The holidays can become a stressful time. Whenever we become stressed and overwhelmed, the easiest thing to do is place our health and fitness on the backburner. While getting to the gym may not be an option for you during the holiday months, it does not mean that you cannot get in a great workout using your body weight and a few seasonal props. Try some of my no-fail holiday lower body workouts listed below to get your holiday chores done while staying fit!
1. Present Stacking Pop Squats
Continue the workout into Christmas Day! Volunteer to pass presents around during the holiday swap. As you're passing holiday cheer throughout the room, sneak a quick workout in to tone quads and hamstrings.
a. Start with feet directly underneath you, legs slightly bent.
b. Jump up and land in a squat position, dropping glutes low and back, keeping knees open. Try not to let them buckle inward.
c. Jump back into starting position standing up with legs underneath you.
Modification: Step out into squat position and step into standing position instead of jumping. Hold gifts in your arms or overhead for an added challenge.
2. Christmas Eve Couch Step Ups
Before friends and family arrive, use your couch or a chair to work out your legs and get ready for the feast ahead.
a. Start with your right leg on chair. Keep your knee behind your toes. Arms are relaxed and down by your side.
b. With your chest up and back straight, drive through your right heel and lift your left leg off of the ground.
c. Hold at the top for one second.
d. You can add a glute kick back (extending the leg back and squeezing your glutes) with your left leg at the top.
e. Relax and control your body on the way down. Try to move as fast as possible while keeping your balance, barely touch the ground. Then explode back up to the top. Since you are working on one foot, your legs are working hard to stabilize your body.
Modification: Place your hand on the wall to help with stability. Hold small presents by your side for added resistance.
3. Holiday Cooking Lunges
Who says cooking for the holidays has to be dreaded work? Make it fun and get a great workout as you only allow yourself to lunge across the kitchen while cooking and baking: No walking allowed! Grab ingredients as you need them, making this workout more intense and earning that holiday pie for dessert.
a. Start with your right leg forward, left leg back in a lunge stance.
b. Keep your front knee behind your toes and the majority of your weight on the front heel.
c. Push off the ground with your front heel and step your left leg forward past the right.
d. Keep your chest up, back is nice and tall. This is great for stability as well.
Modification: Bring legs together to gain stability before moving into next lunge. The deeper the lunge and the straighter you back leg, the more challenging it will become.
I hope that you give these lower body workout tips a try so that you can make the most out of your holidays. Now you have no excuse, since these workouts can be done anywhere in the comfort of your home. Get a family member to join you in these fun exercises so that you can motivate one another and challenge yourselves to see who completes the most repetitions. Stay healthy this holiday seasons, take care of your body and stay fit. You will be happy you did once it is time to wear your shorts in the spring.
Angeles Burke is an American Fitness and Aerobics Association (A.F.A.A.) certified group fitness instructor and national level National Physique Committee (NPC) bikini competitor training with IFBB Pro Shannon Dey's Team Bombshell. Angeles is a Celsius sponsored athlete with a master's degree in Communication Studies. She can be found at: http://www.celsius.com/live-healthy/angeles-burke and http://angelesburke.wordpress.com/.
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