The 12 Exercises Of Christmas

2013CAMBI know it’s a tough time of year for everyone, too much temptation, too much travelling, to much drinking or whatever your vices may be so it’s probably best that you keep it simple this year and cut the workouts down to 20 minutes a day of complete physical annihilation and then get back to the couch! So here is my list of simple moves that I will be doing this season to keep me focused, motivated and give me the ability to stay the course no matter how buy I am. The list includes stuff you can do if you are lucky enough to be able to get to the gym, some for if you are stuck at home with limited weights and several that don’t require anything except your bodyweight and maybe a kettlebell you have in your trunk. You DO have a kettlebell in your trunk, right? If not, I know what you should be shopping for this Boxing Week.

I will list these in order of most challenging / complex to simplest. This does not mean they are less effective the lower you go, just that they require less preparation, equipment or time to accomplish.

1- Barbell Clean and Press – One of the top 2 or 3 exercises there is for whole body strength. If you can’t get to the press, it’s OK.
2- Squats – From air squats to back, front, zercher or overhead squats they are all good.
3- Barbell deadlift – Try to do at least your bodyweight as a starting goal.
4- Pullups – Lots of hand positions, levers, bar roll ups etc, lots you can do if you are luck enough to have access to a chin up bar.

That’s good for the equipment heavy stuff, now for dumbbells or kettlebells (not that you can’t do the above with either!)

5- Kettlebell swings – This is why there is no cardio on this list.
6- Curls – Kneeling, free, hammer, french, lots of types, brace your elbow against something for an extra degree of difficulty
7- Kettlebell Snatch – You can sub clean and press here but the KB is a great way to introduce you to the power required for a barbell snatch.
8 – Free Dips – You will need boxes, a dip station, a couple of chairs or something, but get up off the floor and use your bodyweight.

That’s pretty basic, but what about if you have nothing?

9 – Lunge or Lunge Walk – Some think squatting is enough, if that’s you, do a hundred lunge walks touching your knee as you go and tell me how those squats are working out for you.
10 – Pushups of all kinds – From your knees, to military, incline and up to handstand pushups this is the most basic and effective bodyweight / zero equipment exercise for the upper body.
11 – V-Snaps / Abs – There are a thousand ab moves out there, just pick your favourite and DON’T DO THAT ONE! Do something you are challenged with, the one you can’t quite get a handle on and make it work!
12 – Burpees – I know, everybody hates burpees but if you add a tuck jump and a plyo pushup to them you don’t have the time or energy to remember how much you hate them!

Once you are done, as a bonus tip sign up for a class or download some YouTube videos and do some Yoga. Yes, it’s the ultimate coordination, balance and flexibility workout. Anyone who does heavy weights should include Yoga in their program, it’s just common sense and it will make everything else so much better.

So there you have it, no excuses, don’t wait until the 1st of the year to get going on your turkey laden butt!

I realize I may have omitted your favourite off the list, not all of mine made it either but there is just no place on a top 12 for Turkish Get Ups! Drop me a line if you think I missed something major and have a great New Year!


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