The ghost of Halloween has come and gone, leaving us with the very real ghost of Thanksgiving/Christmas present. At least Halloween was only one day. An entire two months can mean a lot of damage to your bank account and your waistline.
Why not begin this week (the week before the week that all gobble gobble hell breaks loose) with some cardiovascular movement?
Today’s #MotivationalMonday segment features a resistance band. Feel free to adapt the workout to fit your own basic needs.
WARNING: High levels of endorphins are a serious side effect of this workout. Do not be surprised if extra productivity ensues.
1. Burpees. Gym class was a complete concentration camp full of these styled moves. Little did I know it was an entire body workout in less than 2 minutes. Warm up with this for at least a minute or two. Begin in a plank position. Remember to keep the head aligned with the spine and pull the tummy in. Quickly jump the feet to meet the hands so you are in a crouched position. Lastly, quickly jump to feet aligning arms with ears.
2. Squat to trot– Squats are one of the most effective lower body sculpting exercises. Incorporating a resistance band of your intensity level is advised as it burns more calories and utilizes the upper body as well. Begin with feet placed center on band. Pull handles up near ears (or as high as you can get them). Lastly, while hands remain holding handles near the top, bend down into a full 90 degree squat. Repeat for 1-2 minutes slowly.
3. “Look at those guns!”. This bicep curl exercise is typically performed with heavier weights, however using a resistance band is highly advised as it speeds the heart rate and gets your blood pumping. Do 1 set of 12 reps fast. Do 2 sets of 12 reps slowly. Repeat for about a minute or two.
4. Baby Got Back. This exercise is for your latissimus dorsi (or in gym slang- “lats”/”back”). Be very careful not to perform this exercise standing completely straight. It will turn into an upper back/trapezius exercise. It could also put immense strain on the neck. Start by stepping on the resistance band making sure the feet are centered. Bend the knees slightly and lean over making sure the back remains straight. Cross handles so it looks like and “X”. Pull up to your shoulders, squeezing the back together and then release. Repeat in slow sets of 8. I suggest breaking up the monotony with a small cardio exercise for 20-30 seconds– jumping jacks, walking in place, etc.
5. ABSolutely Obliques. Regular sit-ups are effective only when performed the proper way. (99%, myself included, do not execute in this fashion). Obliques (side abs) play just as significant a role in creating a six-pack as the rectus abdominus (front abs). Begin with a plank (holding for 5-10 seconds). Slowly turn to the right side and extend arm out and up towards ceiling. (hold for 5-10 seconds.) Repeat on left side. If you do not possess the strength to organically hold yourself on the feet, come down to the knees on your side. Still just as effective! Do this for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
I also would highly advise anyone who is looking to stay motivated throughout the holiday season to participate in a Turkey Trot or Christmas Eve race. (You can walk if need be) You will feel ten times better when sitting down to a feast and your metabolism will remain fired throughout the day.
Hopefully the only stuffing you experience comes in the form of long, lean muscles. You can’t go cold turkey but you can prepare for the calm before the Thanksgiving feast.
Peace, love, and turkey!