By Gina Aliotti
The holiday season is in full swing—a wonderful time of year when we gather with friends and family to celebrate. With shopping, travel and social events chipping away at your “free time,” you may find it harder to fit in your workouts, and that’s okay. Not that you should throw in the sweat towel completely, but this is the time to work smarter, not harder. January 1st will be here before you know it, and you can get a head start on your fitness goals by refusing to quit, even during the holiday rush.
Check out this no-gym-necessary circuit that won’t take up a ton of your time and doesn’t need a lot of equipment. You can fit it in easily, no matter how busy your schedule gets. So make it your gift to yourself, with a renewed commitment to good health. You deserve it!
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell between your legs. Bend your knees and squat, lowering the kettlebell toward the ground as you keep your chest up and your shoulders back. Stand up, forcefully driving your hips forward to propel the kettlebell into the air until the kettlebell is no higher than your shoulders. Let the kettlebell swing down and back through your legs, and then repeat the movement, swinging the kettlebell in front of you again, for 15 reps
Band Side-to-Side Low Lunges
Place a band around your shins. Squat low and step from side to side, staying low to the ground, repeating until you have completed 15 reps on each side.
Band Hip Thrusts
Lie on on the floor with your knees bent, your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and the band positioned at about your knees. Thrust your hips up toward the sky, and squeeze your glutes at the top of the rep for a second before lowering down back to the starting position. Repeat for 15 reps.
Band Alternating Leg Extensions
Place an exercise band just below or above your knees, and get into the top position of a pushup. Extend one leg up toward the sky, squeeze your glutes, and then lower back to the starting position and raise the opposite foot. Be sure to keep your heel flexed and squeeze at the top of the rep. Repeat, alternating legs, until you have completed 10 reps on each side.
You can do these with or without a band. Start in the top position of a pushup but with a wide stance. Perform a pushup: lower to the bottom position and push back up, repeating until you have completed 10 pushups.
Stand with your feet together, touching, holding your arms out in front of you to help with balance. Squat until your glutes are about knee level or slightly lower. Press your weight into your heels and return to the standing position, keeping your core engaged and your belly in. Repeat for 15 squats.
Here’s the complete workout. Repeat the circuit 2-3 times, depending on your fitness level and the amount of time you have available. Remember, it’s all about moving daily and showing up—and making your goals non-negotiable, holidays or not!
Gina’s No-Gym-Needed Holiday Circuit
Kettlebell swings, 2-3 x 15
Band side-to-side low lunges, 2-3 x 15 (each side)
Band hip thrusts, 2-3 x 15
Band alternating leg extensions, 2-3 x 10 (each leg)
Wide-stance pushups, 2-3 x 10
Narrow-stance squats, 2 -3 x 15
Gina Aliotti is a renowned fitness and lifestyle expert whose mission is to inspire and teach others how to maintain a healthy lifestyle in a realistic way. A native Californian, she received a B.S. in foods and nutrition from San Diego State University and was a top figure star, earning her IFBB pro card in 2005. Aliotti won many titles, including Ms. Figure International at the Arnold Sports Festival, and runner-up at the Figure Olympia three years in a row. Now a full-time working mom, Aliotti is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified CrossFit Instructor, Certified Yoga Instructor, Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, and a marathon runner. Find information on her personal coaching programs and online fitness plans at www.GinaAliotti.com. Aliotti is also the co-founder, with Dana Kaye, of Devotion Nutrition, offering high-quality products that cut sugar while adding flavor to clean foods (www.devotionnutrition.com). She lives in Carlsbad with her husband and two children.