Written and Programmed by Celeste Chandler, CPT, IFBB Wellness Pro
Photography by Paul Buceta
Hair & Makeup by Monica Kalra
This High Intensity Interval Training circuit easily taps into extra fuel, making it an efficient workout when you’re home for the holidays. If you want to get training in fast, without compromising precious time at home with family and friends, try this to gain strength, increase insurance, burn excess calories—and carry on with the celebrations in (almost) no time.
Muscles Worked: Legs, Core & Arms
Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart and your arms hanging naturally by your sides. As you raise your left knee, swing your right arm forward. Your right arm should be bent at a 90-degree angle at this point. Lower your left leg and bring it back down to the ground. Repeat the same motion with your right knee, lifting it as high as possible while swinging your left arm forward. Continue to alternate between your right and left knees, raising them as high as you can while coordinating the arm movements.
Repeat 20 times per side.
Level Up: Use ankle weights.
Expert Tip: Engage your core muscles to maintain good posture throughout the exercise.
Jumping Jack to Squat
Muscles Worked: Legs, Core & Arms
Expert Tip: While squatting, keep your knees in line with your toes
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms at your sides. While jumping, spread your legs apart laterally and slightly wider than shoulder width apart, just like in a regular jumping jack. At the same time, raise your arms out to the sides and overhead. Your hands should come together above your head. As you descend back to the ground, lower your arms and bring your feet back together. Lower your body by bending your knees while keeping your back straight, stick your hips out behind you as if you were sitting in a chair and aim to get your thighs parallel to the ground or as low as your flexibility allows. Repeat 20-25 times.
Level Up: When you are at the bottom of your squat, you can pulse for 2-3 reps and then go into the jumping jack.
Sit to Squat Jump
Muscles Worked: Legs & Glutes
Expert Tip: Keep your back straight, make sure your knees don’t go beyond your toes and land with your knees slightly bent to absorb the impact.
Stand in front of a chair with your feet shoulder-width apart. Ensure your toes are pointing slightly outward, and your chest is up, and your shoulders are back. Push your hips back and bend your knees, as if you’re going to sit back into the chair, but just graze the seat, don’t get comfortable! Once you’ve reached the bottom of the squat position, explosively push through your heels and jump straight up into the air. As you jump, swing your arms upward to help generate more power. You can swing your arms forward and up, or you can keep them close to your body and extend them upward. Repeat 20-25 times.
Level Up: You can increase the intensity by holding two dumbbells in your hands.
Muscles Worked: Core, Hips & Glutes
Expert Tip: Keep a neutral spine and contract your core by pulling your bellybutton towards your spine.
Start in a plank position with your hands and feet shoulder width apart. Drive one of your knees towards your chest, bring it back into position and repeat with the other leg. Repeat 20 times.
Level Up: Add in a push-up after every other rep.
Muscles Worked: Core
Expert Tip: Pay attention to your breathing throughout the exercise. Inhale as you lower one leg and exhale as you lift it back up. Proper breathing helps engage your core muscles and maintain stability.
Begin by lying flat on your back on a comfortable exercise mat or a firm surface. Extend your legs fully and place your arms along your sides, palms facing down. Lift both legs off the ground simultaneously, keeping them straight. Ideally, your legs should be at about a 45-degree angle from the floor. You can modify the angle depending on your fitness level and flexibility. While keeping your core engaged, slowly lower one leg toward the ground without allowing it to touch the floor. Simultaneously, lift the other leg higher toward the ceiling. Imagine your legs moving like a pair of scissors opening and closing. Continue to alternate the movement of your legs in a controlled and deliberate manner. Repeat 20-25 times.