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12 Days of Fitness Holiday Challenge!

By Century Martial Arts
12/22/2017 14:00:00 PM
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Twas the week before Christmas, and with ice on the roads,

There was no way to jog, and the gyms were all closed.

The amount of consumption of sweet snacks and pies

Had left everyone longing for some good exercise!

 

Let’s be honest: we all start to feel this way at some point during the holiday season. Although there’s nothing wrong with indulging in some delicious treats, there’s no replacement for the mood-boosting endorphins created by exercise. Plus, working in a workout during the break will help you jump right back into your regular training once the holidays end.

Try this 12 Days of Christmas workout for a fun, festive challenge! Singing and elf attire are optional.

Here’s how it works: Going along with the classic 12 Days of Christmas carol, you’ll work your way up through a series of exercises. You’ll do exercise one; then exercises one and two; then one, two and three; then one, two, three and four; and so on. The total workout will have 12 sets.

Ready? Here’s your workout soundtrack to get you pumped up:

 

 

Set 1:

1 30-second plank: Lie on the ground, stomach down, legs straight and feet together. Push yourself up onto your elbows and toes. Keeping your back straight, tighten your core. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.

 

Set 2:

2 squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, lower yourself into a squatting position. Try to keep your knees centered above your feet, and not sticking out. Lower yourself until your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle, or as close to that as possible, then return to a standing position for one rep.

1 30-second plank

 

Set 3:

3 triceps dips: Find a sturdy, non-moving surface with a flat top that is approximately knee-height. This could be a bench, footrest, chair, or similar object. Sit with your back against the object, with your legs stretched out in front of you. Place your hands palm-down on the top of the object with your fingers pointing forward. Your arms should be bent, with your elbows behind your head. Straighten your arms to raise your body, keeping your heels on the floor. Slowly lower yourself into the starting position for one rep.

2 squats

1 30-second plank

 

Set 4:

4 front lunges: Stand with your feet shoulder width or slightly less apart. Take a large step forward with your right. You can raise onto your toes on the left foot, but otherwise, keep it planted. Lower your right knee towards the ground for a lunge, then return to the starting position for one rep. Make sure to alternate your left and right leg.

3 triceps dips

2 squats

1 30-second plank

 

Set 5:

5 scissor kicks: Lie on your back, with your legs straight out in front of you. Place your hands at your sides, or under the small of your back for extra support. Left your legs approximately six inches off the ground. Engaging your core, spread your feet apart, then bring them together to cross at the ankles. Move your feet back out, then cross again with the other foot on top. Perform these movements as quickly as you can. Each crossover is one rep.

4 front lunges

3 triceps dips

2 squats

1 30-second plank

 

Set 6:

6 crunches: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground. You can cross your arms in front of your chest, hold them at your sides, or put them behind your head for additional support (do not pull on your neck!). Engaging your core, raise your upper body off the ground, hold for one count, then lower yourself back into the starting position for one rep.

5 scissor kicks

4 front lunges

3 triceps dips

2 squats

1 30-second plank

 

Set 7:

7 standing calf raises: Stand with your feet together (you can spread them out for additional balance as needed). Push yourself up onto your tip-toes, hold for one count, then lower yourself back to starting position for one rep. For added difficulty, hold weights in each hand or find a surface, such as a curb, to stand on where your heels will be lower than your toes in the starting position.

6 crunches

5 scissor kicks

4 front lunges

3 triceps dips

2 squats

1 30-second plank

 

Set 8:

8 mountain climbers: Starting in plank position, push yourself up onto your hands. Quickly draw your left knee up to your chest, return to the original position, then repeat with the right knee. Every left-right alteration counts as one rep. Do these as quickly as you can.

7 standing calf raises

6 crunches

5 scissor kicks

4 front lunges

3 triceps dips

2 squats

1 30-second plank

 

Set 9:

9 glute bridges: Lie on your back with your legs bent at the knees, feet pulled in close to you (the closer they are, the more difficult the exercise will be). Your arms should be down at your sides. Engaging your glutes and core, lift your back and rear off the ground as high as you can (your weight should be in your feet and shoulders). Hold for two counts, then slowly lower yourself to complete one rep.

8 mountain climbers

7 standing calf raises

6 crunches

5 scissor kicks

4 front lunges

3 triceps dips

2 squats

1 30-second plank

 

Set 10:

10 pushups: …I know you know what a pushup is.

9 glute bridges

8 mountain climbers

7 standing calf raises

6 crunches

5 scissor kicks

4 front lunges

3 triceps dips

2 squats

1 30-second plank

 

Set 11:

11 Superman back extensions: Lie on your stomach with your legs straight out behind you and your arms stretched out in front of you. Raise your arms and legs up off the ground at the same time, as high as you can get them, then slowly lower. This is one rep.

10 pushups

9 glute bridges

8 mountain climbers

7 standing calf raises

6 crunches

5 scissor kicks

4 front lunges

3 triceps dips

2 squats

1 30-second plank

 

Set 12:

12 burpees: Start standing. Raise your hands above your head, and jump as high as you can. When you land, immediately sprawl in a plank/pushup position. Perform a pushup (optional!) then jump back up. Each up-down is one rep.

11 Superman back extensions

10 pushups

9 glute bridges

8 mountain climbers

7 standing calf raises

6 crunches

5 scissor kicks

4 front lunges

3 triceps dips

2 squats

1 30-second plank

 

By the end of the 12th set, you’ll have done a total of six minutes of planking, 22 squats, 30 dips, 36 lunges, 40 scissor kicks, 42 crunches, 42 calf raises, 40 mountain climbers, 36 glute bridges, 30 pushups, 22 back extensions, and 12 burpees – and your arms, abs, glutes, legs and back should be burning!

That workout – and the burn you’ll feel for days after – is our gift to you! Happy Holidays!

PS: You know your body and your physical limits better than us. Don’t be afraid to modify any of these moves to better suit you. Check with your physician before trying any new exercises, and always stop exercising if it becomes painful.

If you want to add an extra challenge to your workouts, try adding fitness gear. Some of it is even small enough to take with you on your holiday travels!

 

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