It’s a foregone conclusion: You’re having thirds tomorrow and you have no intention of feeling bad about it. It’s Thanksgiving, after all, and it’s time to let loose. But when you wake up Friday and your jeans feel anything but loose, undo the overload with these six quick workout moves.
Optional equipment: A punching bag
50 Jumping Jacks
Why it Works: “It’s so important to start any strength or body weight exercise circuit with a warm body to prevent injury, strain or muscular imbalances from forming over time,” said Brooke Taylor, owner of Taylored Fitness NY LTD.
Instructions: You know what to do.
10 Front to Back Lunges, Each Leg
Why It Works: “This leg burner is great to target the glutes, quads and hamstrings,” Taylor said. “It requires balance and muscular endurance and strength to repeat the sequence on the same leg.”
Instructions: Start by standing with legs hip-distance apart. Lunge forward, keeping body weight balanced in between both legs. On the exhale, send that same leg back into a lunge. Repeat 10 times on the same leg. Switch legs.
Why it Works: “The pivot of the foot and rotation of the hips/shoulders create an intense oblique contraction,” said ILoveKickboxing spokesperson Teresa Oxford. “When you throw many in a row, you also get a great cardio blast.”
Instructions: Drop the fist, keeping elbow close to the ribs. Turning the palm up, squeeze obliques. Rotating, strike the bag. Those who don’t have a bag can simply strike the air.
Pro Tip: “Don’t wind up your arm like you’re throwing a bowling ball,” Oxford said. “Keep your elbow in tight and squeeze your glutes when you strike.”
15 Push Ups into Mountain Climbers
Why it Works: “This is an excellent way to advance your everyday push up by adding a little cardio element and keeping the blood flow moving,” Taylor said.
Instructions: Start in a long plank position, making sure hands are directly aligned underneath shoulders, the core is engaged and supporting the back and inner thighs are pressed together. On the inhale, lower the body down to hover about a fist-distance from the floor. On the exhale, push the floor away and then complete four mountain climbers.
Pro Tip: Keep the shoulders aligned over the wrists, maintaining a long-dart position throughout.
Why it Works: “The repetitions will get the deep core mobilizers fired and center activated, building muscular endurance and strength in your center. This is a great oblique workout,” Taylor said.
Instructions: Start by lying on the back with hands clasped behind the head. Lift knees to form a 90-degree angle. On the exhale, rotate to one side, bringing the elbow to the opposite knee. As you do so, extend the other leg out completely. Inhale, passing right through center and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Repeat 39 times.
Pro Tip: “Keep the pelvis stable throughout, focusing on rotating side-to-side and leading with your ribcage,” Taylor advised.
Why it Works: “The burpee is a quick way to spike the heart rate and get your adrenaline going,” Oxford said. “Your mental endurance will also be exercised with this explosive movement.”
Instructions: Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms by the sides. Lower into a squat position with hands flat on the floor in front. Step both legs backwards, moving into a press-up position. Step both legs back to the chest, returning to a squat position.
Pro Tip: For extra burn, increase speed to help you increase agility, said Oxford.
20 Split Jumps
Why it Works: “This is a great plyometric exercise to target the lower body. It will maximize your calorie expenditure and elevate your heart rate,” Taylor said.
Instructions: Start in a staggered lunge position with the right leg in front and weight equally distributed between both legs. Extend the left arm forward. On the exhale, press through both legs. Switch legs in mid-air, landing with the left leg in front.