‘Tis the season for enormous meals, lots of beverages, and pie—with ice cream on top, of course. Because of all the parties, snacking, and high-calorie foods, it’s no wonder why so many people are terrified of putting on extra weight during the holiday season. However, let’s set the record straight: You won’t gain the clichéd “10 pounds during the holidays.” But you may gain some weight on average, which can still derail you from your health and fitness goals. That’s why we’re here with 10 of the best exercises to melt holiday weight fast.
It’s super common to skip exercising entirely with all the holiday travel and activities—and then wait until the new year to start over again. Then, when you finally work out, you might spend time on tiny exercises (bicep curls, anyone?) instead of doing the key movements guaranteed to transform your physique. This year, use the right exercises to blast away any fat you may have gained during the holiday season. That way, not only will you look lean and strong, but you can also enjoy your feasts guilt-free!
Keep reading to learn all about 10 of the best exercises to melt holiday weight fast. And when you’re finished, be sure to check out these 9 Lazy Ways to Lose Weight All Month Long.
Every weight loss journey should start with a squat. Why? Because it targets virtually every single muscle in your body with each rep! By doing the goblet variation, it’s easier to perfect your technique for best results.
Grab the end of one dumbbell or kettlebell in both hands, and hold it by your chest with your elbows underneath. Stand shoulder-width apart with your toes slightly out. Start the movement by sitting backward and spreading your knees apart. Descend below parallel while keeping your lower back flat. At the bottom, drive through your heels and keep your knees apart. Perform three to four sets of six reps.
The deadlift should be another staple in any fat loss goal. It uses tons of muscles, builds strength in the entire backside of your body, and teaches good movement patterns. With a kettlebell version, it’s easier to master the correct technique.
Stand shoulder-width apart with the kettlebell between your legs and the handle in line with the bony part of your ankles. Bend from hips, and grab the kettlebell with both hands. Before you lift, your shins should be vertical, your back should be almost parallel with the ground, and your lower back should be flat.
Squeeze the handle hard, pull your shoulders backward, and crush your armpits. Lift the kettlebell by pushing through the ground, not by pulling up. Stand tall, and squeeze your glutes at the top. On the way down, place the kettlebell at the same spot you lifted it from. Perform three to four sets of six reps.
Pushups are probably the best upper-body exercise. Your chest, shoulders, and abs work with every rep and it’s easy to make easier or harder depending on your level. With a suspension trainer, you add more instability so you get extra effort from your shoulders and abs.
Face away from the anchor point with TRX handles in each hand. Get in a pushup position with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Keep your lower back flat and don’t let your hips sag. Lower yourself and keep your elbows close to your body as you descend. Perform three to four sets of eight reps.
If you’re looking to lose fat fast, high-intensity cardio is a go-to choice because it burns more calories during and after exercise. Use mountain climbers as a lower-impact way to blast your fat and turn up your conditioning.
Get into a pushup position. Keep your core tight, and lift each knee toward your chest in an alternating way. (It’s like you’re sprinting in place.) Keep your head up and your hips low. Perform six sets of 20 seconds on/20 seconds off.
Sprints are a great way to add high-intensity cardio into your routine, yet very few people can perform them with the correct technique. “Treadmill sprints” are a great alternative and even add resistance.
While a treadmill belt is stationary, grab the handles and sprint by pushing the belt backward. Do for the correct time, rest, and repeat. Perform eight reps of 15 seconds on/45 seconds off.
Lateral squats are an incredible lower-body exercise that works each leg separately so you can correct any imbalances, strengthen your hip-stabilizing muscles, and improve your hip mobility.
Start with a very wide stance and your feet slightly pointed outward. Sit back into one hip, and push that knee out. Repeat on the other side. Complete three to four sets of eight reps.
Step-up + Overhead Press
A simple way to shed weight faster is to combine two exercises so you put more fat-burning stimulus on your body. This move connects a lower-body and upper-body exercise for double the benefits.
Hold two dumbbells in your hands, and place one foot on a box or bench. Pull all your weight on that foot and drive yourself up by pushing through your heel. Avoid pushing off with your bottom leg. At the top of the box, perform an overhead press. Complete three to four sets of five reps per leg.
TRX Inverted Rows
Rows are an awesome way to burn calories, build total body strength, and even improve the health of your lower back and shoulder joints. Use the inverted row for a bodyweight exercise that packs a punch!
Grab TRX straps from underneath with your feet closer to the anchor point. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, and pull yourself up while keeping your body straight like a plank. Complete three to four sets of eight reps.
Single-Arm Farmer’s Carry
Lower-intensity strength and cardio is a powerful way to torch the fat. Enter the farmer’s carry, which is a devilishly simple movement to build total strength, muscular endurance, and conditioning.
Grab a heavy dumbbell in one hand, keep your chest up and shoulder blades squeezed, and walk. Repeat with the other hand. Complete three sets of 20-yard farmer’s carries.
Show me someone who can do perfect pull-ups, and I’ll show you a strong and fit person. It trains your back muscle, your arms, and your grip all in one go for serious benefits.
Grab a pull-up bar with your palms facing away, and start by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pull yourself up, and lead with your chest. If you can’t do a regular pull-up, loop an exercise band around the bar and one of your shins and use it to assist you up. Perform three to four sets of five reps.