This Workout Will Keep You Fit (And Sane) When You’re Stranded At Your Grandma’s House
With holiday cheer comes holiday stress, and one of the best ways to work that toxin out of your system is to get sweating. But your grandma’s house probably isn’t located within a reasonable distance to your usual gym, yoga studio or favorite cycling class.
Instead of ditching your weekly exercise routine for the sake of family togetherness, reserve a half hour each day for yourself and crank through this 30-minute bodyweight circuit training workout that you can do virtually anywhere. No need to run outside in the freezing cold or hunt through the attic for your dad’s old dumbbells from the 1980s. (You’re welcome.)
The three circuits below include one cardio move, one strength-training move and one core move. Perform the first circuit in the order listed three times before proceeding to the second (and eventually the third). Don’t hesitate to modify if you’re just getting started (or if your holiday feast is leaving you feeling a little too bloated).
Cross-Body Mountain Climbers: Begin in a high plank position with your wrists, elbows and shoulders all stacked in one line and your core engaged. Bend your right knee as you bring it under your torso toward your left elbow, and then place it back into your plank position. Then bend your left knee as you bring it under your torso toward your right elbow, and return to your plank once again. Keep alternating for 30 seconds. Make it harder: Speed things up! Jump from one foot to the other as you hike the other knee up and across your body.
Swimming Supermans: Lie down on your stomach with your arms and legs stretched out long, creating one long line with your body. Engaging your shoulders, lower back and glutes, lift both arms and legs off the floor a few inches into a flying Superman position. Now, lift your right arm and left leg a little higher, and then alternate by lifting your left arm and right leg higher. Keep alternating to create a fluttering, swimming motion. Continue the exercise for 30 seconds.
Butterfly Crunches: Lie down on your back, and butterfly your legs so that your knees splay out wide to the sides and the soles of your feet press into one another. Gently place your hands behind the base of your head with your elbows reaching out wide. As you exhale, contract your lower abs as you lift your head, shoulders and upper torso off the floor. As you inhale, lower back down to the mat to complete one rep. Repeat 15-20 times.
Half Burpees: Begin in a standing position. Squat down so that you can firmly plant both of your hands flat on the ground. Then, kick both of your legs straight back and out so that you land in a high plank position. Quickly jump them back to your squat, feet flat on the floor, and rise to your original standing position, reaching your arms straight above your head. That’s one rep. Repeat for 30 seconds. Make it harder: Add a jump at the top of the move when you return to your standing position.
Balancing Reverse Lunge: Begin in a standing position. Shift your body weight onto your left foot as you reach your right foot back behind you. Place your right toes down on the floor and lower into a lunge position, making sure that your front knee remains behind your front toes. As you return to your standing position, balance on your left foot as you bend your right knee and lift it in front of you so that it aligns with your hip. That’s one rep. Repeat 10 times, keeping your body weight balanced on that one foot, and then switch sides.
Russian Twists: Sit on the floor with your legs together in front of you, bending your knees and resting your toes on the floor. Keeping your spine long and tall, engage your abs and lift your toes so that your legs are hovering entirely off the floor. Clasp your hands together in front of you, and reach them toward your right side so that your right elbow grazes the floor. Return to the center, reach to the left so your left elbow grazes the floor, and return to the center once more. That’s one rep. Repeat 15 times. Make it harder: Skip the center stopping point and continuously swivel from one side to the other, keeping your obliques engaged.
Jump Squats: Begin in a standing position with your feet hip-distance apart and parallel to one another. Lower into a squat, keeping your knees behind your toes and your back nice and straight (by engaging your abs). Then, with a burst of energy, shoot up into a jump. Land with your feet in that same hip-distance position and immediately sit back into another squat. Continue repeating for 30 seconds.
Downward Dog Push-Ups: Begin in a downward-facing dog position — your hips reaching high toward the ceiling, your legs long with your heels reaching toward the floor, and your arms nice and straight with your hands planted firmly into the floor. Now, slightly shift a little more weight into your hands and bend at the elbows so that your head barely grazes the floor. Re-straighten your arms to complete one rep. Repeat 10-15 times.
Side Planks with Hip Dips: Begin sitting on your right side. Place your right forearm on the floor so that it’s perpendicular to your torso. Reach your legs out long and stack them on top of each other so that your hips lift off the floor and you’re balancing on your forearm and the side of your foot with your core engaged. Now, as you exhale, pike your hip up a little higher, engaging your obliques. Inhale as you return it to your normal side plank alignment. Repeat the hip dip 15 times before switching to your left side and completing another 15 reps.