Christmas is coming — we know it’ll be easy to indulge in the calories, so what better way to stay on top than bringing some festive fun into training with this Christmas workout.
The way to structure the plan is to add an exercise each day: so you start off with one exercise, and by the twelfth day , your circuit is 12 exercises. You can complete the workout as one round circuit on each day or complete multiple times to create a muscle-burning workout.
|Day 1||1 Minute Plank|
|Day 2||2 Pull Ups, 1 Plank|
|Day 3||3 Burpees, 2 Pull Ups, 1 Plank|
|Day 4||4 Lunges, 3 Burpees, 2 Pull Ups, 1 Plank|
|Day 5||5 Slam Balls, 4 Lunges, 3 Burpees, 2 Pull Ups, 1 Plank|
|Day 6||6 Pike Push Ups, 5 Slam Balls, 4 Lunges, 3 Burpees, 2 Pull Ups, 1 Plank|
|Day 7||7 Upright Rows, 6 Pike Push Ups, 5 Slam Balls, 4 Lunges, 3 Burpees, 2 Pull Ups, 1 Plank|
|Day 8||8 Shoulder Presses, 7 Upright Rows, 6 Pike Push Ups, 5 Slam Balls, 4 Lunges, 3 Burpees, 2 Pull Ups, 1 Plank|
|Day 9||9 Bent-over Rows, 8 Shoulder Presses, 7 Upright Rows, 6 Pike Push Ups, 5 Slam Balls, 4 Lunges, 3 Burpees, 2 Pull Ups, 1 Plank|
|Day 10||10 Push Ups, 9 Bent-over Rows, 8 Shoulder Presses, 7 Upright Rows, 6 Pike Push Ups, 5 Slam Balls, 4 Lunges, 3 Burpees, 2 Pull Ups, 1 Plank|
|Day 11||11 Squats, 10 Push Ups, 9 Bent-over Rows, 8 Shoulder Presses, 7 Upright Rows, 6 Pike Push Ups, 5 Slam Balls, 4 Lunges, 3 Burpees, 2 Pull Ups, 1 Plank|
|Day 12||12 Glute Bridges, 11 Squats, 10 Push Ups, 9 Bent-over Rows, 8 Shoulder Presses, 7 Upright Rows, 6 Pike Push Ups, 5 Slam Balls, 4 Lunges, 3 Burpees, 2 Pull Ups, 1 Plank|
1. 1 Minute Plank
- Get in the push-up position, but use your forearms on the ground instead of your hands.
- Squeeze your glutes and tighten your abdominals.
- Keep a neutral neck and spine.
- Create a straight, strong line from head to toes.
- Hold position for one minute.
- Take a firm grip of the bar with your palms away from you or down.
- Take a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip and hang down with your arms extended. If your feet are still touching the ground, cross them over behind you.
- Keep a tight core, as you don’t want to start swinging, around under the bar, and retract your shoulder blades.
- Now you’re ready for the hard part — drive your elbows down towards the ground and your upper chest towards the bar. This is normally the part where people start to swing or use momentum, so make sure your core is tight and keep you stable.
- Once you’re at the top, chin above the bar and level with your chest start to lower yourself nice and slow towards your starting position.
Target your back, shoulders and arms with this simple exercise.
- Start the exercise in a squat position with your hands on the ground in front of you.
- Kick your feet back into a push-up position, and perform a push-up.
- Straight away, return your feet to the squat position.
- Jump up as high and explosively as possible from the squat position.
No gym required. Here's how to get fit at home.
4. Lunges (Each Leg)
- Starting in a neutral standing position, step forward with one leg, so that your legs form a triangle with the floor, with each leg at around 45 degrees to the floor.
- Lower your body towards the floor, allowing the knee of your front leg to track over your toes (it doesn’t matter too much whether your knees pass your toes or not — this will be down to each individual’s ankle mobility).
- As you lower your body, the knee of your back leg should not touch the floor. Allow your knee to bend in the back leg. You should feel a stretch in the quads of your back leg. Both knees should be bent at around 90 degrees in the bottom position.
- Push through the heel of your front foot, stepping back to the start position. You should feel the load in your glutes and quads.
Level up your leg day with these lunge variations.
