Cookies, pie, custard, candied nuts, cheese balls and countless holiday toasts are attacking your waistline. Keeping fit during the holidays truly is a battle. The foods are fantastic and the couch beckons to be sat on while football game after football game come down the cable line. You’re at the in-laws, a mountain getaway or home from college so you’re also away from the gym. All the excuses are in place.
The good news is; you don’t need a gym and you don’t need more than 20 minutes to get a good workout in. We’ve covered HIIT before, but briefly it’s a short, high intensity workout that shreds fat and doesn’t require access to equipment.
Here’s the workout I’m doing during the holidays, in my case because this Colorado cold spell has lowered my detached garage gym’s temperature to the low 10s. No equipment required.
Do 15-20 reps of each exercise in a circuit — quickly moving from one exercise to the next. Complete 3-5 circuits as time and fitness level allows and rest for 30 seconds between circuits to catch your breath. After 15-20 minutes of hell you’ll be done and won’t feel quite as bad about reaching for another sugar cookie.
Good quality pushups with your arms to your side, finger pointing straight ahead and your body straight and tight. Lower your body until you arms are at 90° or less, push the ground away forcefully and repeat.
2. Squat Jumps
Put your hands behind your head, your feet shoulder width apart and squat until your legs are below parallel with the ground. Focus on keeping your feet firmly planted to the ground — make sure you don’t raise up onto your toes. Push the ground away forcefully by jumping and repeat.
3. Leg Raises
Lay on your back with your palms facing down and placed underneath your butt. Lift your legs until they are perpendicular to the ground than lower them slowly to the ground.
4. Superman Raises
Lay in a supine position — face down. Stretch your arms out straight above your head and legs back behind you. Raise your arms and legs simultaneously for each rep.
5. Chair Dips
Grab a chair and put it a few feet from a couch or another chair. Put your arms on the chair with your palms on the edge. Put your feet on the coach or chair. Lower your body until your arms are parallel and then lift yourself up.
* Use what you have. If you have a pullup bar throw in a set of pullups, chinups or hanging leg raises.