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How to Sneak in a Total Body at Home Workout over the Holidays

By NCSF 0 comments

How are you going to maintain your workout routine over Thanksgiving? The gluttony of Thanksgiving does not need to be paired with laziness. Whether you are traveling home for Thanksgiving or having friends over for a “Friendsgiving” you can still find the time to sneak in a Holiday workout. Chances are you do not have a complete gym at home, so a bodyweight circuit is a great substitute.

When working out at home, it is both important to have a plan that utilizes your available space and also allows you to move distraction free. Items that can double as equipment include beds, counter tops, chairs, and towels. Beds can be used as a box jump or step up, counter tops work for incline push-ups, two stable chairs can create an inverted row station, and towels can be used for Overhead squats or partner curls.

Also, there is no reason why you should not take advantage of having family over. If you have a willing volunteer include manual resistance exercises like hamstring curls, biceps curls, and triceps extensions. This will not only allow you train a greater diversity of movements but will make the whole experience more fun.

The workouts do not need to be long either. If you are on oven duty, make sure not to burn the turkey but that does not mean you won’t have plenty of time to get in a quick workout. When you know you have a 20 minute block to workout, perform a quick warm-up and hit your bodyweight circuit hard.

Examples of a good at-home warm-up include dynamic flexibility activities like wide-stance good mornings with IYT reaches, step backs and reverse lunges, push-ups with reaches and glute bridges. Set a timer for 5-8 minutes and make sure to keep moving throughout the entire warm-up.

Example of Warm-up Circuit: 2 rounds (no rest)

Single Leg Glute Bridge10 per side
Push-Up with T Reach5 per side
Good morning with Y Reach12
Step Back with Rotation6 per side
Lateral Lunge w/ Reach6 per side

Once you are warm, get ready to set your timer for a bodyweight circuit. When choosing exercises, it is good to alternate between lower body, upper body, and trunk exercises. Also, working in short rest intervals will allow you to keep your heart rate up. Some exercise options include:

Upper BodyLower BodyTrunk
Push-UpsAir SquatsPlank Hand Taps
Incline Push-UpsReverse LungeMountain Climbers
Narrow Gip Push-UpsForward LungeCrunches
Posterior Delt RaisesLateral LungeReverse Crunches
Burpees*Step-UpsRussian Twists
DipsSlide (Sock) Hamstring CurlsPlank Reaches
Inverted RowCalf Raise with Overhead Reach

For a good, quick workout, all you would need to do is combine one exercise from column 1, one from column 2 and one from column 3. Set a timer to go off every thirty seconds and you can do 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat this for 4-5 rounds (12-15 total minutes) and you have just completed a great workout.

If you are lucky enough to have some sort of cardio equipment in your house, live in temperate climates or feel like braving the cold, stick to the same principle of short and sweet.

You do not need to ride for 60 minutes to get a great workout.

Intervals represent a great opportunity to have increased caloric expenditure in less time and greater EPOC. You can start with the same dynamic warm-up and then some warm-up runs / rides on the equipment. Once you are revved up and ready to go, set the interval clock and just focus on keeping the intensity up. Some common intervals are:

Cardio Intervals

  1. 8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off
  2. 8 rounds of 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off
  3. 5 rounds of 1 minute on, 1 minute off
  4. 6 rounds of 30 seconds on, 90 seconds off
  5. 6 rounds of 90 seconds on, 30 seconds off

This protocol is also great if you are staying at a hotel or taking a road trip for the holidays. Hotel gyms often have a couple pieces of cardio equipment at a minimum and a jump rope makes a great, portable implement for road trips.

One last piece of advice. Food and beverage consumption becomes part of a day long triathlon, once you meet up with family there will be limited time and many distractions. The safest option is to complete your workout in the morning while you still have time to yourself.


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