HOLIDAY WORKOUTS

The Holiday Hustle: The Eight Minute No-Equipment No-Excuses Workout

Welcome to the latest edition of Workout Wednesday when each week I share a new running or strength training for runners workout, Lately, I've been on a holiday-theme kick. While some people are putting up lights and trees, I've been decorating my blog with holiday workouts and articles. Last week we did the Turkey Burner treadmill workout and the week before I shared all my holiday workouts from last year. 

Today's workout is the Holiday Hustle. No time to workout? No Gym? No equipment? No problem. This no-excuses full body workout takes just eight minutes and you can slide the couch out of the way and do it in your living room. You don't need a lot of space or time to get this workout done.

It's perfect for those busy days this holiday season when you think you don't have time to workout. An eight minute workout is still better than an hour long workout that you intended to do, but never got around to it. Get it? Something is better than nothing. 

If you have some time then maybe run through it twice for a total of 16 minutes or go crazy and do three sets for 24 minutes. You don't even have to do them all at once. Do it in the morning and then again in the evening. The idea is to do something when you think you don't have the time to do anything. No excuses for this one.

Grab a timer or download an interval app on your phone and let's get started.

The Holiday Hustle No Equipment No Excuses Workout. Download a printable PDF of this workout. Save to Pinterest for later.

The Holiday Hustle No Equipment No Excuses Workout. Download a printable PDF of this workout. Save to Pinterest for later.

There are four circuits in the holiday hustle workout. Each circuit consists of two strength moves and a cardio move. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with no rest between exercises followed by 30 seconds of rest before moving on to the next circuit. You want to move quickly through the exercises while paying attention to proper form.

HOLIDAY HUSTLE: CIRCUIT ONE

ALTERNATING BACK LUNGES

With your feet hip width apart and your toes pointing straight ahead, take a large step backward with your right leg, so your right knee almost touches the floor and your left leg lunges at a 90 degree angle. Do not allow your left knee to move forward past your toe. As you lunge back lift both arms straight in the air in line with your ears. Push back up to starting position and lower your arms. Alternate sides for 30 seconds. 

WALL SIT

Stand against a wall and lower your body to a squat position so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight, your core engaged and your arms pressed into the wall. Do not rest your hands on your knees or lean forward. Hold in the low position for 30 seconds. (If you can't hold for 30 seconds straight, break it up into 3 sets of 10 seconds or 2 sets of 15 secs with short breaks in between.)

JUMPING JACKS

Just like in gym class (sorry to bring back bad memories...what? just me?) Keep your arms as straight as possible. Perform 30 seconds of jumping jacks to get your heart rate up. 

Rest for 30 seconds before moving onto the next circuit.

HOLIDAY HUSTLE: CIRCUIT TWO

CHAIR BACK INCLINE PUSH UPS

Push a chair with a medium to high back up against a wall for stability. With your body in a straight line from your shoulders to ankles and your core engaged get in the standard straight arm plank position with your hands gripping the top of the chair. Bend your arms to lower your chest towards the chair. Straighten your arms to press back up to starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds.

CHAIR TRICEP DIPS

Push the back of your chair against the wall for stability. Sit in the chair. Move your body forward so you are holding yourself up on the front edge of the chair with your arms straight while keeping your back close to the chair. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body in front of the chair. Elbows should point directly behind you, not out to the sides. Straighten your arms to return to the starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds.

HIGH KNEES

Stand up straight with your feet hip width apart. Jump from one foot to the other while using your core to lift your knee to hip height. Swing your arms with each rep. Touch the ground with the balls of your feet quickly moving back and forth between legs for 30 seconds. 

Rest for 30 seconds before moving onto the next circuit.

HOLIDAY HUSTLE: CIRCUIT THREE

SQUATS

Start with your feet hip width apart, your toes pointing forward, your back straight and chest up. Push your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor (or as low as your flexibility allows) like you are sitting in a chair. In the low position engage your core, squeeze your glutes and push up to standing while putting your weight into your heels. Repeat for 30 seconds

ALTERNATING STEP UPS

Stand facing the chair. Starting with your right leg step up on the bench pressing your weight into your heel. Lift your left leg off the ground and drive your knee up towards your chest then rest your left leg on the chair. Step your left leg back to the ground, followed by your right leg. Repeat on other leg. Repeat for 30 seconds

BUTT KICKS

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and feet pointing straight ahead. Jump up and kick your right heel to your butt, then your left, while being careful not to arch your back. Move quickly, land softly on the balls of your feet and repeat for 30 seconds with control.

