Reboot Week 1: Morning Warm-up Exercises

For most of my life, I have struggled with keeping a consistent exercise routine. I’ll go through periods of extreme dedication to a single form of exercise (previous love affairs have ranged the whole exercise gamut, from half-marathon running and weight lifting, to Ultimate Frisbee and Dodgeball). However, all have suffered from the same fate: I missed one or two sessions in a row, which then turned into missing a few weeks, which turned into I really should go back to the gym — oh wait, there’s a re-run of Battlestar Galactica on!

There have been two major roadblocks in keeping a consistent routine. The first has been time-based excuses: I’ll find excuses to skip a day of exercise because (a) it’ll take too much time and I need to get to work; or (b) it’s too late in the day to do it, and the gym will be crowded at this point.

The secondary problem has been a sense of boredom once a routine has become, well, routine. Weightlifting and running were a lot of fun for months on end, until I started to feel robotic about the whole process (go to gym/lift weights/run down road/lather/rinse/repeat).

I’ve realized that for me, a successful workout routine will need to be one that can be performed anywhere, in a relatively short time, preferably without the necessity of a gym (and therefore not finding an excuse to not exercise when I’m not at home or while traveling). Also, it should be multi-faceted and shape-shifting over time to prevent the onset of boredom.

Recently, I’ve become interested in bodyweight exercise (where you only use your own bodyweight for resistance instead of dumbbells or barbells), as it can be done almost anywhere — whether you’re at home or on the road — thereby reducing resistance to actually doing it.

As to how I’ll combat the inevitable boredom of routine remains to be seen. For now, the novelty of this form of exercise will hopefully be enough.

Sticking with Arbitrary Rule #1 of the Reboot Manifesto (Start small!), I’ll be performing a simple routine that can be performed in the mornings, almost anywhere. I believe starting small is one of the most important aspects to creating a new routine. Far, far too often, I’ve seen people hire a personal trainer at a gym, do an intense 1.5 hour workout for the first time, and then never return to the gym ever again. Small incremental changes are a necessity for consistent change, I feel.

This early morning warm-up exercise routine contains:

  • Simple full-body warm-ups.
  • Elements of the 7-Minute Workout (no equipment required).
  • Several lower-body yoga poses to fix APT Tilt for us chair-strapped office workers.

So without further ado, here’s the exercise routine I’ll follow:

Simple Morning Bodyweight Routine

  • Head Rolls (30 secs)
  • Arm Rotations (30 secs)
  • Wall Back Extensions (30 secs)
  • Forward Fold (45 secs)
  • Plank (30 secs)
  • Cobra (30 secs)
  • Cat-Cow (45 secs)
  • Downward Dog (45 secs)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Jumping Jacks (30 secs)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Wall Sit (30 secs)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Push-ups (30 secs)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Abdominal crunches (30 secs)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Toe Stands (30 secs)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Squats (30 secs)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Knee High Run (30 secs)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Lunges (30 secs, 10x each side)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Left-side plank (30 secs)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Right-side plank (30 secs)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Runners Lunge (45 seconds per side)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Yoga Squat (45 secs)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Butterfly Stretch (45 secs)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Pigeon Pose (45 secs per side)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Bridge Pose (45 secs)
  • Break (10 secs)
  • Child’s Pose (60 secs)
  • Shavasana (90 secs)

Total time: ~20 minutes

I’ll report back at the end of the week on my thoughts on this first experiment. If you have any suggestions or tips, leave a comment below!

— James