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Getting a jump start on the day can be tough. So, here's a simple, and I do mean simple, five minute warm-up to add to your morning routine. I'm not calling it a workout because there really is no intention of “getting ripped” or “max-heartrate” here. It's meant to help control your breath, lubricate those muscles, awaken your nerves, sharpen neurotransmitters (the little jolts of energy that continually fire in your brain), and loosen your joints that have been sedated from sleeping all night.
I highly recommend something like this for everyone, and it's only five minutes (shorter than the time you spend on the toilette scrolling through Facebook). By starting your day this way your body will release endorphins that promote brain function and improve focus, creativity, and intuition. Not to mention light a fire under your metabolisms' ass, helping you burn more fat throughout the rest of your day. Also, routine is everything. It helps relieve stress from building in your life, it keeps the mind focused and feeling successful. By implementing this everyday, your life will be legit better. Promise.
So to start, get your ass out of bed! Find a spot somewhere (preferably outside but somewhere with some light and a view outside). Lay back down, but don’t you dare start snoring, not worth it. You'll miss your alarm and then be late for work. Not cool. Now start with a deep stretch. Laying on your back take a long, deep inhale through your nose. Extend your arms overhead reaching with both hands and feet, as you exhale through the mouth bringing in the light and energy of the new day.
1. Come forward up into your knees, toes tucked, butt on your heels. Seated with your hands on my knees, palms up, go through five cycles of belly breathing. That’s a long breath in through the nose, pushing the belly out, filling the belly with air. Pausing at the top of the breath. Then exhaling out through the mouth. Exhaling. Exhaling. Until the belly is as far inward as can be. That's one cycle; repeat for a total of five.
2. Hands by your side now, knees bent, slowly lift your hips off the ground to the sky. Keeping your head, neck, and shoulders planted, drive through your heels (feet planted flat too), bringing your hips up. Pause then bring them back down slowly.
3. Bring yourself into a seated position with your knees on the ground, toes tucked, butt seated on your heels, torso upright with a flat neutral spin. Bring your hips back and down so your rear is now on your heels. Untuck those toes. Take one breath here then slowly drive those hips up and forward. Repeat for a total of one minute.
4. Cat-Cow time. On all fours, create a flat back and neutral spine (seeing a trend with this yet?). On the inhale fill your belly with air. Drop your spine gently to the floor while at the same time bring your head up opening up your throat. At the top of this position letting out the breath and beginning to drop your head back down and arching your spine. Bringing your belly back in to your spine, exhaling all the air out.
5. Now for some switch backs. Switch from a seated position to butt down with legs out in front, knees bent, feet planted. Keeping the upper body (hips to shoulders) square and the spine neutral, dropping both knees to one side. Keeping the heels planted bring the knees back to center, then drop them to the left or opposite side. Repeat these until you feel your hips loosen.
6. Standing with legs wide and feet planted, create a flat neutral spine (duh!). Hinge at the hip driving your rear to the back wall. Keeping the legs straight, baby bend in the knees, lean to the right side, sweep down, bringing your arms out to the side to stabilize. Now go back, chest down to the leg, back to straight, hinge at the hip, sweep down and then back up once your chest reaches the right leg.And that's all she rote. Nice and slow and controlled. Easy breathing. Not trying to set any world records for speed or strength or amounts of reps. Just slow, fluid, easy and effortless (well maybe just a little).
Written for Cliff Original by Coleman Simeral.