Rest for 30 seconds before moving onto the next circuit.

HOLIDAY HUSTLE: CIRCUIT FOUR

ELBOW PLANK

Position your elbows on the floor with your shoulders directly over your elbows. Your body should be in a straight line parallel to the floor. Engage your core (brace your stomach like someone is about to punch you). Hold it tight. Be careful not to sink your hips or raise your butt in the air. Do not clasp your hands in front of you. Keep your neck neutral. Hold for 30 seconds. If you can not hold for 30 seconds, break it up into two 15 second reps or three 10 second reps. More tips on proper form on planks in this blog post.

ALTERNATING SIDE PLANK

With a straight arm lift yourself up into a side plank position. Your shoulders should be stacked directly over your wrists so that your arm is straight up and down (not at an angle). Don't allow your hips to drop. Lower yourself to a straight arm plank with both arms on the ground then switch to the other side. Repeat for 30 seconds.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

Start in a straight arm plank position with shoulders directly over wrists. Bring one knee up to the chest, then jump back to plank position and repeat with opposite foot. Move as quickly as possible while keeping your core engaged and back straight. Repeat for 30 seconds. 

Rest and repeat!

No time to exercise? Give this holiday hustle workout a try and let me know how it goes.

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DROP THE (MEDICINE) BALL COUNTDOWN WORKOUT

Happy New Year, friends! You may have noticed a theme. Last Friday I shared my annual New Year's Resolution Poem, then on Monday I gave you tips on how to make a successful New Year's resolution. Well, today for Workout Wednesday, I am sharing my New Year Drop the (Medicine) Ball Countdown Workout. 

You may have watched the ball drop on TV like I tried to but fell asleep way too early. Today we are going to drop our own ball by using a weighted medicine ball to perform 10 exercises and countdown the reps from 10 to 1. Ready to get started? Here's how it works. 

You will perform 10 reps of each of the 10 exercises, moving swiftly from one exercise to the next without rest while maintaing proper form. Once you complete the 10 reps of each exercise rest for one minute and then perform 9 reps of each exercise...then 8...then 7...all the way down to just one rep of each exercise. By the end you will have done 55 reps of each exercise!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

Medicine Ball - This is one that I use (affiliate link)

I took the workout outdoors because I am in Texas and this New Year's Eve it was 70 degrees. Who knows? It could snow tomorrow.

I took the workout outdoors because I am in Texas and this New Year's Eve it was 70 degrees. Who knows? It could snow tomorrow.

THE EXERCISES

I'll walk you through the 10 exercises you will be doing. 

Squat to Shoulder Press

With your feet a little wider than hip width apart, toes pointing forward, push your hips back and lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground (or as low as your flexibility allows) while shifting your weight onto your heels. Touch your elbows to your knees and press the medicine ball over your head into a shoulder press. 

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Side Lunge to Chest Press (each side)

With both toes pointing forward, push your hips back and take a large step to your right and bend your right knee into a side lunge position and straighten your left leg. Do not allow your knees to move forward past your toes. Lower your hips as low as your flexibility will allow. Push back to starting position  

Lunge with Twist (each leg)

With your feet hip width apart and your toes pointed straight ahead, hold your core stable with your back straight and take one large step with your right leg to lunge forward until your front knee is lined up over your ankle, your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your back knee is nearly touching the floor. Twist your torso in the direction of your forward leg. Push up to standing. Complete reps and then switch to other side.

 

Single Leg Deadlift (each leg)

Standing on one leg, keep your knee slightly bent and perform a deadlift by bending at your hip while keeping your back straight and neck neutral. Extend your free leg behind you in line with your body. Lower until your back is parallel to the ground. With your back straight return to the upright position. Complete the reps and switch side.

Mountain Climber

Start by balancing on your medicine ball in a straight arm plank position. Bring your knee in towards your elbow then back to plank position. Repeat with opposite foot. This is one rep. Move as quickly as possible while keeping your core engaged.

