Nothing starts out a day right like a morning workout. It gets your heart pumping and blood flowing through your body. It boosts your metabolism and wakes you up for the rest of the day.
While it’s important to get your workout in whenever you can, if you can squeeze a little morning workout in you’ll feel better than ever.
If you sit at a desk for the rest of the day you may struggle with a tight back or sore neck from poor posture. It’s easy to let your body start slouching as you sit, which is exactly why you need to do what you can to not only improve your posture during the day, but to do what you can and strengthen your lower back and glutes.
The purpose of exercising for your posture, glutes, and lower back is to correct the muscular alignments you may have developed over the years.
By focusing on this area during your morning workout you’ll help strengthen the muscles and improve your posture throughout the rest of the day.
This, in turn, will reduce pain and help you live a much more comfortable life.
So if you’re ready to cut back pain out of your life and improve your overall posture, here’s the perfect morning workout for you.
Morning Exercises For Your Posture
The beauty about exercising for your posture is you don’t need to go hard or lift big.
Yes, you can focus on your butt and lift big if you’re looking to grow larger muscles and boost strength.
However, if your primary focus is to improve your posture, lifting big is not necessary. In fact, you can use these lifts in the morning and then, if you’d like, focus on lifting big for your backside later.
With years of sitting incorrectly, having chairs that are not setup properly or even sleeping with a poor spinal posture your spine and muscles have likely shifted slightly.
Your spine might actually curve slightly forward as it moves up from your hips to your neck. Your head may also push forward, which is due to leaning forward into a computer monitor most of the day.
The exercises here are designed to improve your posture, strengthen the muscles you have engaged over the course of the day, and straighten your spine.
You’ll be amazed at how less tense you feel during the day and even at how much taller you stand.
Doing Yoga for Your Morning Workout
One of the best ways to open your body up and to begin working on your posture in the morning is to perform a handful of yoga poses.
These poses are not difficult, so don’t worry if you haven’t practiced yoga. These are positions designed to stretch your shoulders, chest, lower back, and glutes.
Starting out with these yoga poses will help increase your heart rate in the morning and assist you with boosting oxygen and blood flow throughout the rest of your body.
Begin your morning workout in a child’s pose.
This is a great way to stretch out your spine and your lower back. With these beginning poses you’ll want a yoga mat to soften the impact on your knees.
To perform the child’s pose position yourself with your knees on the ground and your butt sitting on the heels of your feet.
Now, stretch your arms forward with your palms on the ground.
Keep your back straight during this pose. You can hold this pose and just breathe for five minutes as your muscles warm up and your spin extends.
Of course, if you’re doing this in the morning you might want to do it just for a minute or so to avoid falling back asleep.
Now, stand up on your feet to perform the forward fold. Standing up, pull your nose to your knees and reach your hands down around your ankles.
If you can push your hands down to around the base of your feet that’s even better.
Pull your upper body down toward your legs and hold this for a few breaths. It’s best to move your upper body slowly down to avoid blood rushing to your head (likewise you’ll want to stand up slowly).
By pulling down in this position you’ll help elongate your spine and stretch out your lower back.
You’ll want to go back onto the mat now for a move called the pigeon pose.
This is a great morning exercise for opening up not only your spine, but your lower back, glutes and hamstring.
Begin by stretching your right leg behind you, knee to the ground and toe pointing to the back wall. Take your left leg and cross it in front of you so the bottom of your foot is facing the wall on the right.
Now, stretch your arms forward and allow your chin to come to the ground as you reach for the wall in front of you. Hold this for a moment, now slowly pull your chest up and look to the ceiling, bending at the waist.
Pull your hands along the ground and keep your fingers touching the ground as you look up.
You’ll feel the stretch move from your lower back and spine into your glutes and hamstrings.
Hold again and repeat several times (up to a minute per side). This is also an excellent move if you have sciatica or other spinal problems (Healthline, 2018).
Morning Workout For Your Lower Back
Strengthening your lower back will really help with your posture.
Your lower back is the group of muscles just off of your waist and directly above your glutes. This is a very small triangle shaped area of muscles you normally don’t hit with most back lifts.
These muscles are smaller and the larger back lifts target muscles closer to your neck and shoulders.
It’s because these muscles often go without training that you need to perform a few exercises specifically for these muscles.
