December 17, 2015
Just because you’re crazy-busy wrapping gifts and entertaining your in-laws doesn’t mean you don’t have time to get flat abs before Santa shimmies down the chimney.
Far from it—all it takes is a few minutes a day to get strong and toned. And exercise is good for more than just looking great in your Christmas sweater. A workout can help you decompress from weeks of decorating, pacifying family members, and holiday frustration.
Get that heart pumping, build up some good endorphins, and give your skin a healthy glow. Even better, you don’t need any crazy equipment to master this workout—all you need is a timer, some water, and a towel!
For this workout, you’ll do one minute of work, and then take a 15 second break. You’ll repeat these exercises twice, so even if you don’t do it perfectly the first time, you can get it the second time! Try to do as many repetitions of each exercise as you can during the minute. Good luck!
Start with one minute of high knees: bring your knee up so it’s directly in front of your hip, and jump and switch to the other foot, driving the other knee straight up to hip height. Go as fast as you can as you do this.
Have knee issues that prevent you from jumping? March in place for a minute, swinging your arms to help get your heart rate higher.
Come down to your plank position: Hands are directly under your shoulders, abs are drawn up and in, and legs are straight. Walk your legs in, bending at the knee, until your kneecaps are pointing straight down to the ground with a 90 degree bend in the knee.
From here, put a towel underneath your feet, and push straight back behind you until you’re back in your straight legged plank. Then, slowly draw your knees back to your starting position. Do this for one full minute, repeating 15 times, taking a 5 second break, and continuing until a minute has passed. After one minute, take a 15 second breather.
This one’s tough, but it tones your abs and gets your heart rate up! Start in a standing position, and drop down to a low squat with hands on the ground in front of you. Rock your weight forward and jump, lifting your tailbone up towards the sky and bringing your heels toward your butt. Land back in your squat, and jump up reaching toward the sky. Do as many reps as you can for one full minute! After one minute, take a 15 second rest.
Tone your arms and abs with this move. Start in a plank position on your hands. Transition down to your right forearm, then your left forearm, and then press back up to plank with your right hand and then your left hand. Alternate starting with the right hand and then starting with the left hand. Do as many as you can for one minute, then take a 15 second breather.
Start in a wide stance with toes turned out to a 30 degree angle. Bend deeply at the knee and hip, pulling abs in, until you get to the bottom of your squat. Then use your inner thighs to stand up tall. Repeat as many reps as possible for one full minute, then take a 15 second break.
Repeat exercises 2-5, and then move on to your final move for your last minute of work.
You’re almost done! Last move is to finish with a plank—hold this for 30 seconds, take a 10 second break, and finish strong, holding a plank for 20 seconds. That’s it!
You crushed it. Now go give your family a big, sweaty hug, and show off your new muscles. Merry Christmas to you, abs!
Photo credit: Alicia Cho
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