5 Killer Holiday Workouts to Keep You Fit and Sane

The holidays can make anyone insane and you know what makes you even crazier?  Skipping your workouts.  I know, you're busy and stressed, but that's exactly why you need to keep exercising. Not only will it help you avoid weight gain, it will actually help you burn off some of that stress so you can do more.

These 5 workouts are short and intense, giving you great options for when you're short on time.

1
10 Minute Body Weight Circuit - No Equipment? No Problem

Woman doing a plank
Getty Images/Brook Pifer

No equipment? No problem. This total body home circuit includes a variety of classic body weight exercises to work your body from head to toes. Modify the exercises to fit your fitness level.

  • 1 min - Squats and Squat Jumps -2 squats, 2 squat jumps, alternating for 60 seconds.
  • 1 min - Lunges and Plyo Lunges - Front and rear lunges for 30 seconds, jumping lunges for 30 seconds.
  • 1 min - Bear Crawls and Pushups - Walk the hands out, pushup, walk back in.
  • 1 min - Wall Sit with Knee Lifts - Hold a wall sit and lift each knee, alternating for 60 seconds.
  • 1 min - Standing Side Crunch - Bring the right knee up to the side and bring the right elbow down to touch. Repeat for 30 seconds on each side.
  • 1 min - Dips with Leg Extensions - Do a dip and, as you press up, extend the right leg, reaching for the toe with your left hand. Alternate sides for 60 seconds.
  • 1 min - Burpees - Squat to floor and jump the feet back into a plank position, jump the feet back in and stand up.
  • 1 min - Triceps Pushups and Side Planks - Do a triceps pushup and rotate to the left, taking the right arm up in a side plank. Alternate sides for 60 seconds.
  • 1 min - Bridge with Leg Drops - In a bridge position, leg up, drop it down to the side a few inches. Repeat for 30 seconds and switch sides.

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2
10 Minute Express Workout - Total Body Moves

Woman with a med ball
Getty Images/Ruth Jenkinson

This Advanced 10-Minute Express Workout is perfect if you want a fast, challenging total body workout you can do in about 10-15 minutes.

  • 1 min - Burpee with Renegade Row - Hold weights and do a burpee. Hold the plank at the bottom and do a row on each side.  Jump up and repeat.
  • 1 min - Pivot Squat with Hammer Curls - Start with left foot on a Gliding Disc or paper plate, weight in right hand.  Pivot on the Disc and take the right foot back into squat. Pivot back to a squat with a hammer curl. 30 seconds on each side.
  • 1 min - Goblet Squat with Rotation - Hold a heavy weight and squat.  Stand up, take the weight up and rotate to the right.  Alternate sides.
  • 1 min - Rear Lunge with Double Arm Row - Hold weights and take right leg into a straight-leg lunge. Tip forward and do a double arm row. Step back in and alternate sides.
  • 1 min - Bear Crawls - Squat and walk your hands out. Do a pushup on the knees or toes and walk the hands back to a squat and stand up.
  • 1 min - Side Lunge with Upright Rows - Step out to the right in a side lunge. Step back with an upright row and repeat, alternating sides.
  • 1 min - Chest Squeeze with Wide Squat Jumps- Feet wide, squeeze a med ball.  Alternate 4 slow squats with 4 plyometric squat jumps.
  • 1 min - Single Arm Overhead Squat - Wide stance, weight in right hand with arm straight up. Look up at right hand and squat. Repeat for 30 seconds on each side.
  • 1 min - Core Kickbacks - In a plank position, feet wide, do kickbacks with right arm for 30 seconds.  Switch sides.
  • 1 min - Bicycle - Rotate the left elbow towards the right knee. Switch sides, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee.

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3
Tabata Strength Workout - High Intensity Circuit Training

Woman doing a pushup
Getty Images/Mike Harrington

This Tabata Strength Workout includes tough, whole body exercises. Each Tabata set includes 2 exercises.  You'll alternate each for 20 seconds, resting 10 seconds in between.  Repeat 4 times for 4 minutes. 