These exercises are designed to help strengthen your core, and your lower back is the reverse muscles of your abominals.
You can toss these two exercises in with your morning workout or you can add them to your ab workout!
Probably the best lower back exercise is the Superman pose.
With this exercise you’ll want to lay flat on a mat.
Now, stretch your arms out in front of you as if you’re flying like Superman. Look at the wall in front of you as you do this.
At the same time, raise your legs off the ground. While doing this only your abdominal muscles will be on the ground (and moving up into your chest).
This creates a crunch-like tension on your lower back. If you’re just starting off with this move you may want to hold it for a few moments, release, and repeat.
The goal here is to hold it for up to a minute. You’ll be completely surprised as to how much this little move helps.
Flip over onto your back.
From here you want to perform a bridge.
This is another great exercise for your morning workout that focuses on your lower back and your glutes.
With your back on the ground place your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Now, thrust your butt up, as if you’re trying to push your glutes through your pelvic bone.
You want your legs to run a straight diagonal line from the end of your knees to your chest.
At the same time, squeeze your glutes tight together and hold this.
Like the Superman pose you can either hold it for a few moments, release, then repeat, or try to hold it for 20 seconds or longer, up to a minute (Mayo Clinic, 2018).
Morning Workout For Your Glutes
If you want to build muscle, you’ll want to target this area of your body later during a more intensive lower body workout.
However, you can still improve the form of your legs, work the muscles, and improve your posture with a few simple glute exercises.
Tossing these exercises in with your morning workout are great additions and will really get the heart pumping.
In fact, of all the exercises you do throughout this morning routine these will likely cause you to sweat the most.
The first move you want to do is known as a donkey kick.
Begin on your hands and knees. Lift your right leg behind you and then kick up toward the ceiling, directly above your butt.
Do not fully extend though.
In fact, don’t elevate your thigh above your torso (you’ll open yourself up for possible injuries if you do).
Perform 20 of these donkey kicks on each leg, then repeat it three times.
If you want to increase the resistance you experience during this lift add on some ankle weights.
The second glute and posture exercise you’ll do is called the fire hydrant.
Remain in your hands and knees position.
Now, raise your left leg up to your side (all while keeping your back straight and your head facing forward).
Lift your leg up so your thigh is parallel with the floor and your knee is bent so the foot of your elevated leg remains flat and parallel to the back wall. Hold this position for a few moments then slowly lower it back down to the starting position.
It is important for you to lower your leg slowly and to focus on your posture.
Do not let your back slouch or your butt to fall down toward the ground.
It’s all about strengthening your glutes and your lower back together. This will help the muscles become accustomed to this position, which will help your posture throughout the rest of the day.
Perform this 15 times on each leg and repeat it three times total.
The squat pulse is a great exercise for burning some extra calories while strengthening your butt.
You won’t need any weight for this one (although if you want to increase the tension you can hold a dumbbell in front of your chest for this).
Begin by standing and your feet a little bit further than shoulder-width apart.
Lower yourself down so your thighs are parallel with the ground and pulse, rising your butt a few inches, then lowering it back down (think of it like a calf-raise pulse but with your butt).
Keep your hands out in front of you as you pulse. Shoot for pulsing 30 times, shake it off, and repeat it for three full sets.
For the squat pulse the closer together your feet are the more you work your lower back.
As you begin to push your legs apart the tension pushes into your glutes and your legs.
If you want, with every 30 pulse set you can slowly push your feet out for a wider stance.
Eventually you may end up with a sumo squat stance, which will completely target your butt and legs. Just make sure to keep your back straight for this to maintain optimal posture (Live Love Fruit, 2017).
Back pain is a very real issue so many of us deal with on a daily basis.
Most of this has to do with the way we sit throughout the course of a day. We slouch or we slump over in our office chairs, which curves the spine and forces muscles to shift around the muscles.
The entire body is connected, so when one muscle or bone is not properly aligned the rest of the body will shift to make up for it, which in turn causes problems with other parts of the body as well.
By strengthening your lower back, glutes and the rest of your core you’ll cut down on your body slumping which, in turn, will cut down on the pain you suffer running up and down your spine and into your neck.
It may take some time, but you’ll start to feel the differences.
And while you build up this strength you’ll also feel great during the day, burn more calories and, with your blood pumping, feel that much more productive while at the office.