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EJ Ogenyi: Getting Fit For Christmas

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As Christmas approaches and you start getting ready to travel to see family or host them in your home, going to the gym is probably the last thing on your mind. In busy and stressful times like this, your exercise routine can actually help you cope better with stress and feel energized enough to get the most out of your time with family and friends.

While all the things you need to do to get ready will probably mean you don’t have much time to get to the gym, this article shows you how you can workout at home and reap all the benefits. This workout is set up as a circuit workout where you do the exercises back to back with no rest between each exercise. The benefit of this is that you will get a two-in-one workout because of the cardio component. So gear up and let’s workout.

  • A timer
  • A clear area to exercise so that you don’t trip on anything (or anyone)
  • If you have any injuries, pre-existing conditions, or haven’t exercised before, talk to your doctor before starting this workout
  • Keep your core engaged throughout the workout by pulling your navel to your spine as you exhale
  • Do this exercise on non-consecutive days for at least 3 days a week.

Instruction Summary
Warm Up:

  • Butt Kicks: 50 seconds
  • High Knees: 50 seconds

Set 1:

  • Squats: 50 seconds
  • Static Lunges: 50 seconds

Set 2:

  • Push Ups: 50 seconds
  • Superman: 50 Seconds

​Set 3:

  • Core Plank: 50 seconds
  • Boat Twist: 50 seconds

Rest for 30 seconds – 2 minutes (depending on what you need)

Here is the workout sequence:

  • Do the warm up
  • Do Set 1, Set 2, Set 3, then rest. But rest if you need to before the end of the third set–
  • Repeat Sets 1 – 3 one or two more times depending on how much time you have
  • Stretch

Read the exercise description complete with videos below:

  • Start standing with your feet hip width apart
  • Jog in place with your knees aimed downwards and your feet going towards your butt
  • Make sure to land on your toes with soft knees
  • Conduct the exercise for the allotted time

High Knees

    • Start standing with your feet hip width apart
    • Jog in place with your knees aimed towards the ceiling
    • Make sure to land on your toes with soft knees
    • Conduct the exercise for the allotted time

Basic Squat

    • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart or wider
    • Bring your hands to your hips or hold them at your chest with your fists clenched
    • Sit back and down like you are trying to sit in a chair that is far behind you
    • Continue lowering till your thighs are almost parallel or parallel to the floor
    • Push into your heels to stand back up
    • Continue lowering and pushing up for the allotted time

Notes:

  • Keep your knees above or behind your ankles during the motion
  • Another visual you can use is to think of using your butt to close a door behind you

Static Lunges

    • Stand with your feet hip width apart
    • Step back with your right leg and bend your front knee [left knee] till the knee is directly above the ankle
    • Your front thigh should be parallel or slightly above parallel to the ground and the back thigh should be perpendicular to the ground
    • The back foot should be aiming straight back with the heel aiming towards the ceiling
    • Rise up by straightening both legs all the way
    • Lower back down till the starting position
    • Continue going up and coming down for half the allotted time
    • Repeat with the opposite leg for the rest of the time

Basic Push Up

  • Start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart
  • Your feet should be about hip width apart
  • Keep your body straight from the crown of your head to your heels and engage your core
  • You can use the cue “pull your navel to your spine” to remind you of how to engage your core
  • Lower your body towards the floor by bending your elbows out to the side
  • Push the floor away to come back up to the starting position with your arms fully extended
  • Look down to keep your neck in the neutral position
  • Continue pushing up and down for the allotted time
  • Note
  • As you lower don’t touch your chest to the floor. doing that over and over could cause injury to your shoulders and elbows. Instead make sure your elbow and your shoulder are level at the bottom of the push up

Superman

  • Start by lying on your belly
  • Bring your hands in front of you with your hands shoulder width apart or behind you. Either option you choose, have your palms facing each other
  • Push your hips into the floor and use your butt muscles to lift your legs off the floor
  • Lift your chest, shoulders, and arms off the floor
  • Holding your body in place for the allotted time

Low Plank

  • Start on your elbows and knees making sure that your elbows are shoulder width apart and that they are right beneath your shoulders
  • Step your legs back one foot at a time till you are in a plank position
  • Keep your eyes facing down so that you don’t crank your neck and keep your core engaged to protect your lower back (your back shouldn’t sag here)
  • Hold for the allotted time

Boat Twists

  • Sit up tall with your legs out in front of you. Keeping them straight, lift them to about a 45 degree angle from the floor
  • Lean your upper body back till your body forms a V shape
  • Keep your arms inline with your shoulders with your palms together
  • Exhale twist to your right keeping your legs steady, inhale come back to center, exhale twist over to your left, that’s one rep
  • Continue alternating sides for the allotted time
  • Notes:
  • Make it easier: Instead of having your legs straight you can bend your legs at the knee till you are more comfortable keeping it straight
  • Stretch Your Body Out
    While you might be tempted to forgo stretching, it is critical to ensure that you don’t feel sore the next day. Let’s be honest, no woman wants to walk with a waddle, ever! Stretching will help make sure that you don’t.The minimum amount of time in each stretch is 5 long, deep breaths. The Maximum? You choose.

Downward Facing Dog

  • Start on all fours with your shoulders above your wrists and your hips above your knees
  • Step your knees back a few inches to set up
  • Lift your hips to the sky and straighten your arms at the same time to come into Downward Facing Dog

themat_i (76 of 140)Standing Forward Fold

  • From Downward Facing Dog bend your knees deeply with your hips high
  • Step your feet one at a time to meet your hands and release deeply into a forward fold
  • Key:
  • Shake your head no and nod yes to fully release your neck

themat_i (77 of 140)

  • Key:
  • Bring your shoulders down and back so you aren’t wearing them as earrings and you are opening up your back.

EJ (Ejiro) is a writer/engineer/mom. She writes about healthy living to help busy professional women lose weight, keep it off—and actually feel amazing. She created a Registered Trademarked System (VAFs®) for healthy eating for weight loss and wrote the book Weight Loss for High Achievers to help busy women lose weight and let go of the idea that the only way to succeed is to diet for the rest of their lives. With EJ's methods, dieting isn't required and neither is spending hours in the gym for meager results. P.S. If you want to get the goal-crushing motivation to reach your weight loss goal, then you'll want to get the first chapter of EJ's book for FREE. Click here to get it now.

4 Comments

  1. Que

    November 22, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Love the entire sequence, wish it was all one video I could download or at least stream watch and follow without having to start and stop…

    • EJ Ogenyi

      December 3, 2014 at 9:58 am

      Que,

      Thank you for the feedback!!! I will definitely keep this in mind when developing content for the new year.
      Have a wonderful day,

      EJ

  2. Diana Ubah

    November 23, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Awesome!!! Go Ej Go! 😉

    • EJ Ogenyi

      December 3, 2014 at 9:58 am

      Thank you Diana!

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