The Ultimate 20-Minute Morning Workout for Weight Loss

Getting a good morning workout in is one of the best ways to start your day — you feel energized and motivated, knowing a crucial part of your routine is already out of the way. And if weight loss if your goal, there's no better time to get your sweat on than right after rolling out of bed.

Wake up, work out, lose weight. (Image: LeoPatrizi/E+/GettyImages)

In fact, in a July 2019 study published in the International Journal of Obesity, people who exercised in the morning lost more weight than those who worked out in the evening.

"Consistency is easier to maintain if you workout at the same time every day," says Jericho McMatthews, Beachbody trainer and creator of Morning Meltdown 100. Plus, getting that workout in first thing means there's a much higher chance of it actually getting done, she says. After all, it's easy to get sidetracked as the day goes on, which can mean not working out at all.

Not to mention, morning workouts also come with some great mental benefits, which can help you stick with it. "Your mood is instantly boosted, you'll have more energy throughout the day and you'll feel an immediate sense of accomplishment that will help you take on whatever the day has in store," McMatthews says.

She also recommends working out on an empty stomach. This can help boost fat loss and improve your blood glucose levels, according to a March 2017 study published in the journal Sports Medicine.

Want to start your day with the ultimate weight-loss workout? Here's a quick, 20-minute workout from McMatthews that'll burn tons of calories and set you up for a productive day.

Body-Weight Cardio Workout for Weight Loss

Before you do this workout, warm up with three minutes of light cardio (jumping jacks, jogging in place, etc.) and dynamic stretches. Afterwards, cool down for three minutes by walking for a few minutes and doing static stretches.

Do: Each move for 45 seconds — the first 15 at an easier pace and then 30 seconds at max effort. Perform two moves back to back as a superset, resting for 15 seconds after the first exercise and 30 seconds after the second. Rest for one to two minutes, then repeat the circuit one more.

  • Burpee with alternating lightning bolt
  • Rest 15 seconds
  • 180 broad jump
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Speed skaters with lunge jumps
  • Rest 15 seconds
  • Push-up with firecracker
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Lightning jacks with thunderbird
  • Rest 15 seconds
  • Burpee with rocket slam
  • Rest 1 to 2 minutes

Move 1: Burpee With Alternating Lightning Bolt

  1. From standing, bend your knees and lower down into a squat, placing both hands on the floor in front of you.
  2. Jump both feet back into a high plank (or step one foot back at a time).
  3. From a high plank, pop both feet off the floor at the same time, driving one knee in toward your chest as the opposite leg shootsstraight behind you.
  4. Land softly back in a high plank, then jump your feet back to your hands and return to standing. (Option: Add a jump at the top.)
  5. Alternate which leg bends in toward your chest with each rep.

Move 2: 180 Broad Jump

  1. From standing, swing your arms (palms facing out) for momentum as you bend your knees and use both legs to jump forward, keeping your chest open.
  2. Land softly with bent knees in a deep squat, keeping your chest lifted and knees in line with your toes.
  3. Next, shoot straight into the air, turning 180 degrees in the air.
  4. Land softly with bent knees and jump back the other way.

Move 3: Speed Skaters With Lunge Jumps

  1. Standing with both feet under your hips, take a wide leap out to the side with one leg, lowering into a single-leg squat position.
  2. Let the free leg float slightly behind your body as both arms swing to the side and the floating foot lightly hovers above (or taps) the floor.
  3. Quickly push off the supporting leg and swing arms out to the side as you jump out and over to the other side.
  4. Land on the opposite leg.
  5. Do four speed skaters total before going into lunge jumps.
  6. Next, jump the floating leg forward into a lunge position, keeping the front knee stacked over the ankle and shoulders stacked over hips.
  7. Power through both legs and jump straight up, switching legs mid-air, using your arms for momentum.
  8. Land in with opposite leg forward.
  9. Do four lunge jumps before cycling back to speed skaters.

Move 4: Push-Up With Firecracker

  1. Start in a high plank, hands under shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to toe.
  2. Bend your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body to lower your chest to the ground.
  3. Press back up into a plank.
  4. Keeping your core tight, jump both feet off the ground and pull both knees in toward your elbows.
  5. Quickly shoot your legs straight back to a high plank.

Move 5: Lightning Jacks With Thunderbird

  1. Start standing with feet together, arms crossed in blade position creating an X in front of your chest.
  2. Jump your feet out as quickly as possible, landing with feet outside shoulder width as you shoot both arms straight down by your sides
  3. As quickly as possible, jump your feet back together as arms return to an X.
  4. Performing four jacks total.
  5. Next, jump straight up and extend your arms to the sides.
  6. Land softly, completing two jumps total before returning to Lightning Jacks.

Move 6: Burpee With Rocket Slam

  1. From standing, bend your knees and lower down into a squat, placing both hands on the floor in front of you.
  2. Jump both feet back into a high plank (or step one foot back at a time).
  3. Then jump both feet back toward your hands.
  4. Swing your arms up and overhead for momentum as if you were holding a medicine ball.
  5. Jump up into the air, bringing both arms overhead.
  6. Keeping your core tight, land softly with knees slightly bent as you swing both arms and slam an imaginary medicine ball straight down.
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