When it comes to the holidays, food, family and friendship are key. Unfortunately, this typically leads to an increase in food consumption and a decrease in physical activity. Of course, the combination of the two can quickly add up to some serious pounds — and unwanted fluff — around the midsection. The good news is that not only can you enjoy your holiday meals and relaxation time, but with just a few simple workouts a week, you can also make the holiday belly go away. We’re here to share the #1 workout to shed your gut and set your holiday cheer on fire.
When it comes to losing that stubborn feeling, a combination of calorie-burning and muscle-building activities is hands down the best approach to get toned, lean forward and ring in the New Year looking great. We also recommend abandoning poor sleep habits that lead to weight gain and incorporating exercise habits into your overall routine to accelerate weight loss as you age.
The following exercises are a great way to efficiently add in some fat-burning exercise to burn off that holiday belly. Perform each exercise for 10 to 20 reps, then move onto the next exercise and continue until all exercises are completed. Rest for a minute and repeat three to five times for a great full-body workout that will free your gut.
Jump squats are a solid full-body exercise that can help build muscle while also kicking off a serious calorie burn. The best part is that you can do them anywhere with a ceiling height where you won’t hit your head when you jump. Oh, and you don’t need any equipment for this move!
To perform a jump squat, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Squat into a quarter to half deep squat, then drive up quickly through your hips, knees, and ankles. As you land, absorb the impact with another quarter/half squat and use that to explode into the next rep.
Note: If jump squats are too hard for you, regular bodyweight squats are a major setback.
Side lunges are a great lower body exercise that hits your glutes, inner thighs and core for its stability requirements. This exercise is essential if you want to get rid of your gut and blast the excess fat from those holiday treats.
To perform a side lunge, start with your legs in a wide stance, similar to a side split position. Lower to your left side by bending your left knee, keeping your right leg straight and your hips back and to the left. Drive through your left foot and push the ground “down and away” to return to the starting position. Perform the movement on the right leg, then switch sides until all reps are completed.
Burpees are a stellar, full-body explosive move. Not only will they increase your heart rate and hit your major muscle groups, but when done properly, they’ll hit most of the major muscles in the human body.
To perform a burpee, start standing and quickly lower to a low kneeling position. Drop your hands to the floor as you kick your feet behind you into a pushup position. Quickly jump your feet back toward your hands to assume another squat position. Explode up with a jump and swing your arms up and over your head. As you land, absorb the impact by going into the squat position and feeding directly into the next burpee.
Note: While burpees are best performed explosively, if necessary, you can use a lunge to get back up, then perform a squat, then drop back to the pushup position.
Tyler Read is a personal trainer and has been in the health and fitness business for 15 years. Learn more about Tyler