It’s that time of year again.  The days are getting shorter, the air colder, and quite possibly our pants are starting to get a little tighter.  For many of us, the winter holidays will bring with them more food, more desserts, more alcohol, and a few extra lbs.  It happens every year.  But why sacrifice the hard work you do all year only to have to start all over again with a New Year’s resolution?  This year, why not keep up the momentum you’ve been building in the gym and use all the holiday parties and family gatherings as an arena to show off all your hard work.  Skip the ugly Christmas sweater and trade it in for a sexy holiday dress.  Even though you may think of the holidays as a time to give to others, there is one gift you can give to yourself – the gift of looking great and feeling healthy. 
 
Try this total body workout to tone your arms, shoulders, abs, legs, and glutes and help you feel confident as you head out to the office Christmas party or New Year’s bash.
 
Perform all seven exercises in a circuit, doing ten repetitions of each in succession.  Repeat the circuit four times, resting one to two minutes between each set.  Make sure that you are properly warmed up before beginning the workout.  Ys, Ts, and Ws will help prepare the shoulders.  For the hips and glutes, place a resistance band around both ankles and perform lateral, forward, and backward steps.
 

Single Leg Deadlift: 

 

  • Hold a kettlebell in your right hand and stand firmly on your left foot with your right leg behind you.  Bend forward at the hips, pushing your butt back and keeping your weight on your heel, slowly lower your upper body until the kettlebell touches the floor.  Keep your chest open and spine neutral throughout the movement.
  • Drive your hips forward and return to standing.

Reverse Lunge:  

 

  • Hold a kettlebell in each hand and let them hang at your sides.  Stand with feet about hip width apart and good posture.  Step back into a lunge position, transferring weight onto the heel of the front foot and tow of the back foot.  Be sure to maintain a vertical shin angle on the front leg. 
  • Push “through” the floor and return to standing.

 

Renegade Row: 

 

  • Arrange two kettlebells on the floor about shoulder width apart.  Holding onto the handles of each bell, hold a plank with your hand directly under your shoulders. 
  • Row your right arm back toward your hip and return the bell back to its starting position.  Alternate arms.

Curl and Press:  

 

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand.   Stand tall with feet hip width apart.  Curl the dumbbells up toward your chest with palms facing up.
  • Press the dumbbells straight up, aligning your arms with your ears while maintaining good posture.  Bring the weights straight down to your shoulders and then to your sides

Side Plank:

 

  • Hold anywhere from 30-60 seconds per side.  Stack your shoulders and hips directly on top of each other and lift the hips from the floor so your weight remains on your elbow and feet.

Burpee:

 

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and squat down to put your hands on the floor directly in front of your feet.  Hop back to a plank position, perform one push up, and jump your feet back toward your hands.
  • From this low squat position, reach your hands toward the ceiling and jump up.

Ropes:

 

  • Pull the ropes taught and take one step forward.  Keep feet about shoulder width apart and chest open. 
  • Try five or six exercises for 20 seconds.

 Happy Holidays!