Unless you’re in the middle of training for your next event, the holidays are an excellent opportunity to devote some extra time to your busy work and social schedules while building a physical foundation for an upcoming training block.
If you’re anything like us, your already hectic schedules get even more condensed during the holiday season. But when you’re serious about training, being busy isn’t an excuse to lose fitness altogether.
These four quick core workouts focus on time under tension during eccentric – or downward or lengthening – motion to increase functional strength through controlled, purposeful movements. Keep these in your training rotation all month to stay strong and injury free on a limited time frame so you can spend time with family and friends without deconditioning during the holidays.
Core Workouts to Do During the Holidays to Maintain Fitness
1. The Core Shredder with Meg Reardon
The Core Shredder can be a full workout on a really light day or a finisher on a normal one. Do three strength workouts with Meg’s shredder at the end, plus two low-intensity runs during the holiday week.
Perform the following two exercises back to back for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest for a total of 8 rounds. Rest 1 minute, then complete the 8 rounds again.
— Hollow Hold
— Plank Up Downs
4. The Gut Check with Evan Betts
If you like Meg’s Core Shredder, Evan Betts has something similar. To avoid burnout and keep your variety high, hit Meg’s Core Shredder and Evan’s Gut Check twice per week each.
Perform as many repetitions of each exercise as you can in 30 seconds. Rest 90 seconds. Complete 3 rounds.
— Elbow Plank Jack
— Palm Plank Shoulder Tap
— Leg Lower
3. Low Impact, High Burn with Kristina Centenari
Have you had an aggressive last few months of training and racing? Give your joints a bit of a break with a dose of low-impact work with Kristina.
Circuit 1: Perform the following exercises as a circuit for 30 seconds each, followed by 15 seconds of rest. Complete a total of 3 rounds.
— Banded Sidestep to Backstep
— Tall Kneeling to Standing Knee Drive
— Hip Bridge
— Banded Knees to Elbows
Circuit 2: Perform the following exercises as a circuit for 30 seconds each, followed by 15 seconds of rest. Complete a total of 3 rounds.
— Banded Horizontal Pulls to Vertical Pulls
— Plank Banded Rows
— Half-Kneeling Side Lean
— Supine Opposite Elbow-Knee Crunch
— Oblique Twists
4. Under Control with Gabe Snow
If you train at home and don’t have access to heavy weights, no problem. Gabe knows how to make light weights feel heavy. This workout is designed around maximizing time under tension by emphasizing a slower tempo during movements. You could perform this workout multiple days per week on non-consecutive days.
Perform the following exercises as a circuit for two rounds. For the first round, perform the following exercises for 30 seconds each. For the second round, perform them for 45 seconds each. Rest 1 minute at the end of each round.
— Goblet Split Squat (3-second eccentric)
— Strict Overhead Press (3-second eccentric)
— Reverse Lunge to Overhead Press
— Goblet Squat (3-second. eccentric)
— Single-Arm Gorilla Row (3-second eccentric)