The Perfect At-Home Holiday Workout by Noa Ries

Posted on 22 December 2015


When it comes to the holidays, it is hard to find time to get your workout in! You are pressed for time, have a big to-do list, and are really feeling all of the delicious sweets you have been enjoying. Take a few minutes out of your day to try this awesome workout. I like to incorporate moves that can be done in almost any gym and that work a ton of muscle groups at once for maximum impact. This way I know that if I’ve only got 15-20 minutes, I’ve still gotten an incredible, effective and efficient workout in. Now it's your turn!




WHY There are few body weight training tools as versatile as the Swiss Ball, and the Swiss Ball Push-Up with Jack Knife takes full advantage of the possibilities. By balancing on an unstable surface ( of the ball), it works the whole body especially the chest, arms and deep abdominal muscles.


1.) Start on by rolling onto an exercise ball until you are in a prone push up position with your feet positioned on the ball and your hands directly underneath your shoulders.

2.) Bring your knees towards your chest with the exercise ball. 

3.) Hold this position for a count then returning back to the starting position.

4.) On the return to the starting position, bring your chest down to the floor in a push up motion.

5.) Return back to the starting position and repeat for as many reps and sets desired.



WHY One of my favorites: the burpee. It’s tough, it’s efficient, and if done right, it can demolish your Christmas pudding calories. The burpee is so effective because it’s challenging. It’s basically three movements meshed together into one fast-paced exercise. It involves going from the start of a push up to a squat to a jump to a squat and back to the start of a push up again. Make sure you have the mobility to correctly do each part, otherwise you can end up with lower-back pain or joint pain.


  1. Begin in a push up position.
  2. Hop your feet forward and move into a squat position
  3. Jump up and then repeat again going from the squat through to the push up




WHY The lunge with twist exercise is a great core exercise that also builds lower body strength (quads and glutes in particular) and balance.


  1. Start in a lunge / split squat position holding a medium weight medicine ball in your arms
  2. Lower down until both your legs are at a 90 degree angle
  3. Twist your upper body towards the front leg, making sure to keep your head upright. Twist back to the front and repeat 15 reps on the front leg before switching legs.



WHY Incorporating dynamic, compound movements into your routine will help you involve your entire body, building strength, power, and stability. This squat and press works the legs, core, arms and shoulders in one dynamic movement. This is an advanced exercise that requires strength and balance. It’s best to take your time and start with lighter weights to perfect the exercise.


  1. Hold light-medium weights at your shoulders and keep the weight in your heels.
  2. Squat all the way down while keeping the back straight, weight in your heels and your abs contracted.
  3. As you stand, push through your legs, keeping the weight in your heels, and in the same movement, push your arms overhead. Make sure your belly button is pulled into your spine to protect your lower back, particularly as you push the weight above your head.



WHY Nothing beats planks when it comes to strengthening your deepest abdominal muscles, which in turn, flatten out the stomach. By adding in the row, you shift your balance which forces those deep abdominal muscles to work overtime while building strength and definition in upper back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps.

How to do it: 

  1. Grab a set of light-medium weight dumbbells and come into plank position with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Brace your core as you lift one dumbbell off the ground in a rowing movement with your elbow passing your ribs.
  3. Bring the weight back to the ground and switch sides.

Make sure to keep hips as still as possible and legs and glutes engaged the entire time to protect your lower back. Do 12 reps per side.

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