The holidays are coming up, which means things feel like they may be finally slowing down… but, in reality, they’re ramping up in terms of activity. For many people, there will be lots of eating, drinking, and celebrating with loved ones. This is also a time when people’s physical activity goes down and their calorie intake goes up.
So, if your goal is to lose fat or maintain your weight, it’s imperative to stay as active as you can. You don’t want to be starting from scratch in January and fighting a bigger uphill battle to reestablish your habits and lose more weight than you would’ve had you practiced a consistent health and fitness routine in November and December.
In order to have a lean body throughout the holidays and not wait until the New Year to start your fitness resolutions, here’s my workout plan that you can do every week starting now. What follows are 7 exercises that you can complete Monday through Sunday to stay fit and toned throughout the rest of the year and well into the new one. And for more, check out these 4 Exercises for a Flatter Stomach.
For your first day, you want to start it off right with a strength training session. This is an effective circuit you can do at your gym, starting with a deadlift.
Stand with a weight (a kettlebell or dumbbell works well for this) in front of you on the floor with your feet shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back and squat down low enough to grab the weight, making sure your shoulders are in line with the handle and that your torso is straight when you get into position.
Keeping your core tight and shoulders down, pick up the kettlebell by pushing through your heels and hips to stand up tall, squeezing your glutes at the top. Reverse the motion to put the weight back down before performing another rep. Do 3 rounds of 10 reps.
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Place your feet firmly on the pad of a seated row machine and grab the handle with both hands. Pull the attachment out and position yourself so your back is straight and your legs are almost fully extended. Keeping your chest tall, your core tight, and your knees soft, row the attachment towards your body, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the end. Straighten your arms fully until your shoulder blades extend before performing another rep. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
Related: This 25-Minute Walking Workout That Will Get You Toned.
Grab a pair of dumbbells and lay flat on a bench. Hold them straight up above you with your arms fully extended. Pull your shoulder blades back and down into the bench as you lower the weights down toward your chest. Get a good chest stretch, then press the weights back up to the starting position, squeezing your pecs and triceps at the top. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Stand with your feet together, chest tall and core tight, then take a long step back with one leg. Come down until your back knee touches the ground, then drive through the front leg to return to the starting position. Perform all reps on one leg before switching to the other. Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg.
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Grab a single dumbbell with both hands and hold it over your head. Keeping your chest tall and core tight, lower the dumbbell behind you until your biceps touch your forearms. Get a good triceps stretch at the bottom, then extend your arms back up, flexing them to finish before performing another rep. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
Pick a cardio activity of your choosing (such as an exercise bike) and perform a steady-state session at a pace that you can maintain for 30 minutes.
Related: 5 Major Secrets to Getting a Lean Body for Good, Experts Say
Perform 3-4 sets of the following exercises back-to-back in this HIIT circuit.
With your weights out to your sides, begin stepping out laterally. Plant your heel firmly while keeping your trailing leg straight. Get a good stretch with your inner thigh at the bottom of the movement, then curl both weights up, flexing your biceps hard. Straighten your legs fully, then push yourself back to starting position before performing another rep. Perform all reps on one side before stepping out with the other leg. Do 5 reps on each leg.
Get into a forearm plank position with your back and core tight and your glutes squeezed. Start the exercise by pushing yourself up with one hand, and then finishing with the other. Return to the plank position, and then start the movement with the other arm. Do 5-6 reps on each arm.
Related: Secret Effects of Lifting Weights Just Once Per Week, Science Says
Start by holding a dumbbell close to your chest. Keeping your chest up and core tight, push your hips back and squat down until your quads are parallel to the ground. Drive through the heels and hips to stand back up, flexing your quads and glutes to finish. Do 10 reps.
Start the exercise by taking a dumbbell and pressing it over your head, locking out your arm. Spread your feet out just outside of shoulder-width with the toes pointed away from the working arm. Keeping your core tight and chest tall, push your hip towards the direction of your locked-out arm while reaching down towards the ground with your other hand.
During the movement, be sure to maintain eye contact with your arm. Keep the arm with the weight in it high at all times. Go down as far as you can without compensating with your lower back, then drive your hips forward to return to starting position. Do 5 reps with one arm, then switch to do 5 with the other.
Related: 4 Exercises to Do Every Morning for a Flatter Stomach
For your fourth day, grab a heavier pair of dumbbells and perform this strength training workout!
Begin a Dumbbell Push Presh by holding a pair of dumbbells up to your shoulders. Dip into a quarter squat, then use the momentum coming back up to drive the weights up. Flex your shoulders and triceps hard at the top, then lower under control back to the starting position. Do 6-8 reps.
Start the movement by setting your upper back on a bench or sturdy platform. Place a dumbbell on your lap with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your core tight, lower your hips down, then push through your heels and hips until they’re fully extended, squeezing your glutes hard at the top for 2 seconds. Do 10 reps.
Related: One Secret Effect of Consistent Exercise, New Study Says
Position yourself parallel to a bench or your couch, with one leg on the floor and your opposite knee and hand firmly pressed into the elevated surface. Grip the dumbbell with the opposite arm and begin the motion by having the dumbbell hang straight down with your arm extended toward the floor.
Then, pull the dumbbell straight up towards your torso with your elbow reaching toward the sky, squeezing your lats and upper back at the very end of the movement. Straighten your arm back down and get a nice stretch before performing the next rep. Do 8 reps on each arm.
Place your working leg on top of a plate or elevated surface. Keeping your chest tall, come down slowly until your back knee touches the ground. Get a good stretch in the hips of your back leg, then drive through the front heel, flexing your quad and glute to finish. Perform all reps on one side before switching over to the other. Do 8 reps on each leg.
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Pick your favorite spot in your area and go for a one-hour walk to get in your steps, burn calories, and get your blood flowing!
Related: Doing This While Walking Burns Twice as Many Calories, New Study Says
For day 6, perform 3-4 sets of the following ab exercises back-to-back.
Laying flat on your back with your knees bent, a pair of dumbbells with your arms fully extended. Begin crunching up, coming up only high enough to flex your abs hard. Exhale as you complete the rep at the top, before lowering back down to starting position. Do 10 reps.
Start by laying on your back holding a single dumbbell in front of you with your legs fully extended. Keeping your core tight, lower your legs down to about an inch off the ground. Lift the legs back up to you, then pull the dumbbell behind your head until it touches the ground. Use your core and lats to bring it back to starting position before performing another leg lift. Do 8 reps.
Lay on your side with your elbows in line with your shoulders and feet stacked. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, lift your hips off the ground and hold for 30 seconds, maintaining tension in your obliques. Once you’ve finished holding for 30 seconds, switch sides and repeat.
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Start by laying on your back with your hands towards the ceiling and your knees up. Fill your belly full of air and pull your ribs down so that your lower back presses into the floor. Begin by taking one of your arms and the opposite leg and extend it all the way just above the floor. Once you’ve reached that point, exhale all of your air, keeping tension in your core.
Then bring the arm/leg back and repeat with the opposite side. Do 6 reps on each side.
For your last day of the week, go to your yoga studio for a class, or look up a video online that will take you through a series of stretches to improve mobility, and alleviate soreness for everything you’ve done!
You’re on a roll! Keep up this 7-day workout routine throughout the holidays, and you’ll have a lean, fit, and toned body.
For more, check out Turns Out, Yoga Can Help You Lose Weight, Says Science.