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The Quick-Start Morning Workout

Wake-Up Call

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You don't have to rise with the sun to fit in an effective a.m. workout. This 15-minute routine makes it easy to become (and stay) a morning exerciser. Simply roll out of bed and into these moves to wake up your muscles and kick your body into gear.

How it works: Do 1 set of the recommended number of reps for each move. Repeat the full circuit 3 times.

You'll need: Nothing! (Though a mat or towel is recommended for cold, hard floors.)

Stretching Inchworm

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Warm up your body with this gentle move before you really start to sweat.

How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides. Take a deep breath in and stretch your arms overhead, pressing palms together and lifting your chest as you look up to ceiling. Exhale and slowly fold forward, opening your arms out to your sides and then to the floor (bend knees as much as needed to press hands flat on the ground).

Slowly walk your hands out away from your feet, shifting weight forward, bringing shoulders over hands and lowering torso into full plank position. Brace your abs in tight and hold for 1 count.

Gently release your hips to floor and arch your lower back, lifting head and chest to the ceiling, taking a deep breath in as you stretch. Exhale, draw your abs in tight and use your abdominals to lift your hips back up into full plank position. Hold for 1 count and then slowly walk your hands back to your feet and roll up through your spine to return to standing. Repeat as many times in a row as you can for 1 minute.

Power Pushups

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Now that your body is warm, get ready to kick things up a notch with this pushup variation that works your chest, arms, abs, and legs.

How to do it: From a kneeling position, press your hips up and back behind you so that your body resembles an upside down "V." Bend your knees and press your chest further back towards your thighs, stretching shoulders. Shift your weight forward, extend your legs, and lower hips, bending elbows into a full pushup (try to tap your chest to the ground if possible).

Press your hips back up and return to "V" position, keeping knees bent. Power back and forth between the pushup and press back position as many times as you can for 1 minute.

Sumo Squat to Side Crunch

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Sculpt your legs, butt, and hips while slimming your waist with this double-duty move.

How to do it: Stand tall with your feet slightly wider than hip width, toes and knees turned out about 45 degrees, hands behind your head. Bend your knees and lower into a sumo squat (dropping hips as low as you can without letting knees buckle forward or back).

As you press back up to standing, raise your right knee up toward your right elbow and do a side crunch with your torso to the right. Step your right foot down and immediately repeat sumo squat and crunch to the left. Repeat, alternating sides each time, for 1 minute.

RELATED: 8 Ways to Become a Morning Exerciser

Side Lunge and Bow

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This two-in-one strength moves targets your inner and outer thighs, hips, glutes, and back.

How to do it: Start standing with feet together, hands behind your head. Brace your abs in tight, and as you do a side lunge to the right, bow forward, hinging at your hips, bringing your chest almost parallel to the floor. Push off your right leg and return to start position. Repeat, changing legs each time, for 1 minute.

Be sure to keep your back naturally straight and your abs engaged during the entire movement.

Lying Knee Twist and Tuck

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The final exercise in this circuit will stretch your lower back while challenging abdominal muscles.

How to do it: Lie faceup with your arms extended straight out from your shoulders, palms facing down. Bend your knees and hips 90 degrees so you're in table top position. Brace your abs in tight, and keeping both shoulder blades pressed into the ground, slowly lower your legs (maintaining 90-degree angle, knees should be touching) to the right without touching the ground (go as far to the side as you can without lifting your shoulders).

Draw your abs in tighter as you slowly lift your legs back up to center, tucking knees into chest and lifting your tailbone off the floor. Lower your hips down and repeat to the other side. Continue alternating sides for 1 full minute.

If you can't lift your hips during the center tuck, just draw your knees in as close to your chest as possible.

Photos by: Vanessa Rogers Photography

Shot on location at Canyon Ranch Miami Beach


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