I love starting the day with a workout. This morning was no different. It feels great, although sometimes typing is a bit more challenging with fatigued muscles. So here is what I did for my upper body morning workout today.
The structure of the workout is fairly simple a warmup followed by 3 sets of four exercises. I brought out my Garmin to time my rest intervals and made sure I was resting 3-5 minutes between each set. Each set I did as many reps as possible with good form.
I found that after spending lots of time doing Tabata intervals waiting for 3-5 minutes felt like an eternity. The Tabata’s only give 20 seconds for rest between sets. But I found that the longer rest intervals let me complete the same number of repetitions in each set of the exercise.
I kept my warmup simple since I am still trying to wake up. So I grabbed my jump-rope.
Jumping or skipping rope is an excellent cardio workout by itself. In a short amount of time it burns off more fat than running.
My warmup consisted of 10 minutes. For variation I alternated between straight skipping, high-knee running, and cross-overs.
I pulled out my tallest plyobox for incline push-ups. By placing my feet up on the box to perform a pushup the exercise uses the upper part of my pectoral muscles. Start with a short box, or even a step, then progress towards higher platforms to activate the upper part of your chest more.
Do as many repetitions as possible. The key tips for form while doing a push-up (inclined or not) are:
- Straight body – keep your entire core firm and hold your body in a straight line
- Full Range of Motion – Start with your arms fully extended then lower yourself until you touch the ground. Flat push-ups will touch with your chest, incline push-ups will touch with you nose.
- Controlled Movement – move at a pace you can control. The movement should be precise and in control.
Kettlebell Bent Row
Now to work the pulling side of the upper body I went for the kettlebell bent-row. I grabbed two 24kg kettlebells for this one and was able to complete 13 repetitions.
The exercise can be performed with dumbbells as well.
Grab the weights in each hand, keep your back straight (not rounded), bend your knees and hips slightly. If you know the form for a deadlift, this is the same position. Hold that position with the weights hanging straight down and your arms fully extended.
To perform the row pull the weights straight up as far as possible. Again keep the movement controlled and even. Watch the position of your back and keep it from rounding.
To perform the ring push-up place your feet up on a platform, grab both rings and perform a standard push-up. Try to keep the strap away from your body as you move.
Hanging Leg Raises
To finish the workout I returned to the hanging leg raises that I picked up from reading Rusty Moore’s Abs Blueprint. These are an excellent movement to work the abs without stressing the lower back.
Check it out and join me in getting some definition!
To perform the hanging leg raise, grab the pull-up bar, hang still, then slowly raise your legs keeping them slightly bent, raise them to at least parallel with the ground, then return to a straight hanging position. Move in a controlled manner and keep from swaying or swinging.
What was in your morning workout?
That was my upper body morning workout and after three sets of four exercises I feel great. The workout got me going and fatigued my muscles in my upper chest, upper back, arms, and abs.
What was in your morning workout?