12 Days Of Christmas, Full-Body Workout

The holidays may have finally arrived, but that doesn’t mean you should let the hustle and bustle of the season throw off your fitness routine. Here’s an easy, effective, full-body CrossFit workout you can do at home to keep you moving throughout the holidays.

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Plus, it’s super festive! All you need are a pair of dumbbells.

How It Works:

This is a pyramid-style workout with a festive twist. Complete the following workout like the classic song “12 Days of Christmas.”

For example, on “the first day of Christmas,” a.k.a., for your first move, simply complete 1 pike push up. Next, complete 2 pistol squats, then 1 pike push-up. After that, complete 3 tuck jumps then 2 pistol squats then 1 pike push up, etc. By the end of this workout, you should be pretty spent!

Begin first with a five to 10 minute jog to warm up.

1. Pike Push-Up

  • Start in a downward dog yoga push-up position. (Hips are in the air, legs and feet are together.)
  • Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and placed on the floor in front of you. Your forehead should be positioned as if almost touching the ground.
  • Keeping a tight core, lower your upper body to the ground by bending your elbows out to the sides.
  • Remember to exhale as you press back up away from the ground.

2. Pistol Squats

Pistol squats help with balance and coordination in addition to building muscle. In addition, they target the hamstrings of the stabilizing leg.

  • To perform the pistol squat, start in an upright position.
  • Kick out one leg in front of you and keep it straight as you bend and squat down with the stabilizing leg.
  • You can put your hands on your hips or hold them out to either side for balance.
  • Complete allotted repetitions on one side before moving to the opposing side.
  • Pistol squats are tough! Use the sofa or bench to stabilize you or sit your bum back into a chair then stand back up. A spicy way to cap off the holidays, I suggest you save this one for post-Christmas Day dinner!

3. Tuck Jumps

A simple but effective move that gets your heart rate.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Quickly jump up as high as you can.
  • Tuck your feet up under your butt.
  • Return to your feet and rest 10 seconds before performing another repetition.

4. Sit Ups

A basic move, but a classic, especially with all the holiday feasts happening!

  • Lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor or mat. Place your fingertips behind your head or cross your arms on your chest.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Exhale then tighten your abs and curl up toward your  knees. Avoid pulling on your neck.
  • Curl toward your thighs until you are in a seated position. Pause for a count of two, then lower back down.

5. Burpees

The dreaded burpee is one of those perfect exercises, combining cardio and strength training while targeting almost every major muscle group.

  • Start like by getting into a push-up plank position.
  • Jump your feet to your hands, then perform a jump. As you land back down, swiftly go back into the starting position with your with your hands on the floor.
  • Hop your feet back into a plank and repeat the sequence again.

6. Russian Twists

This twisting move is a simple and effective one to work your obliques.

  • Sit down and lean back with your heels on the ground.
  • Keep your shoulders down and back with your hands together in front of your chest, holding a medicine ball or heavy plate.
  • Your elbows should be pointing out to each side.
  • Rotate to the right side, come to the centre, and then rotate to the left side.
  • You should feel the external obliques with each side rotation as you lead with each elbow.

7. Goblet Squat

  • Begin in the basic squat position, with a dumbbell held upright in front of you. You should be gripping the dumbbell in both palms, as though you are holding a large goblet.
  • Squat down while holding the goblet. Ensure your knees don’t extend past your toes and that they are pointed slightly outwards.

8. Lunges With Dumbbells

This exercise strengthens your legs as well as your back and shoulder muscles. Plus, it will improve your balance, which is critical for functional strength.

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides, starting in a standing position.
  • Step forward with your right foot and lower yourself down to the ground until your right leg forms a 90-degree angle.
  • Keep your chest and head straight, and keep your feet in position as you lower yourself.
  • Return to a standing position, forcing your weight through your right heel.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times for each leg.

9. Dumbbell Overhead Press

Do this exercise while standing for a more effective functional strength workout.

  • Begin standing tall with your knees slightly bent and your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, just above shoulder height with your palms facing forward. Your arms should be in a typical “bicep flexing” position.
  • Push the dumbbells straight up into the air until your arms are above you, fully extended.
  • Bring the dumbbells smoothly back down to shoulder height without stopping at the peak of the motion.

10. Push-Ups

Push-ups you can basically do anywhere and everywhere.

  • Begin in a high plank position, with your hands places on the ground directly under your shoulders and your toes on the floor. Brace your core, keeping your back flat, neutral and straight.
  • Next, lower your body to the ground until your chest grazes the floor. Don’t let your butt dip; your body should keep a straight line from head to toe
  • Push back up, keeping your core engaged.

11. Tricep Dips

Sit at the edge of the chair or bench and with your arms supporting your weight behind you, slowly walk your feet as far forward as you find comfortable.

  • Bending your elbows, slowly lower your weight towards the floor until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle to your torso.
  • Push your bodyweight back up to the starting position by extending your arms for a single rep.

12. High Knees

For your last move, run with high knees as quickly as you can. You’ll get tired quickly from this move!