The morning routine. What blogger hasn’t written loving lines about it?

Here’s one thing I haven’t seen about the morning routine. How you shake it up.

Sometimes it feels like drudgery. Yeah, just do this same thing over and over.

So here are several ideas for different things you can try in the morning to develop different physical attributes.

Jowett breathing exercises

Open your chest, improve your posture, and cleanse your lungs with these fantastic exercises. These four exercises take very little time and give you a great excuse to go outside first thing in the morning and drink in the morning air.

Kung fu stances

Learned these exercises from Tim Larken over a decade ago. I never met Tim, but I liked these exercises. Performed consistently (3x a week) they develop strong, springy legs that have plenty of balance. You’ll have strong useful legs from your feet to your hips. You’ll even develop your flexibility.

Dynamic stretching

Thomas Kurz has a few great works on flexibility. One thing he focuses on is a more dynamic stretching. Like Pavel Tsatsouline, he’s big on developing strength in the extreme ranges. This strength makes a huge difference, by the way. These dynamic stretches develop more active flexibility are a fun way to stretch. They can also have a bit of an endurance component as throwing your leg in the air can be a lot of work!

Joint mobility

An old tried and true one for me. I really like arm, hip, and ankle circles. But, in the routine I almost always go top to bottom. This is a good general warm up and good for strong healthy joints. Done with basic exercises, it can be really peaceful. Done deep, it can be quite challenging.

Now what?

Well, I prefer to focus on a few things at a time. Jowett breathing 3+ days per week and then dynamic stretching 2-3 days per week, and maybe one day of kung fu stances. Sometimes I’ll just focus on one thing, as I did with the Jowett breathing for about 6 months daily practice.

Lots of crazy stuff happens when you do something daily. You either go deep and get better and better, or you find your mind doing crazy stuff and wanting you to quit. It’s a good mental exercise to reframe this type of thing.