High Plank Hold (5 seconds = 1 rep) OR Push Ups

Balance on your medicine ball In a high plank straight arm position with your shoulders directly over your wrists. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels. Don't allow your hips to drop or raise up. Engage your abs and breathe normally. 5 seconds = 1 rep. 

If you are feeling advanced today, you could progress this exercise into a pushup by bending your arms to lower your chest to the medicine ball. 

Plank Jack

Starting in a high plank position as described above with your feet together at the starting point. Jump your legs wide out to the sides (like the motion of a standing jumping jack) and then back together.

Bridge with Overhead Lift

Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor and arms extended on the ground over your head. With medicine ball in hand reach your arms over your head towards the sky while raising your hips off the floor so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Pause at the top then slowly lower your hips and arms back to the ground. 

Russian Twist (each side)

With your back a 45 degree angle and your heels off the ground, twist your torso to one side and touch the medicine ball to the ground, then repeat on other side. That is one rep. To regress the exercise place your heels on the ground.

Toe Taps

 

This is a doozy friends! Remember to always warm up and cool down before and after every workout. Give yourself a rest day or low intensity day following this workout to allow your body time to recover. Give it a try and let me know what you think! You can leave a comment or reach out to me directly here

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Try This 12 Days of Christmas Carol Workout

Welcome to the latest edition of Workout Wednesday! Happy Holidays, Friends. Many of us living in the US are off work for the Thanksgiving day holiday so I thought I would put together a festive workout that you can try over the holiday weekend.

This workout follows along to the classic Christmas carol, 12 Days of Christmas. You will perform the exercises in the same order as the song. For example, on the first day of Christmas my trainer gave to me a 30 second plank hold. You would perform the plank. On the 2nd day of Christmas my trainer sent to me two jumping squats and a 30 second plank hold. You would perform both of those exercises. On the third day of Christmas my trainer sent to me three burpees, two jumping squats and a 30 second plank hold. You will build the exercises until you are doing all 12 exercises. This is a challenging one, folks! Rest between verses if needed. Go at your own pace, stay safe and let me know how it goes.

The 12 Days of Christmas Carol Workout 


On the first day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
A 30 second plank hold

On the second day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the third day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the fourth day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Four Squat to press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the fifth day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Five Russian Twists
Four Squat to press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the sixth day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Six Donkey Kickbacks
Five Russian Twists
Four Squat to press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the seventh day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Seven Walking Lunges
Six Donkey Kickbacks
Five Russian Twists
Four Squat to Press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the eighth day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Eight Wide arm push ups
Seven Walking Lunges
Six Donkey Kickbacks
Five Russian Twists
Four Squat to press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the ninth day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Nine Curtsy Lunges
Eight Wide arm push ups
Seven Walking Lunges
Six Donkey Kickbacks
Five Russian twists
Four Squat to press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the tenth day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Ten Side Lunge Wipers
Nine Curtsy Lunges
Eight Wide arm push ups
Seven Walking Lunges
Six Donkey Kickbacks
Five Russian Twists
Four Squat to press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the eleventh day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Eleven Mountain Climbers
Ten Side Lunge Wipers
Nine Curtsy Lunges
Eight Wide arm push ups
Seven Walking LUnges
Six Donkey Kickbacks
Five Russian Twists
Four Squat to press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the twelfth day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
12 Standing Crunches
Eleven Mountain Climbers
Ten Side Lunge wipers
Nine Curtsy Lunges
Eight Wide Arm Push ups
Seven Walking Lunges
Six Donkey Kickbacks
Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive Russian Twists
Four Squat to Press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

Tell me, were you singing Fiiiiivvvveeeeeee Russian Twists, like I was? 

THE EXERCISES

A 30 SECOND PLANK HOLD

A 30 SECOND PLANK HOLD

Two Jumping Squats

Two Jumping Squats

Three Burpees

Three Burpees

Four Squat to Press

Four Squat to Press

Five Russian Twists

Five Russian Twists

Six Donkey Kickbacks

Six Donkey Kickbacks

Seven walking lunges

Seven walking lunges

Eight wide arm push ups

Eight wide arm push ups

Nine Curtsy Lunges

Nine Curtsy Lunges

Ten Side Lunge Wipers

Ten Side Lunge Wipers

Eleven Mountain Climbers

Eleven Mountain Climbers

Twelve Standing Crunches

Twelve Standing Crunches

Wishing you all a happy healthy active holiday season. 

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Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.