It’s easy to lose focus on your fitness goals during the holidays. It’s winter, it’s cold outside, and you’re less motivated to workout. Your work days may get more stressful and hectic. All the holiday parties make it easy to focus less on nutrition and more on indulgence.
There are plenty of excuses out there this time of year, but it’s up to you to stick to your training goals. Show the holiday season who’s boss by finding ways to work fitness into your busy schedule.
Below are five resistance band exercises we’ve found to help you. Even on the coldest day, even when you’re not motivated, these band exercises can help you get over the holiday slump. If working out is easier on you, you’re more likely to do it, and each of these exercises can be done at home. Experts agree that adding a resistance band to your regimen is as effective as using free weights.
Exercise: Front Squats
Don’t neglect your bum this holiday. Instead, keep it tight and toned by doing front squats.
How it works: Stand on a resistance band with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Hold a handle in each hand, bringing the top of the band over each shoulder. If the resistance band is too long, cross your arms over your chest. Next, sit straight back, keeping your chest up, abs firm and knees over your toes. Repeat 8 to 12 reps.
Exercise: Bent-over Row
It’s easy to develop back problems if you’re constantly sitting on the couch watching Christmas movies. Keep your back strong with this bent-over row exercise.
How it works: Stand over the center of the resistance band with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at your knees and pivot at the waist, keeping your hips back. Hold each resistance band handle with your hands facing the outside of your knees. With your elbows bent, pull the band up towards your hips, squeezing your shoulder blades together until your elbows make a 90-degree angle. Repeat 10 to 12 reps.
Keep your chest, abs and arms core taut throughout December by adding a resistance band to this classic exercise.
How it works: Get in a plank position with the resistance band looped across your upper back. Hold the ends of the band on each thumb, and place your hands on the ground with your body facing down. Contract your glutes and abs, and push straight up until your arms are fully extended. Slowly lower back down, chest to the floor, and see what you’ve got for five to 20 reps.
Exercise: Overhead Press
Hanging Christmas lights can be a shoulder workout in and of itself. Strengthen those deltoids beforehand by doing these overhead presses with resistance bands.
How it works: Stand over the center of a tube resistance band with feet shoulder-width apart. Position your hands at shoulder level as you hold each handle. Make sure your palms are facing each other so your thumbs can touch your shoulders. Press straight up, rotating your palms forward as you fully extend your arms. Lower back down slowly. Repeat for 8 to 10 reps.
Exercise: Concentration Curl
Give yourself a gift that even Santa Claus can be jealous of! A pair of guns look great on everyone and these concentration curls are a great way to work your biceps.
How it works: Start in a forward lunge position with your right leg in front. Place the middle of the resistance band under your right foot. Hold one end of the band with your right hand. Rest your elbow on the inside of your knee. With your palm facing away from your knee, curl the band up toward your shoulder, squeezing your biceps at the top. Slowly lower back down. Repeat 8 to 10 reps before switching sides.
All readers are advised to consult their physician before beginning any exercise and nutrition program. BPI Sports and the contributors do not accept any responsibility for injury sustained as a result of following the advice or suggestions contained within the content.