To some, the holidays are about partridges in pear trees, turtle doves and French hens, but this holiday workout is about planks, lunge jumps and inchworms in as many reps as possible (AMRAP).
Dedicate 12 days in the month of December to not only focus on movement and health, but to also take a stab at new exercises — like walking, yoga, foam rolling, meditation or a virtual workout. Included in the 12-day programming is an entertaining “12 Days” AMRAP workout for some festive fitness fun.
Complete the prescribed number of reps for each exercise and repeat the entire sequence as many times as possible for the allotted amount of time. Keep a strong focus on proper form and movement patterns, and rest when needed.
The move: On your forearms and toes, squeeze and brace all muscles of your body while maintaining a straight line from your ears, to hips, to knees, to heels.
Option: This can be done from the knees or elevated on a countertop to decrease the load.
LUNGE CYCLE JUMPS
The move: Begin in a lunge position with your right leg in front. Squeeze the glutes, keep your front knee aligned over your middle toes, drive your arms upward; jump and switch, landing with your left leg in front.
Option: Remove the jump and do alternating step-back lunges.
The move: Begin standing tall and fold forward, keeping your knees straight. Walk your hands forward into a strong high plank. After a brief squeeze, walk your hands back to your feet and stand.
Option: If reaching the ground and keeping your legs straight is a challenge, bring your feet into a straddle position, which allows for a better range of motion.
The move: Holding a strong plank position, lower your chest to 3–5 inches off the floor and return to plank position. Rotate one hand toward the sky and hold a brief side plank. Repeat and rotate onto the other hand during the next rep.
Options: Narrow your grip for a smaller base of support, or to decrease intensity, this pushup can be done on your knees, followed by a high plank and rotation.
The move: Begin in a tight, active plank position on the ground. Keeping your body in a straight line, lower down and press through the floor to complete a pushup. Immediately snap the feet below the body to land in a perfect squat position. While driving your arms up to the ceiling, press through the floor and engage through your glutes as you leave the ground for your jump. Hinge your hips back, place your hands on the floor, and hop back into the active plank.
Options: The pushup portion of the burpee can be done on your knees or removed all together. The jump can also be removed.
The move: Begin with your feet together and standing upright. Step wider than hip-width apart with your right leg, keeping the toes of your right foot pointed forward as you land. Immediately upon coming in contact with the floor, bend at the knee, and sink your right hip down and back. Press back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
Options: Add a rotation over your top leg to increase the intensity or keep feet wide and remove the step to tone things down.
The move: Begin with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Drive your arms back, and sink your hips down and back. Simultaneously press through the floor, drive your arms up and jump off of the ground. Immediately absorb the landing by bending at the knees, hips, and ankles upon impact, ending up back in the squat position. To make it easier, perform a regular bodyweight squat with no jump.
The move: Start in a strong hand plank position, keeping your ears, hips, knees and heels in straight alignment. While maintaining this plank, bend one knee into your chest, followed by the other. This movement can be done in slow motion with a strong focus on abdominal contraction or sped up. However, as speed is added, the strong plank should be maintained.
The move: Begin by lying on your stomach with your body long, arms overhead and toes pointed. Squeeze your glutes and lift your arms and legs off of the floor. Lower back down to almost touching, and repeat, arching back up into position. To make it easier, lift your opposite arm and leg together, rather than everything at once.
SINGLE-LEG DEADLIFT TO KNEE-DRIVE
The move: Balance on one foot. Hinge at your hips and extend your arms out in front, maintaining a neutral spine and balance between reps (Don’t sit down unless you have to!). As you return, drive your extended knee up and in toward your chest while simultaneously standing upright. Add weights to up the intensity.
SINGLE-LEG CALF RAISES
The move: Begin by standing on one foot, holding onto the wall for balance if necessary. Elevate your heel as high off of the ground as possible, then return to a point where it is almost touching the floor. For added range of motion and intensity, stand on the edge of a stair or stable and elevated object.
The move: Begin by lying on your back with your head gently resting in your hands and feet about 4 inches off of the floor to create a strong abdominal brace. Lift your shoulders slightly off of the floor and rotate your right shoulder toward your left knee. Without lowering back down to the ground, repeat on the other side. To reduce the intensity, place your feet flat on the floor and march your alternating knee toward your rotating shoulder.