5. Slam Balls
- Squat down, dropping the hips behind your body and keeping the back long and shoulders relaxed.
- Pick up the ball with both hands.
- Inhale and raise the ball over your head, rising to full extension of the arms, hips, and knees.
- With a quick, explosive movement, exhale and slam the ball down in front of your feet.
- When you slam the ball down, your arms, hips, and knees will naturally bend into a slightly crouched (or squat) position.
- Pick up the ball and repeat.
6. Pike Push Ups
- Start in a plank position on the floor, with hands firmly on the floor, right under your shoulders. Press toes firmly into the floor too.
- Keep core tight and back flat, and engage your glutes and hamstrings. Your whole body should be neutral and in a straight line.
- Lift hips up and back until your body forms an inverted V shape. Keep arms and legs as straight as possible.
- Start to bend elbows, and then lower your entire upper body toward the floor.
- Stay there for a moment, then slowly push back up until your arms are straight and you’re in the inverted V position. Make sure you maintain control throughout the movement.
7. Upright Rows
- Starting with the barbell at your feet, grip the bar with your hands, slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart. Brace your core and squeeze your glutes — this will minimise the amount of swinging that occurs and will help to prevent your lower back from sustaining an injury.
- Raise your elbows and lift the barbell until your elbows are level with your shoulders. During the movement, it’s important to keep the barbell under control. Keeping the barbell close to your body (or centre of mass) will help to reduce the chance of swinging the barbell forwards.
- Pause at the top before lowering the weight back to the starting position in a controlled manner.
- Repeat for the desired amount of reps.
Sculpt your shoulders with this simple exercise.
8. Shoulder Presses
- Pick the barbell off the rack in the front rack position.
- Hold the bar with a 90-degree angle at your elbow.
- Embrace your core and back to support the movement.
- Exhale and press upwards from this position until the barbell ends up back at the starting point.
- Control the barbell down on the eccentric portion of the movement in front of you until it reaches just above your collarbone.
- Do not lock out the elbow.
9. Bent-Over Row
- Hold a barbell with a pronated grip (palms facing down). Your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees and bring your torso forward slightly. Your back should be straight and almost parallel to the floor. This is your starting position.
- Lift the barbell up towards your sternum, keeping your elbows tucked in and close to the body.
- Pause and hold at the top of the movement, squeezing your back muscles.
- Slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired amount of reps.
Note: though you may think of push-ups as requiring only your arms to put in a shift, you need to engage your core muscles to perform a plank.
- Keep your back and legs straight (except when altering your inclination for an alternative push-up).
- Your feet should be slightly parted to spread your weight across your lower abs. Clench your glutes.
- Your hands should be a little more than shoulder-width apart. Look straight ahead of you (not down), so that your head is back.
- Keep your elbows close to your torso as you push. At the top of the push-up, your arms should be straight. At the bottom, when your elbows are bent, your chest should just about touch the floor.
- First, start with your feet shoulder-width apart and take a firm grip of the bar.
- Rest the bar on your upper back around midway down your traps. Keep your chest puffed out and very slightly turn your feet out (around 40 degrees).
- Take a deep breath, retract your shoulder blades and brace your core. Lower yourself down by bending your knees until they are parallel to the floor.
- Keep your heels glued to the ground throughout.
- Your quads do a lot of the work towards the top end of the squat, so power up on the ascent from your mid-foot to heel while exhaling.
- Remember, your spine should remain neutral throughout.
- Don’t bend or curve your back.
- Either re-rack or repeat.
Master this essential exercise.
12. Glute Bridges
- Lie on your back with your feet flat against the floor and knees bent.
- Engage your glutes by squeezing them and lift your hips off of the floor driving them up towards the ceiling.
- At the top of the movement make sure your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
- At the top of the movement, pause at the top and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can, hold for one or two seconds, and then lower down slowly to the starting position.
Here's why it's so important.
Looking for an alternative to the Christmas Workout? Try this workout next:
Take Home Message
This Christmas workout is a great fitness challenge to keep you on your feet in the lead up to the festive period. To really test yourself, repeat two or three times for a real tough sweat and build some muscle in the process.
A combination of core strengthening, fat burning and muscle-building exercises make up this challenge and this, combined with your diet, the Christmas workout will help you see progress.