  • Tabata Set 1 - Alternate each exercise, 20 seconds on/10 seconds off, repeating for 4 minutes:
  • Exercise 1:  Squat, Curl and Press-Right-Left- Staggered stance, squat and do a biceps curl.  Stand and press the weights overhead. Alternate sides for each Tabata.
  • Exercise 2:  Front and Rear Lunges Right-Left - Lunge forward and back with the same leg.  Switch legs for each Tabata.
  • Tabata Set 2- Alternate each exercise, 20 seconds on/10 seconds off, repeating for 4 minutes:
  • Exercise 1: Hammer Curl with Power Squat - With heavy weights, swing the weights and squat, pulling arms into a hammer curl. Stand and repeat.
  • Exercise 2: Squat Press - Squat and push weights overhead as you stand up.
  • Tabata Set 3- Alternate each exercise, 20 seconds on/10 seconds off, repeating for 4 minutes:
  • Exercise 1:  Walking Pushups - Do 4 'walking' pushups to the left (walk the left hand and foot to the left, going into a pushup, then walk the right hand and leg back together), then 4 to the right.
  • Exercise 2:  Core Kickbacks - In a plank position, feet wide, do kickbacks with right arm for 30 seconds.  Switch sides.
  • Tabata Set 4- Alternate each exercise, 20 seconds on/10 seconds off, repeating for 4 minutes:
  • Exercise 1:  Pulsing Dumbbell Rows - Do a double arm row, pulsing for 3 counts each time. 
  • Exercise 2:  Rear Lunge with Double Arm Row - Hold weights and take right leg into a straight-leg lunge. Tip forward and do a double arm row. Alternate sides.

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4
10 Minute Strength and Power Circuit

Group med ball exercise
Getty Images/kupicoo

This total body workout has everything you need for a complete workout, whether you're on the road or short on time. The workout alternates a dynamic strength move along with a high-intensity power move so you work your entire body and get your heart rate up to burn more calories.

  • 1 min: Squat Press - Squat and push weights overhead as you stand up.
  • 1 min:  Plyo-Jacks - Jump feet out into a squat, circling arms overhead.  Jump back and repeat. 
  • 1 minWall Sit with Chest Squeeze - In a wall sit, squeeze a med ball and press the ball out and in.
  • 1 minSquat w/ Front Kick - Squat and, as you stand, alternate kicking right and left legs.
  • 1 minWalking Lunge with Lateral Raises - Step forward into a lunge and lift the arms up to shoulder level.  Step in, lower the arms and repeat on the other foot. 
  • 1 min:  Plyo-Lunge - Begin in a lunge position and jump up, switching the feet in the air, landing with the other foot forward in a lunge. 
  • 1 min:  Low Lunges - In lunge position, take weights towards the floor. Keeping weight in the front foot, push halfway up and down in small pulses.  Repeat for 30 seconds on each side.
  • 1 min:  Side to Side Jumping Lunge - Take the right leg out to the side and bend the left knee into a runner's lunge,  touching hand to the floor.  Quickly shift the feet in the air to shift the lunge to the other side.
  • 1 min:  Pushups on the Ball - Feet on the ball, do 30 seconds of pushups, rest and then another 30 seconds.
  • 1 min:  Squat Thrusts - Squat with hands on the floor, jump the feet in and out.
  • 1 min:  Planks - Support the body on the elbows and toes, keeping the back straight and that abs engaged (don't sag in the middle).

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5
10 Minute Low Impact Cardio Workout

Woman doing side kick
Getty Images/Jasper Cole

If you're short on time, equipment and even space, this 10-minute workout includes a variety of tough, low impact moves. 

  • 1 min:  Step Touches - Step to the right and left to warm up
  • 1 min:  Windmills - Bend at the waist, abs in, and take the left arm towards the right foot. Stand up and repeat the move on the left, going as fast as you can.
  • 1 min:  Knee Smashes - Extend the arms and bring the left knee up and across the body while bringing the arms down. Return to start and repeat, going as fast as you can
  • 1 min:  Front Kick Lunge - Bring the right knee up and extend the leg in a snapping front kick then take the same leg back into a straight-leg lunge while touching the floor. Repeat the kick and low lunge sequence for one minute and repeat the sequence on the other side for one minute.
  • 1 min:  Bear Crawls - Squat and walk your hands out. Do a pushup on the knees or toes and walk the hands back to a squat and stand up.
  • 1 min:  Side Knee with Side Kick - Bring the left knee up to the side while bringing the elbow down towards the knee. Take the left foot down and shift the weight into the left leg while kicking out to the side.  Repeat for 1 minute on each side.
  • 1 min:  Squat Kicks - Squat and, as you stand, alternate kicking right and left legs.

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