Ah yes. Thanksgiving. That time of year when it is socially acceptable to gorge yourself with turkey, pies, stuffing, and anything flavored with cranberry and pumpkin. I mean, don’t get me wrong, all of these things are delicious. But it is also super challenging to keep your girlish figure if you are eating your weight in turkey during one meal. The good news is this – anything in moderation is OK, and Thanksgiving comes around just once a year. You can also do something to prepare, and that is to be on your best ‘health and fitness’ behavior this week before the big Turkey Day. Here’s a ‘last chance’ ab workout to keep your tummy in shape before the big feast.
Know Before You Go
Do a 10-minute warm up before your workout. Walk or jog around your block or in place in your living room, or dance around to 3 of your favorite songs. If you have access to a treadmill, walk at a slow speed (I recommend 3.5 mph) and at a high incline (8.5-9.0). Drink water between each circuit to stay hydrated, and stretch for 10 minutes after the workout. It’s OK if this workout is challenging for you… if you keep this up just 2x per week, in a month or so this will likely be easy peazy.
-medicine ball, balance ball
Circuit 1 – Do 3x Through
A) The “Roll Ups” – Begin by laying on your back on your mat with your arms resting at your sides. Keeping your legs together and fully extended, lift your legs slightly off of the ground. Then, bend your knees and pull them towards your chin, bringing your hips off of the floor. With control, extend your legs and lower them to just above the ground. Repeat 12x.
B) The “All A-Flutter” – Lay on your back on your mat with your arms resting at your sides. Keeping your legs together, lift your legs to a 45 degree angle to the ceiling. With control, lift your right leg slightly higher than your left. In a simultaneous motion, switch legs to lower your right leg slightly and lift your left leg slightly higher than your right. Repeat nonstop, alternating legs, 15x each leg.
C) The “Balancing Act” – Begin in a position as if you are going to do a push up. Lift your right leg up behind you. Hold for 3 seconds. Return to starting position. Repeat 12x. Then switch legs, and repeat 12x more.
Circuit 2 – Do 3x Through
D) The “This Is How I Roll” – Begin in a position as if you are going to do a push up, except your feet are resting on a balance ball behind you. With control, bring your knees into the chest, while keeping your feet on the ball behind you. The ball should roll in towards your chest. Slowly extend your legs behind you to starting position. The ball should roll backwards. Repeat 12x.
E) Repeat the “This Is How I Roll,” except instead of bringing your knees into your chest, rotate your whole body clockwise and then counter-clockwise while keeping your feet on the ball behind you. This is a test of your balance! Stay focused. Repeat 12x.
F) The “I’m A Baller” – Begin by resting your lower torso on a balance ball. Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle with your feet on the ground. Bend your elbows to cradle the back of your head in your hands. With control, sit up on the balance ball to bring your torso to a 45 degree angle to the ceiling. With control, slowly lower your torso back to starting position so you are again resting on the ball. Repeat 12x.
Circuit 3 – Do 2x Through
G) The “Dizzy Spell” – Begin by laying on your back on your mat holding a medicine ball on your chest. Keeping your legs together and fully extended, lift your legs slightly off of the ground. Then, lift your torso off of the floor until you feel your abs are engaged. Twist your torso to tap the medicine ball on the ground to your right. Then twist your torso to tap the medicine ball on the ground to your left. Repeat, alternating sides, 12x each side.
H) The “Playing Catch” – Begin by laying on your back on your mat holding a medicine ball behind your head. With control, slowly sit up and bring the medicine ball up overhead. As your raise the ball overhead, toss it to your friend standing across from you. As you lower your torso back to the ground, have your friend toss the medicine ball back to you and catch it. Lower the ball back to the ground behind your head as you lower your torso. Repeat 12x.
I) The “Toe Touch” – Begin by laying on your back on your mat. Keeping your legs together, lift both of your legs until they are at a 90 degree angle to the ceiling. Hold a medicine ball behind your head. With control, lift your torso and bring the medicine ball up overhead. Try to touch the medicine ball to your toes. Slowly lower your torso back to the ground and return the medicine ball behind your head. Repeat 12x.
Fitness Tip of the Day
Here’s a tip to help control your calories during Thanksgiving dinner: fill your plate with 70% veggies and 30% of all the ‘indulgences’ (i.e. the buttery stuffing and that pumpkin pie you’ve been eyeballing). And when you’re grabbing turkey, opt for the white meat.