If there’s one area of your body that’s the most difficult to keep in shape during the Holiday Season, it’s your abs. With all the Christmas cookies, fruit cakes, eggnog, and general ‘holiday cheer,’ it’s tough to maintain a trim waistline. That’s why I’ve created this challenging workout that you can do at home; now you can sneak in a workout to tone up your midsection in between scheduling the 1,000 Holiday parties you have to attend.
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 “Ball Buster’” – Lay on your back on your mat with your arms at your sides. Holding a balance ball in between your feet, raise both legs off the ground until your legs are at a 90 degree angle to the floor. Lower your legs until a few inches above the ground. Repeat 12x.
B) The “Jacked Up Jack Knife” – This move is no joke. It’s one tough cookie… Begin in a position as if you are going to do a push up, except rest your toes on a balance ball instead of on the ground. Your body should be as flat as possible. Contract your ab muscles to roll the ball in towards your chest. Your butt should raise in the air so that your torso and legs look like an upside-down “V.” Roll the ball back to starting position, and lower your arms to do a push up. Repeat 10x.
C) “Ball Handling” – Lay down with your back on the mat, holding a balance ball behind your head. Lift the ball up over your head, while lifting your head, chest, and legs off the ground. Transfer the ball to in between your legs. Lower your legs (now holding the ball), chest, and head to the ground and place your arms behind your head. Raise your legs, chest, and head and reach up to grab the ball from your legs. Bring the ball (now in your hands) to the ground behind your head and bring your legs to the ground. You should now be back in starting position. Repeat 10x.
Circuit 2 – Do 3x Through
D) The “Balance Buster” – Begin in a position as if you’re going to do a push up, except your hands are on a balance ball. With control, lift one leg. Hold for 2 seconds, before lowering to the ground. Repeat 12x, and then repeat 12x more with the other leg.
E) The “Up ‘N Down” – Begin by sitting on a balance ball, holding a medicine ball behind your head with extended arms. Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle. Walk both of your feet out until only your shoulders and upper back are resting on the balance ball. With control, lift your head and shoulders to do a sit up on the ball while simultaneously lifting the medicine ball overhead. Your arms will be fully extended holding the ball. With control, lower your head and shoulders back down, and bring the medicine ball back behind your head. Repeat 20x.
F) The “Sleek Obliques” – Lay on your back on your mat. Lay both arms out to your sides in a “T” formation. Keeping your legs together, lift your legs to a 90 degree angle holding a balance ball between your feet. With control, lower both legs to the right, to just a few inches above the ground. With control, return both legs to center, and then lower both legs to the left (stopping just above the ground). Return to center. Repeat, alternating sides, 12x each side.
Circuit 3 – Do 2x Through
G) The “Steamroller” – Begin in a position as if you’re going to do a push up except your knees are resting on a balance ball behind you. Keeping your abs tight, lift your butt in the air to roll the ball towards your chest. With control, roll the ball back to starting position behind you. Repeat 12x.
H) The “Ball Handler” – Begin by laying sideways on your mat with a balance ball wedged between your feet. With control, raise the medicine ball as high as you can and the lower the ball to just above the ground. Repeat 12x, and then roll over onto your other side and repeat 12x more.
I) The “One-Legged Boogie” – Begin in a position as if you are going to do a push up. Bend your elbows so that you are resting on your forearms instead of on your hands. Lift just your left leg off of the ground behind you. Hold for 30 seconds. Return your left leg to the ground and lift your right let off of the ground behind you. Hold for 30 seconds.
Fitness Tip of the Day
Stuck indoors because of the Winter weather? Click here for 3 easy ways you can turn your snow day into a sweat sesh.