The 'No Excuse' Holiday Workout

Even though it's the holidays, you don't have to throw all your health & fitness goals out the window! Following up from my post earlier this week, here is an example of an easy full-body workout I like to do when I’m short on time or don't feel like getting out in the cold to go to the gym. Bonus- it doesn’t require any equipment, so you can do it anywhere!

1) Warm up: Start by doing some cardio to warm yourself up. A couple times up & down some stairs or sets of jumping-jacks should do the trick!

2) 15 squats: Start by standing with your feet spread shoulder-width apart, and then lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Keep your chest up (don't bend over), and make sure your knees don't go over your toes by keeping your weight back on your heels. Push yourself back to the starting position while squeezing your glutes. That's one rep.

3) 10 pushups: For a standard push-up, position your hands shoulder-width apart, or a little bit wider. As you bend your elbows and lower toward the ground, your elbows should be at about a 45-degree angle to your body. It’s important to keep your core engaged and back flat, so that your body is in one straight line from the top of your head to your heels (don't let your hips sag or back arch).

Here, I did a modified push-up because I am not strong enough to do more than a couple standard pushups. Form is important when you're exercising, so don't be hard on yourself if you need to modify a movement!

4) 10 donkey-kicks, each side: Get on all fours, hands under shoulders & knees under hips. Keeping your left knee bent 90 degrees, flex left foot and lift knee to hip level. Lower your knee without touching the floor, then lift again. Switch legs & repeat on the other side. Be sure to keep your core tight & back flat, and keep this movement slow & controlled so you feel the burn!

5) 10 side-plank dips, each side: Begin in a side elbow-plank, making sure your elbow is directly underneath your shoulder. Pile your feet on top of each other (or have one in front of the other like I do here, however you feel most stable), inhale & and dip your hips down toward the floor. Without pausing, exhale & lift them back up to slightly higher than neutral.

Here you can see that as I'm pushing my hips back up from the dip, my elbow is no longer directly under my shoulder. Try not to do this! This puts unnecessary strain on your body and can cause injury.

6) 10 bird-dogs, each side: Start on all fours with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and knees under your hips. Tighten your core, and reach your right arm forward and left leg back. You should form one straight line from your hand to your foot, back straight & hips squared to the ground. If your back begins to sag or your hips open up, raise your leg only as high as you can while keeping correct form. Hold this position for a second, then curl your arm & leg into a crunch under your body, so your elbow and your knee meet. That's one rep. Stretch your arm and leg back out to repeat the movement and finish your set, then switch sides.

7) 12 stationary lunges, each side: Stand tall with your feet hip distance apart, then take a large step backward with one foot. This is your start position.Lower your back knee to a 90 degree angle, so both knees are bent, then, squeezing your glutes, press back up to starting position. Repeat for 12 reps, then switch legs. Be sure to keep your chest up (don't lean forward!) and core tight so your back stays straight, and don't let your knee go over your toe on your front leg.

*Repeat this series of exercises 3 times, with brief rest in between exercises. Then, finish with at least 5 minutes of stretching.

I hope this workout helps motivate you to get up & moving this holiday season! If you need a little more inspiration, check out my post on How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays for some tips to keep yourself on track so your New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to be “getting back onto shape”!


#workout #fitness #exercise #holidays #Christmas #Thanksgiving #NewYear #fit #gym #homeworkout #cardio #toning #healthy


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