If you are not really a morning person, this title is probably an abomination to you. Working out in the morning? Really? While I could be happily sleeping in a super comfy bed?
Just hear me out!
I am in no way suggesting a full-on, one hour long, workout; I am only asking for a few minutes of your time each morning to start your day off feeling positive and energetic.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Indeed, you will need as little as two minutes to complete this workout if you spend a minute on each.
I can already hear you protest: “I will never get any results from this!” How wrong you are! We have chosen two daily exercises that target a great number of muscles all over your body.
So yes, you will not have a 6-pack by tomorrow, but I promise that you will see the results, appearing a little bit more everyday.
1. The Plank
Such a simple move, yet you can get so many impressive results from the plank! Targeting primarily your middle section and your back muscles; but it will also work wonders on your shoulders, your chest, your butt and your legs.
However, the plank has many more benefits beyond getting a toned belly:
–It helps reduce back pain by strengthening your core: that is one of the nice side effects that you will get when you start doing the plank everyday.
–It improves your flexibility: while this is not an obvious side effect, your whole body will really be able to feel this one. From your shoulders blades and collarbones, down to your hamstrings and even the arches of your feet; all your muscles will thank you for this stretching.
–It improves your mood: while this is often a side effect of exercising, thanks to the release of endorphins; it is even more the case for the plank. Not only will you release those happy hormones; but the stretching of your muscles also helps them relax, which optimally lead to an improved mood.
–It improves both your posture simply because to correctly do this move, you will need to ensure that your abs are upright. However, if you decide to add some side planks or plank extension, your posture will not be the only one benefitting from this exercise; your balance will be greatly improved as well.
–It will boost your overall metabolism: indeed the plank is one of those exercises that, firstly, burn more calories than the basic crunch or sit-up; but also, enhances your metabolic rate, meaning that you will continue burning calorie for the rest of the day.
Sounds complicated doesn’t it? It is not actually that hard, but if you are looking to improve the definition of your legs, butt and hips, while slimming your waist; you won’t find a better exercise.
What’s a sumo squat and why is it better than a normal squat?
There is only one difference between a sumo squat and a normal squat: the position of your feet: instead of having your feet hip-width apart and facing forward, you will have to place your feet wider apart from each other, and facing out (at an angle of around 45°).
While this might only appear as a slight change, the difference actually brings quite a few benefits. For example, it allows for a better focus on the inner thigh adductors and your glutes.
However, as it is only a variation of a squat, do not forget that it will still work your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors and calves.
Why add side crunches to this exercise?
Squats mostly focus on your lower body, which is great. But what’s even better is to obtain a full-body move with a slight modification.
While you are raising your knees right and then left, you will not only be working your core strength, but you will also have a special focus on your obliques.
How to perform a sumo squat with side crunches?
Stand up with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart; and with your toes facing out (with an angle of about 45°). Bent your knees and lower yourself down (while keeping your back as straight as possible).
As you are getting up, raise your left knee toward your left elbow. Step your foot down and lower yourself down again for another sumo squat. This time, on your way back up, raise your right knee.
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