Estimated Read Time: 6 minutes
I DO THIS EVERY MORNING…
It doesn’t matter whether you have a workout planned for the day or not, you are going to want to do this every single morning!
It only takes 2 minutes and 30 seconds…
But it will change your posture, improve the appearance of your abs and even works your grip strength!
It’s so simple.
But it works!
There’s actually another hidden benefit to what I’m going to show you … It could completely change the workout you had scheduled for the day!
Just wait until you feel how well this works – even after just a few days.
This takes almost no time to do, so let’s get started!
ELAPSED TIME: 30 SECONDS
After 6 to 8 hours of sleep we are pretty dehydrated, and it can be easy to forget how important it is to start our day off by rehydrating.
We often just get up and on our way without making a concerted effort to replenish the water that we have lost and not taken in while asleep.
So the first thing I do when I roll out of bed everyday – I drink water.
At least 20 to 24 ounces of it!
Set yourself up for this before bed each night by placing bottles of water on your nightstand or at the bathroom sink.
Room temperature water is easier to drink, so just guzzle it down!
This can have a dramatic impact on the energy levels we have throughout the remainder of the day, our ability to focus and the amount of strength we can output when we hit the gym for our workout.
BENEFITS OF MORNING REHYDRATION
- Replenishes water lost and not taken in during 6-8 hours of sleep
- Improves energy levels and focus
- Improves strength output during the day’s workout
HANG OUT ON (NOT AT) THE BAR
ELAPSED TIME: 2 MINUTES
The next two minutes are going to help you with your posture, your abs and your grip strength.
They’ll also help you gauge whether you’ve been overtraining and if you may need additional recovery time.
Let me show you what I mean.
After I’ve chugged my water I walk towards my closet, but not to start picking out my outfit!
Instead, I make a pit stop at the pullup bar that I’ve installed over the doorway.
The first thing I do is try to decompress my spine for one minute by hanging from the bar.
MINUTE 1: DECOMPRESSION HANG
To do this, grab the bar, hang from it and drop your pelvis with your toes lightly in contact with the ground. As the weight of the pelvis drops, you can actually feel those spinal segments decompress and you’ll also get a stretch through the hips.
We can also use this bar hang to address the lack of thoracic extension and the mid-back stiffness that we get by being in a slumped posture throughout much of the day. We have this problem even at night when our heads are propped up on a pillow.
To fix this you can try to reach your head through to get as much extension as possible in that area.
Before we move on, let’s talk about grip strength for a moment.
Obviously, gripping the bar for one minute is going to have the cumulative effect of working on our forearm and grip strength.
However, you can also use this as a tool to gauge your level of fatigue and necessity for recovery.
If when you’re doing the bar hang you find that your grip strength is not where it needs to be, and you start to lose strength during these two, one minute sessions, it’s probably an indicator that you’re in need of some added recovery.
This is your central nervous system telling you it’s time to dial it back a little bit on your training, at least for today.
If when you’re doing the bar hang you find that your grip strength is not where it needs to be, and you start to lose strength, it’s probably an indicator that you’re in need of some added recovery.
From here, we’re immediately going to move into the second minute of bar hangs, but this time we’re going to turn it into an ab exercise.
MINUTE 2: HANGING ABS
All you need to do is hang with your feet lifted off the ground, and then hollow out the lower abs and hold.
Instead of just hanging there, pull down and engage the shoulder blades to get some scapular stability.
BENEFITS OF THE MORNING BAR HANG
- First minute decompresses the spinal vertebrae
- Additional stretch through the hips as you drop the pelvis
- Pushing forward of the head gives a thoracic and mid-back stretch
- Improves forearm and grip strength
- Lack of grip strength is an indicator that additional recovery is needed
- Second minute improves abdominal strength
- Engaging the shoulder blades assists with scapular stability
As you can see we’ve accomplished a lot in 2 minutes and 30 seconds! This is such a quick and effective routine with so many benefits that there’s no reason not to do it every day.
The cumulative effective of these two one-minute holds each day is going to help you improve posture, core strength, forearm strength and give you an indicator of where you might be in your training.
THE HIGHLIGHT REEL:
BEST MORNING ROUTINE
- After 6 to 8 hours of being asleep we are pretty dehydrated, so it’s important to start off the day drinking 20-24 ounces of room temperature water before you do anything else!
- Next I recommend doing two one-minute bar hangs every day regardless of whether you’re planning to work out or not. Each minute has a distinct purpose.
- The first minute of bar hang helps decompress the spine and stretches the hips, thoracic and mid-back areas.
- The second minute of bar hang is used to work the abs and scapular stability.
- Bar hangs are great for working forearm and grip strength.
- If your grip strength feels weak during these bar hangs, it is likely a signal that your system is fatigued and you could benefit from additional recovery.
If you’re looking to get off on the right track with good long term habits and create positive changes in your body, check out our ATHLEAN-X programs. I literally lay it out step by step, so you don’t miss anything!
Watch the YouTube version of this article