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Deck the Halls with this Holiday HIIT Workout

Deck the Halls with this Holiday HIIT Workout

By Emma Cryer, Contributing Blogger

The holidays are a great time full of laughter, family and friends, and delicious food! Unfortunately, many of us find ourselves breaking our healthy fitness habits during the holidays due to travel and limited time.

If you’re ho-ho-hoping to keep up with your routine in spite of the festivities, I’ve got a gift in store for you! Workouts like this equipment-free HIIT circuit can be completed absolutely anywhere. It’s a fun fitness fiesta the whole family can enjoy, even in your mom’s living room. 

HIIT, short for high-intensity interval training, is a type of cardio workout that consists of circuits with a high amount of different exercise reps in a short period of time followed by a short rest. You heard that right, you can write rest into your cardio routine. It’s a Christmas cardio miracle!

Today we’re going to hit a great full body HIIT workout! Many of these movements can be modified to add dumbbells if you want to challenge yourself a little more, but weights are not required! Grab your water bottle, pop on your favorite seasonal tunes, and get ready to get sweaty!

In order to get the most out of our HIIT workout today, we’re going to complete three rounds of this circuit with quick and controlled movements. Make sure to warm up before you get moving and stretch to cool down afterward to prevent injuries!

Exercise 1: Alternating Forward Lunges

We’re going to start with a slow movement and build intensity as we go!

Start this movement standing with your feet shoulder width apart. You’re going to step one leg in front and lower your hips until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Your ankle should be parallel to your knee!

Pushing through the ball of your foot, return to a standing position and switch legs to complete another lunge on the other side. It’s important to even yourself out!

Repeat this 15 times!


Exercise 2: Side to Side Squat Jumps

We’re hitting the booty here! It’s important to think about the muscle you’re using to get that mind-muscle connection.

We’re going to start standing with feet shoulder width apart. Complete a regular squat, and then engage your core and leg power to jump from one side to the other, landing in a squat again. One full rep is one jump to each side.

If you’re looking for a jump-free modification, you can step side to side instead of squatting.

This exercise is a real killer, so you’ll be repeating it 10 times!


Exercise 3: Plank Row

This next movement is a core crusher with some awesome arm work mixed in!

We’re going to start out in a high plank with your shoulders parallel to your hands, balancing on the balls of your feet. Pull one arm back towards your body far enough to slightly pass your chest. Repeat with the other arm for one full rep!

Remember to engage your core in this movement and try not to sway side to side as you row your arms. Staying as still as possible will make this move extra challenging!

Repeat this movement 15 times.


Exercise 4: Burpees

Burpees are a great movement for working the whole body!

To start, squat down and put your hands on the ground. Next, jump your feet back into a pushup position. After that, jump your feet back to the starting position. To finish this movement, jump straight up with your hands above your head!

If you’re interested in a jump-free modification, you can easily step your feet back and forth into the pushup position instead, while cutting out the jump at the end and simply reaching up!

Complete 5 reps of this exercise.



Exercise 5: Pushup

Our final exercise of the circuit is a classic pushup! You can also do a modified knee pushup like that one in the photos if that’s more comfortable for you.

Start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. If you are modifying this movement, drop your knees here! Slowly lower your body until your chest is slightly above the floor, and then push yourself back up to complete the rep. 

Make sure your body is straight, and that your core is engaged!

For this movement, complete as many reps as possible until failure. Really push yourself here! You are stronger than you think.


And Repeat!

This circuit should be done three times for a full workout! Each exercise should be done immediately after the other, with a two-minute rest period in between each circuit.