It’s that time of year again! Everywhere you turn there’s a delicious treat calling your name, and it’s so hard to resist. But just because it’s the holidays that doesn’t mean you have to ruin all of your hard work. With this diet plan you can eat clean and look forward to those special days of celebration without setting yourself months back!
Traditionally, the health and wellness community has handled the holidays one of two ways: 1) you can be the onesitting at the table eating out of Tupperware, being proud for being so hardcore (when in reality it’s just plain awkward) or 2) you overeat dramatically on Thursday, feel bad on Friday, starve yourself and perform two straight hours of fasted cardio. Not only does option two sound horrible, it will invariably make you fatter, as it throws your body into binge eating/starvation mode. But what if I told you that there was a third way where you could eat reasonably, enjoy those tasty holiday foods and not lose any progress? Sound good? Read on!
This workout is a little more intense than what we usually post, but considering how many temptations are abound this time of year it couldn’t hurt to step it up!
WARMUP: 3 Rounds (or as many as you can)
1. Cross-Cross Squat 15-20
- Start out standing, feet hip width distance apart with your hands behind your head. Shift your weight back to your heels, and keeping your chest up, gaze forward lower yourself to a body squat.
- As you come back up, lift your left knee to meet your right elbow. Lift your right knee to meet your left elbow. Squeeze through your core.
- Drop right back down to a body squat again and repeat!
- You can take the cross out of this if balancing is challenging. If you do that, I want you to add a 30-second set of bicycle crunches to each round of your workout so you don’t miss the benefit of this for your abs.
2. Plank: 45 seconds-1 minute
- Tall Plank (top photo): Position your hands below your shoulders and make a straight line with your body up on your toes.
- Keep your lower back pressing up to an invisible glass ceiling. DO NOT let it arch.
- Keep your gaze out in front of you.
- Kneeling Plank (bottom photo): Position your hands below your shoulders and make a straight line with your body from a kneeling position. Keep your lower back pressing up to an invisible glass ceiling. DO NOT let it arch. Keep your gaze out in front of you. You can come onto soft fists or hold dumbbells if your wrists bother you at all.
10-Minute A Block
1. Body Squat: 7
2. Push-Ups: 7
- A proper push up begins with the exact same form as a plank. Hands are stacked right below your shoulders, core is tight, back is actively engaged (not arched), body is in a nice straight line and your gaze is slightly in front of you.
- Lower yourself toward the floor until your elbows break the 90 degree angle, or your chest touches the ground.
- Press straight back up. Your body should move up and down as a unit, in a straight line. You don’t want to be a worm with parts of your body dangling or dropping down ahead of each other.
- A great variation is to drop to your knees. Use the same good form – straight body line, back is actively engaged (not arched), core is tight and keep that upper body alignment – hands are stacked right below your shoulders. You can also come onto soft fists or hold light dumbbells if your wrists bother you.
Finisher: Jumping Jacks: 30
- Begin with your feet together, hands at your sides. Keep a soft bend in your knees, and evenly distribute your weight between your feet.
- Jump your feet out slightly wider than your hips, and bring your hands up above your head to clap.
- Keep your chest up and open. If your shoulders are rounding forward, you can cause pain when you fling them up overhead. Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together to keep your chest open as you go through this motion.
- Land lightly on your feet. Keep that soft bend in your knees.
- If at any time you need a break, slow down and take out the jump. Sidestep to the right and raise your arms overhead, then sidestep to the left and bring them down. Repeat until you can jump again, or take out the jump entirely and just do step outs.
10 Minute B Block
1. Single Leg Good Morning/Deadlift to Reverse Lunge Right: 7
- Begin standing, core engaged, arms in front of you. Position your weight on your right foot (1).
- Hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back nice and flat as you reach your arms out straight and extend your left leg behind you (2). Balance through your right foot. Keep your head lifted and look forward over your fingertips.
- Smoothly return to stand, without putting your foot down (3). Once you have reset your body, drop into a reverse lunge with your left foot behind you (4).
- Come to a nice 90 degree bend in your right leg. Be sure your right knee tracks in line with your right foot, and doesn’t go past your big toe. Step back up to stand and repeat – performing all 7 combined movements on the right before switching to the left.
- Perform this move with a wall in front of you or a chair for balance if you haven’t tried either of these before. You may also do 2 good mornings on both feet and then add 2 reverse lunges afterward.
- Repeat on left side
Finisher: Mountain Climbers: 30
- Start in a tall plank position, with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your arms straight. Keep your upper body in a straight line – don’t let your lower back sag. Keep your hips as low as you can as you begin to run in place, bringing your knees up to your chest. Find a comfortable breathing rhythm and pace.
- It’s okay if your hips start to lift, but try to keep them down as much as you can for the full duration.
- If your wrists bother you, hold light dumbbells or come onto soft fists. You can also take a quick break and hold plank anytime. You can also STAND and perform high knees to get some core burn without being on your wrists or shoulders at all.