Did you know that the average weight gain during the holiday season is 5 to 10 pounds? Ouch!
To make matters worse, most Americans never lose that weight, which means over a course of five years, holiday indulgence alone can result in 25 to 50 pounds of weight gain. Double ouch!!
This comes as no shock considering the holiday season is jam-packed with shopping, work parties and family engagements on top of everything else we have to deal with on a daily basis.
Luckily, our workouts don’t have to be all or nothing. There are a lot of efficient ways to get in a great workout without having to spend an hour in the gym.
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Specifically, compound full-body exercises are a great way to get the most bang for your buck when you are crunched for time. Full-body exercises are nice because they increase the metabolic demand on the body, which not only helps increase strength, but challenges the cardiovascular system as well. And typically, the higher the metabolic demand, the more calories you burn per workout.
So if you’re looking to beat some holiday stress, try this four-exercise circuit that will get your muscles burning and leave you with enough time to enjoy all of the season’s festivities.
Muscle focus: legs and chest
Begin in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Descend into a squat and place both hands on the floor shoulder-width apart. Hop or walk your feet back into a plank position and descend into a pushup. Return to the plank position, hop your feet forward, and jump reaching your arms overhead toward the ceiling and repeat.
Modifications: Use steps in place of hops if you have knee issues. Perform pushups from the knees if it’s necessary strength-wise.
Barbell Deadlift with Bent Over Row
Muscle focus: legs and back
Stand with your feet hip-width apart while holding a barbell. Use an underhand grip and position your hands on the bar just outside of your stance. Keeping your chest out and back flat, contract your abs and slowly lower your upper body by hinging with your hips while slightly bending your knees. Continue lowering until your upper body is almost parallel to the ground. Keeping your abdominals contracted and back flat, pull the barbell toward your mid-section and roll your shoulders back, and then slowly lower the barbell away from you. Once your arms are fully straight, contract your glutes and unhinge back to the upright position.
Muscle focus: legs, arms and core
Start in a standing position while holding a medicine ball or dumbbell at chest level with your arms fully extended in front of you. Stepping forward with your left leg, slowly descend into a lunge position while rotating arms toward your left leg, keeping them parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
Muscle focus: shoulders, core and legs
1. Begin on your back holding a kettlebell or dumbbell directly above your chest with your arm straight. Your free hand should be at a 45-degree angle away from your body with the leg on your kettlebell/dumbbell side bent.
2. Roll to your side and slide your free arm up onto your elbow.
3. Pushing with your free arm, sit completely upright while keeping the kettlebell/dumbbell arm fully extended and locked.
4. Slide your extended leg back toward your rear end, and shift your weight forward, rolling onto your knee and getting into a lunge position.
5. Stand up from the lunge and bring your back leg forward so your feet are together.
6. Reverse the order of the sequence step by step to return to the starting position.
Jason Wanlass, the owner of Champion Fitness Training in Meridian, has more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or championfit.net. He writes a monthly fitness column for Idaho Statesman.