Try This Quick Morning Workout for a Boost of Energy 

Girl jogging at daybreak.

Stanislaw Pytel / Getty Images

There is no best time to workout. In fact, the best time is the time you can make a commitment to. Whether that's in the AM or PM makes no difference for level of results, but when it comes to working out, there are benefits to being an early bird.

Benefits to Working Out in the Morning

You likely already know about the myriad of health benefits associated with exercise. Cashing in on those is a matter of getting in a workout on a regular basis. Even though there's no difference in results for workout timing, the benefits of working out in the morning are an added bonus. Here's what you can expect from adding exercise to your morning routine:

  • You're more likely to make healthy food choices throughout the day if you exercise in the AM.
  • Exercising in the AM puts you in a great mood to start the day.
  • Better for scheduling conflicts; many people have fewer commitments in the morning.
  • Helps you manage stress more effectively throughout the day.
  • May improve sleep quality and blood pressure overnight.

10-Minute Morning Workout

This 10-minute morning workout is perfect for when you're short on time and need an energizing pick-me-up. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of rest. Then repeat the circuit.

Bodyweight Squats

When done properly, bodyweight squats build leg strength and power, as well as strengthen the joints and tendons surrounding the knee.

Woman performing bodyweight squat

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Stand upright with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Place your hands across your chest touching your shoulders (or raise your arms straight above your head). Keep your chest up and out throughout the entire movement.
  2. Slowly squat back as if you're looking for a bench behind you.
  3. Keep your heels on the floor.
  4. Keep your torso and chest up the entire time.
  5. Maintain a slow, controlled descent with the knees falling just behind the balls of your feet. Proper depth is achieved when your quads are parallel to the floor.
  6. At the bottom of the squat, push upward into a standing position with the heels of your feet. Avoid overextending your hips forward at the top.
  7. Repeat for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second rest.

Mountain Climbers

This full-body exercise raises your heart-rate and targets the core.

Mountain Climbers

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Get down on all-fours on a non-slip surface. Place your hands firmly on the ground shoulder-width apart.
  2. Walk your legs back until fully extended (in a plank position) and remain on your toes.
  3. Keep your head in neutral alignment and engage your core throughout the movement.
  4. Bring one knee forward toward your chest as far as you can.
  5. Move that knee back out to starting position, switching legs and bringing the other leg into your chest.
  6. Keep your hips down and continue to switch bringing your knees to your chest back and forth between each leg.
  7. Remember to breathe throughout the movement.
  8. Continue this exercise for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second rest.


Push-ups improve core and upper body strength.

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Start on all-fours on a non-slip surface.
  2. Place your hands on the ground just outside of shoulder-width apart. Walk your feet back until fully extended. Stay on your toes. Feet should be about hip-width apart and parallel to each other.
  3. Imagine you're pulling your belly button to your spine.
  4. Keep your head neutral, your eyes should be in line with your shoulders.
  5. Engage the core and squeeze the glutes.
  6. Bend the elbows to lower the chest to the floor.
  7. Imagine you're pushing the ground away from you; continue to push up, ending at the available range of motion.
  8. You can make this movement easier by doing it against the wall or an elevated surface, or on your knees.
  9. Repeat the movement for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second rest.

Wall Sits

Wall-sits may not be complicated, but they are a quad burner to the max. Wall-sits develop strength and endurance in your hips and thighs.

Wall sit

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Start with your back against a flat wall and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Walk your feet out about 2 feet from the wall, keeping your back and shoulders against the wall.
  3. Slowly slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  4. Adjust your feet so that your knees are over your ankles.
  5. Keep your back flat against the wall.
  6. Hold the wall-sit for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds rest.
  7. Slide slowly back up the wall to a standing position.


Planks build strength, stability, and balance in the pelvic muscles, abdominals, back, and shoulders.


Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. You can perform planks on your hands or elbows.
  2. Start on all-fours on a non-slip surface.
  3. Your hands should be under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips.
  4. Keep your head in a neutral position throughout the movement to maintain alignment.
  5. Walk your feet straight back until you're in a push-up position. If you plan to do planks on your elbows, you can move to your elbows at this time.
  6. Keep your body straight, imagine you're pulling your belly button to your spine.
  7. Hold this position for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second rest.

