12 days of Fitness: 12 Holiday workouts to crush this Christmas

Yoga warrior pose

The holiday period is a time for friends, food, and family. With this in mind, it should be a time of guilt-free fun. However, that doesn’t mean you have to neglect your fitness entirely over Christmas and the new year. Which is exactly why we have put together this article.

Enter the 12 days of fitness.

In this article we have outline 12 simple workouts that you can implement over the Christmas period to keep your progress moving forward. As a bonus, they collectively target the five primary biomotor abilities (being strength, endurance, speed, flexibility, and coordination), can all be done in 20 minutes, and require minimal to no equipment.

Let’s get into it!

Workout 1: Merry Liftmas

This is a full body workout designed to improve your muscular strength and endurance. It is to be performed in a circuit like fashion with minimal rest in between each exercise.

The idea here is to simply perform as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes is up, the workout is done!
While this workout does target the entire body, the primary areas of focus include the glutes, quads, pectorals, deltoids, and triceps.

Workout 2: Let’s get Flexible

Next up we are working on flexibility and coordination – you can think of this session as an active recovery day.
We want to get our body moving after our previous full body workout.

The primary focus here is to get some flexibility into the glutes, adductors, triceps, and quads, while also working on hip stability at end ranges with the Cossack squats and the single leg deadlifts.

This is the perfect low level recovery workout.

Workout 3: Its beginning to look a lot like fitness

This workout focuses almost entirely on aerobic fitness and endurance. It is conducted in the format of a high intensity interval training session that can be done using any form of aerobic exercise.

Seriously, running, cycling, rowing, swimming, and anything else you can think of are fine.

And there you have it – the perfect 20-minute HIIT session.

Workout 4: Run Rudolph Run

Workout four has two primary aims:

Develop speed and improve lower body power.

This one is a little different to all of those that came before it, as it involves longer rest periods combined with maximal effort sprints and jumps.

This one is going to be fun!

Related Article: Listen To Your Body: Setting Attainable Fitness Goals

Workout 5: All I want for Christmas is strength

Next up we are targeting lower limb strength, with a secondary focus on lower limb coordination and stability.

Each of these exercises target the quads, glutes, calves, and hamstrings – but more importantly, they also challenge the stabilisers of the hip (i.e., gluteus Medius, adductors, external rotators) making them ideal to improve balance.

Much like workout one, the goal here is to complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes is up, the workout is over!

Workout 6: Have yourself a merry little stretch

There is a good chance that after that last workout you are going to pull up a little sore, which means it is time for some lower-level exercise to promote recovery. This yoga-inspired workout looks to improve full body flexibility, with a secondary focus on coordination.

Once you have worked through all the exercises once, take a short 30 second walk and repeat once more.

Workout 7: Hard Arm Christmas

Our next workout transitions back to having a strength focus, albeit this time with more emphasis on the upper body. This workout targets all the main muscles of the upper body, including the deltoids, pecs, lats, rhomboids, triceps, and biceps.

Please note that many of these exercises do require some form of external load. This could be using a dumbbell, a kettlebell, a resistance band, or even a couple of water bottles!

With this workout, complete many rounds as possible in 20 minutes.

Workout 8: Little Runner Boy

After workout seven there is a possibility that your upper body will be a little sore – which gives us the perfect opportunity to focus on the lower body.

In this session we are going to focus on a specific type of HIIT training known as “Sprint Interval Training,’ or SIT for short. SIT is a unique mode of exercise that couples’ maximal effort sprints with longer recovery periods to ensure that maximal intent is maintained across the entirety of the training session.

With this in mind, we are focusing on both speed and endurance.

Keep in mind that this workout doesn’t have to be done using running as your mode of exercise. If you have access to a rower, an indoor bike, or even a cross trainer, you are more than welcome to use one of those if that’s your preference.

Workout 9: Power to the World

Workout nine returns to some maximal effort speed work, with a secondary focus on balance and coordination. In this workout you will superset maximal effort sprints with low level coordination exercises that increase balance and stability, while allowing recovery.
Once you have worked through all the exercises, rest for 4 minutes and then repeat once more!

Workout 10: Oh Come, All Ye Flexible

The last three exercise have unquestionably been on the “higher intensity” side, which is why we are moving into another recovery day.
The primary focus here is full body flexibility, using simple stretches that target all your main muscle groups.

Once you have completed your downward dog, complete each stretch once more for a total of 20 minutes of high-quality flexibility training.

Workout 11: We need a little fitness

This next workout is similar to workout three in that focuses on aerobic fitness and endurance using high intensity interval training.
However, where it differs is the duration of interval. The work efforts in this program are a little longer than those previously prescribed, which provides a more effective way to target maximal oxygen uptake.

Like workout three, this can be conducted using any form of aerobic exercise.

Workout 12: New Years Circuit

Finally we have a full body training circuit that targets strength and endurance, taxing practically every muscle in the entire body.
What a way to finish!

Like all our other lifting-focused sessions, the goal here is to complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes. Although please note that our final circuit does include 12 exercises, which means even getting through this one twice is an amazing achievement.

And of course, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Related Article: Simple and Effective Ways to Create Exercise Self-Discipline

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