t recommend using this time to check your email or dive right into work or busy tasks. Look at something quick and motivational, make your list of 3 goals for the day, and get up and do this workout!

MORNING KETTLEBELL WORKOUTS 

Start with these moves, and follow up with a little run to burn off some calories and feel great before the day gets busy!

1) Bulgarian split squat with pass through 

Jon doing a split squat

TIP: Wanna step it up? Use TRX instead of a bench. 

Stand in front of a bench holding a kettlebell in your left hand. Place the top of your right foot behind you on the bench and hop your left out until your back leg is straight. Keeping your weight on your front heel, bend through the knee to lower your hips toward the ground until your front knee hits 90 degrees. Hold, then pass the kettlebell under your knee, transferring it to your left hand. Drive through the heel and extend through the knee to return to start and repeat, passing the kettlebell from and to hand under the front knee. Maintain good posture throughout the movement. 

This move works primarily the quads, but also the glutes. No gym? No worries – do it at home with any heavy object and use a sofa or chair instead of the bench.

jon split squat closeup

2) Put it on the Shelf 

TIP: You can do these with a heavy dumbbell or medicine ball. Keep your core tight and stay in control -- the twisting movement can kink your back if you aren't mindful of our form throughout.

Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart with a kettlebell on the floor to your right side. Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, pivot your feet to the right and bend through the knees to pick up the bell by the handle. Stand while you pivot and twist to the left, lifting the bell first to chest height, then overhead, like you were picking up something off the floor then placing it high on a shelf. Undo the move and return the weight to the floor to repeat. Do desired number of reps on one side, then switch the kettlebell to the left side.

nikki twist

This exercise challenges the external obliques – the muscles on the side of your abs.

3) Reverse lunge with overhead press

TIP: People will often do these alternating, but performing both moves simultaneously takes this move to a whole new level: you’ll be doing more in the less time, and you’re stepping up the difficulty because you need to call on stabilization muscles.

Rack a kettlebell at your right shoulder. Slowly step back with your right leg to lower into a reverse lunge while simultaneously pressing the kettlebell up overhead. Hold for a beat, then slowly lower the kettlebell back to the racked position while driving through your front heel, stepping back to the starting position and repeat. Perform the desired number or reps then switch sides. 

This move targets the shoulders, glutes, quads, and calves.

Sign up for free4) Single leg deadlift with row

TIP: These deadlift variations will build balance in two ways: through the movement challenging your balance itself and by working to build balance in your muscles by working one side at a time. Avoid bending at the waist or reaching for the ground. Think of yourself as a seesaw, and leading with your heel.



Hold a kettlebell in your left hand. Stand on your right leg, bending your left knee to lift the left foot off the ground. Keeping your right knee soft, perform a stiff legged deadlift by hinging at the hip to lower the kettlebell to the ground while simultaneously extending your left leg behind you for balance, leading with your heel. Continue lowering the kettlebell until you are at least parallel to the ground or if you can until the kettlebell touches the ground. At this point, keep your shoulders square to the ground as you row the kettlebell, extend your arm back to the floor, and then squeeze through the glutes to return to the upright position. Perform the desired number or reps then switch sides. 

This compound movement targets the erector spinae (the muscles that support the spine), the glutes, hamstrings, and the lats.

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by Dina Aronson, MS, RDN

Oct 26, 2016

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