Before You Gobble :: A Thanksgiving Day Workout

As an avid exerciser, I jumped at the chance to write a post on exercise during the holidays! These fun, adaptable exercises can be used before the “big meal” or after…or really, anytime! I chose some exercises you could do at home with just your body weight. If you have dumbbells at home, grab those. Do these before or after your cardio routine for an added bonus!

Please feel free to adapt these to your exercise level or any injuries you might have. Not everyone works out the same and that is what makes this so fun! It’s for everyone… get the hubby and kids involved…. heck… grandma and grandpa, too! (The model in these photos is my 8 year old, Emma! She loves to workout!)

T: Squats for Thighs
Stand with feet hip width apart. Start sitting as if you would to sit in a chair. (Feel free to hold onto the back of a chair or other object to stabilize). Focus on putting most of your weight in your heels. When you get to the sitting position, hold for a few seconds and slowly stand back up while squeezing your bottom. Repeat 10-15 x for 3 sets.


H: Hamstrings
One of my favorite muscles to work! Lay on back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Arms are laying at sides. Raise hips to the ceiling as far up as you can. Hold for a few seconds and lower. Added difficulty: put heels on ground while raising toes and do the same motion. You can also straighten your legs out a bit to make it harder. The straighter your leg, the harder the exercise. Just remember to stay on heels and keep back on the floor. Repeat 10-15x for 3 sets.


A: Russian Twists for Abs
Sit on floor with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lean back so you are about 45 degrees making sure your back is straight not rounded. Grab your hand and lace fingers like you are praying. Rotate to the right as far as you can while keeping back straight and then rotate to the left. To increase the difficulty, touch your elbows to the ground at the end of each twist before switching sides and/ or life feet off floor. Repeat each side 10-15 x for 3 sets.


N: Nose Breakers 
Lay flat on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Raise both arms straight up towards the ceiling. Bend arms at elbow so you are looking right at your hands. Make a fist shape like you would be holding a weight.  Keeping elbows where they are, raise and lower just your forearms so that if you had weights, you might hit your nose. Hold at the top for a few seconds and slowly lower. Repeat 10-15 x for 3 sets.


K: Knee to Nose
 Start on all fours in a plank. Bring right knee to nose while keeping abs tight for stability. Bring back to floor. Repeat on left side… left knee to nose. Hold knee at nose for a few seconds and lower to plank. Repeat each side 10-15 x for 3 sets. 2nd option: bring right knee to left elbow (repeat other side) OR 3rd option: bring right knee to outside of right elbow like a fire hydrant motion. Make sure your chest and abs don’t move much. This is a core exercise that also works shoulders and hip motion.


F: Chest Flys
Lay flat on back with knees bent and feel flat on the ground. Lay arms straight out on the ground in a “T.” Keeping just a slight bend in the elbow, pull both arms together over the center of your chest, palms facing each other. Hold for a few seconds and slowly lower to the ground. Repeat 10-15x for 3 sets. Added difficulty, don’t let your hands lay in the ground before bring them up for the next rep.


U: V-Ups (my personal favorite)
Start by lying on your back with our arms over head close to your ears and your legs are straight and together (like a good stretch). Lift legs up while also lifting your arms as you reach for your toes. (your arms and legs make the V shape). Hold for a second and slowly lower back to the ground. These are NOT easy! They use both upper and lower ab muscles, so start by doing just a few and adding as you can. For added difficulty, don’t touch the ground when lowering before you go back to the V.


L: Lateral Raises
Standing hip width apart, raise both arms to the side like you are flying. Make sure you only raise them to shoulder level. Hold for a few seconds and slowly lower. Repeat 10-15 x for 3 sets. Added difficulty, grab some candle sticks, light weights or cans of food. Make sure to keep your back straight and abs tight for stability. Do not rock back and forth while raising and lowering arms.


Are you THANKFUL that is over?!

I hope these helped you get moving, burned off some extra calories and maybe got you going to the next level in your fitness!




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