Ask The Fitness Jewell: What Are Some Time-Efficient Holiday Workouts?

The gym isn't always an option during the holidays. Use these three workouts to keep what you worked so hard to build!
Q

I don't want to skip working out during the holidays, but my gym time will be cut in half. How can I make the most of it?

Have no fear! Tight schedules aren't a reason to become a fitness Grinch, but rather an opportunity to be more efficient with your training. This is a good thing!

Step one: Toss aside the mentality that if you don't have an hour or more to do a "full" workout, then you should bypass the gym altogether. You're dedicated, focused and work hard the other 11 months out of the year, so why press "pause" now? Embrace this challenge, and you'll cruise right into next year without having to put "lose holiday weight" at the top of your resolutions list.

I know that for many of you, juggling your normal work schedule, family life, and festivity-packed calendar will mean you won't even have time to go to the gym. So my gift to you comes in the form of three workouts that can be done in the comfort of your own home in 40 minutes or fewer. All you need is space to move and the most basic equipment, and you'll be able to blast calories and maintain your strength while those protein treats are baking in the oven.

Cardio Work-it Circuit

No gym? No problem! This fast-paced, fun, and efficient workout can be done at home or outside (weather permitting), and it doesn't require any machines. It's custom-made for whenever you have a spare 20-30 minutes, but no more. Just clear out a small space at home and work it!

Cardio Work-it Circuit
5 rounds
1

Burpee

15 reps
Burpee Burpee

Rope Jumping

2 minutes
Rope Jumping Rope Jumping

Pushups

25 reps
Pushups Pushups
Freehand Jump Squat Freehand Jump Squat

Rope Jumping

2 minutes
Rope Jumping Rope Jumping
Plank Plank

Plank jacks

30-60 seconds
Plank Plank
Do the exercises in order with little to no rest between. Perform the circuit 5 times, resting 30-60 seconds between rounds.

Upper-Body Annihilation

Don't let the name scare you! This workout includes an assortment of essentials for upper-body sculpting but doesn't require a bunch of equipment. If you can't get to the gym but have a stability ball and either dumbbells or a resistance band at home, you can perform this workout between holiday gift wrapping and whipping up a batch of protein eggnog. If you don't have those things, consider asking the Santa in your life to come early!



Upper-Body Annihilation
Circuit 1: 3 rounds
1

Rope Jumping

1 minute
Rope Jumping Rope Jumping
Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row

Standing Inner-Biceps Curl

12-15 reps (using dumbbells or resistance bands)
Standing Inner-Biceps Curl Standing Inner-Biceps Curl
Exercise Ball Pull-In Exercise Ball Pull-In

Pushups -close triceps position

to failure (15 reps minimum)
Pushups Pushups

Mountain Climbers

30-60 seconds
Mountain Climbers Mountain Climbers

Circuit 2: 3 rounds
2

Burpee

20 reps
Burpee Burpee

Pullups

12-15 reps
Pullups Pullups

Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension

12 reps (using dumbbells or a resistance band)
Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Hammer Curls

12 reps (using dumbbells or a resistance band)
Hammer Curls Hammer Curls

Side Lateral Raise

12 reps (using dumbbells or a resistance band)
Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise

Plank

30 seconds
Plank Plank
Note: Do the exercises in order with little or no rest between. Perform the circuit 3 times, resting 30-60 seconds between rounds. Then proceed to Circuit 2.

Living Room Lower-Body Blast

Steer clear of the Christmas tree or holiday decorations and get ready to work it! There's no need for the leg press, leg extension, or other machines when you can bust out these fun and effective exercises at home with just as much—if not more—intensity!



If you have dumbbells at home, feel free to use them to increase the challenge, but this workout can be done without any additional equipment. With the cardio bursts included throughout the workout, you get twice the workout in half the time!

Living Room Lower-Body Blast
circuit 1: 3-4 rounds
1
Freehand Jump Squat Freehand Jump Squat
Side Lunge Side Lunge

Plank jacks

30 seconds
Plank Plank

Dumbbell Rear Lunge

15 reps per leg (alternating with a jump between legs at the top)
Dumbbell Rear Lunge Dumbbell Rear Lunge

Mountain Climbers

30-60 seconds
Mountain Climbers Mountain Climbers

circuit 2: 3-4 rounds
2
Split Squat with Dumbbells Split Squat with Dumbbells

Physioball Hip Bridge

20 reps (with feet elevated on sturdy platform or exercise ball)
Physioball Hip Bridge Physioball Hip Bridge

Burpee

20 reps (with jump at the top)
Burpee Burpee

Squat to a wall

45 second hold
Bodyweight Squat Bodyweight Squat
Knee Tuck Jump Knee Tuck Jump
Do the following exercises in order with little or no rest between. Perform the circuit 3-4 times, resting 30-60 seconds between rounds.


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