Cool Down Stretches

A cool-down is designed to promote recovery and bring the heart rate back down to non-exercise levels. By performing a few low-intensity movements after a workout, the body is able to gradually decrease blood pressure and heart rate, while preventing blood pooling in the limbs. A great way to begin a cooldown is by walking slowly on a treadmill or at home.

Once your heart rate has returned to normal, incorporate a few minutes of stretching to prevent tightness and soreness associated with exercise. Remember to sink slowly into the stretch to avoid injury. Here are a few stretches to try:

  • Sit and reach. Sit on the floor with your legs outstretched in front of your and your feet together. Reach forward and aim to touch your toes. Hold the stretch for about 5-10 seconds, taking deep breaths throughout the stretch.
  • Forward bend. In the standing position with your feet together. Reach down towards your toes. Keep a slight bend in your knees. Hold the stretch for about 5-10 seconds, taking deep breaths throughout the stretch.
  • Child's pose. Start on the floor sitting on your knees. Reach forward bringing your body down towards the floor resting on top of your legs with your feet and knees underneath and behind you. Relax into the stretch. Hold the stretch for as long as you feel needed, taking deep breaths throughout the stretch.

A Word From Verywell

Working out in the morning is not for everyone. But for those looking for a way to fit in exercise with minimal impact on your day, an early morning sweat session may be a great solution for you. You don't need a lot of time to make an impact on your health, even 10 minutes is enough to get in a quick workout.

If you're new to exercise or not sure where to start, talking to a healthcare provider, personal trainer, or qualified coach can help you create a plan and determine what will be best for you and your lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should I workout on an empty stomach?

    It's safe to exercise on an empty stomach, however, the research suggests whether you eat or not before a workout makes no difference in results. For that reason, whether you exercise on an empty stomach or eat something beforehand should be based on personal preference. Do you tend to lack energy for workouts if you don't eat? If so, then definitely eat something. On the other hand, you may feel like eating something before a workout leaves you feeling nauseous and unable to focus. If that's the case, maybe try a small snack or skip it.

  • How long after waking up should I workout?

    It takes about 15 minutes to wake up and become fully alert after sleeping. However, exercise may help reduce that number helping you to feel energized more quickly. In the end, how long you wait to exercise after waking up is up to you. In most cases, exercising upon waking is perfectly fine. If you need to eat something before working out, you'll end up waiting a little longer.

  • How can I activate my body in the morning?

    Exercise is a great way to help you wake up in the morning. Additionally, turning on a light, stepping outside, or looking out the window for the sunlight also helps you feel more awake and energized. Some other ideas include splashing your face with water, washing your face, drinking a glass of water, doing some yoga or simple stretches, and eating breakfast.

8 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Schumacher LM, Thomas JG, Raynor HA, Rhodes RE, Bond DS. Consistent Morning Exercise May Be Beneficial for Individuals With Obesity. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2020 Oct;48(4):201-208. doi:10.1249/JES.0000000000000226

  3. Fairbrother K, Cartner B, Alley JR, Curry CD, Dickinson DL, Morris DM, Collier SR. Effects of exercise timing on sleep architecture and nocturnal blood pressure in prehypertensives. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2014 Dec 12;10:691-8. doi:10.2147/VHRM.S73688

  4. NSCA: Strength and Conditioning Manual

  5. NASM: Proper Push-Up Form

  6. ACSM: A Roadmap to Muscle Recovery

  7. Wallis GA, Gonzalez JT. Is exercise best served on an empty stomach? Proc Nutr Soc. 2019 Feb;78(1):110-117. doi:10.1017/S0029665118002574

  8. Kovac K, Ferguson SA, Paterson JL, Aisbett B, Hilditch CJ, Reynolds AC, Vincent GE. Exercising Caution Upon Waking-Can Exercise Reduce Sleep Inertia? Front Physiol. 2020 Apr 7;11:254. doi:10.3389/fphys.2020.00254

By Shoshana Pritzker RD, CDN, CSSD, CISSN
Shoshana Pritzker RD, CDN is a sports and pediatric dietitian, the owner of Nutrition by Shoshana, and is the author of "Carb Cycling for Weight Loss." Shoshana received her B.S in dietetics and nutrition from Florida International University. She's been writing and creating content in the health, nutrition, and fitness space for over 15 years and is regularly featured in Oxygen Magazine,, and more.