What if you could roll out of bed and straight into a workout?
What if there was no time to talk yourself out of burpees at dawn?
And no chance to be barred from your class for arriving five minutes late because you dawdled to the tube in the early morning dark.
Founder of Heartcore, a chain of boutique gyms that has just opened its latest yoga/ride studio in Notting Hill, Jess Schuring shares with ELLE x Label Online which workout you can do as soon as you wake up, right there on your bedroom floor.
'The greatest way to get your workout done is to do it as soon as you get up. After a (hopefully) long sleep you get the chance to open up the body with gentler stretches and then kick start your heart rate with more intense HIIT moves,' she says.
But don't let the bedroom setting lure you into a false sense of security. The more you put into this short HIIT workout, the more you're going to get out of it. And when it's over, at least you won't have to queue for the shower.
Start with a downward dog, moving into an upward dog - anything that's slow and yoga-inspired allows the muscles to open up.
Focus on your breathing: not only does this help you to connect with your core, but it's also a great way to start your day.
It also helps the body circulate blood better, improves concentration and releases feel-good hormones that will make you look positively towards the day ahead.
THEN PICK IT UP (BUT DON'T PUSH YOURSELF)…
How you approach your workout depends on how you feel that day.
You don't want to push yourself into something that you don't really want to do.
So if you feel a little bit more mindful one day then ease off the intensity.
If you feel like you want to own the world, you can ramp it up.
A great way to get your body warm is by holding a plank for a minute. Increase intensity by rocking back and forth in your plank or do 'rainbow dips' – a move where you drop the hips from side to side, touching the floor lightly each side. This helps mobilise the body.
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From a high plank, step forward with one foot into a lunge; either hold the lunge and focus on the length or if you want to be a little bit more 'tough love', go into dips and really work into your glutes with the front leg.
Keep your back leg straight to keep that deep stretch and then dip the front leg up and down so you get that muscle engagement with the quads and glutes.
Do anywhere between 15 and 20 reps. If you need to reset, instead of stopping completely, just straighten out the front leg, give yourself a mini break and then get back down again.
CAN I TAKE A BREAK NOW?
It depends on what you call a break.
I'm a huge fan of resetting. If you're feeling tired from the intensity then stop: you need to feel in the right place in order for the workout to make sense and to reap the benefits.
If it's a slower paced workout, rest in an active pause to catch your breath and reset. Doing a downward dog, rather than completely stopping, is a great way of resting and resetting.
Team ELLE holding the side plank
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AND NOW FOR THE REAL HIIT…
A good way of getting your heart rate up and is skipping on the spot for a minute. Have your air rope - just like an air guitar - and you just skip away, alternating legs as you go. Start with double taps and then go on to one leg and then the other.
Skipping like this is a gentle way of boosting the metabolism while warming your muscles up.
Then move on to squats. Squat down and as you stand up bring the knee in and really focus on drawing from your abs; then alternate to the other side.
Working on mobility
ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE ME DO A BURPEE?
The good old-fashioned burpee always works, however they can get a little boring.
To make burpees fun, don't rush through them. When you really break down the move and understand what's working and how, you will reap more benefits from it. It's not just your heart rate.
When you just go for it and do a set of burpees really fast, yes you get the heart rate up but you don't know what effect they're having on your body. So, rather than rushing the move, embrace it, understand what's actually happening so you can enjoy the benefits – a full body workout move that gets your chest, abs and your legs and glutes going.
The movement from being in the horizontal to vertical again gets the blood going and moving around your entire system.
AND IF I REALLY DON'T WANT TO DO A BURPEE?
One of my favourite alternatives right now is the surfer. Get into a plank position and then jump with both legs to the outside of your left hand. You then stand up as if you're jumping up on a surfboard. Hold it in the squat position and then get back into your plank position, swapping and jumping over to the other side. Repeat ten times.
Not only does it get those California vibes in your bedroom, but it also works your core, your shoulders, your legs and your waistline big time.
AND FINALLY FOR THE STRETCH…
One of the best deep releasing stretches is the pigeon, where you're doing a half split with the front leg curled under you.
One of the most important things about stretching is that you have to hold it for at least 60 seconds for the stretch to have any benefits, and for the muscle to release tension.
SO I'LL BE DONE IN 15 MINUTES?
The whole idea of the 'I have to work out for an hour for it to be beneficial', or the latest craze of 20 minutes of brutal HIIT is that neither is right or wrong.
I'm a huge believer of doing what feels right for you. Your workout should be something that you're looking forward to and that fits into your time schedule. If you have 15 minutes to spare, awesome! Go for it. If you have 45 minutes or an hour, amazing. But don't say, 'because I don't have an hour, it's not worth my time'. Everything is worth your time - you will benefit from even the smallest workout.
AND THE FINAL WORD OF MOTIVATION…
I have never met anyone who has done a workout, even when they haven't felt like doing it, who hasn't felt better afterwards.
Even if it takes a bit of extra effort to get over the hump, you know you're going to feel so much better when it's done.
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