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‘Twas the weeks before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, because it’s cold outside and the gym seems very far away…

That’s right, once again we find ourselves in the anti-gym weeks, the weeks where you could really do with a little extra push to go to the gym, but it never comes because the bed is so comfortable in the morning, so warm, so cosy.

christmas elf asleep drink exercise

Don’t succumb to this – sort it out!

Well, how about if instead of going to the gym you just train at home? If you can’t bring you to the gym, then bring the gym to you, that’s the classic saying right? Training at home should always be considered this time of the year for a few reasons; the world is colder, you’re more likely to have gone out the night before, you might be visiting family and not have a gym nearby.

So, to rectify this you can do a pretty incredible workout at home if you know how. For this kind of workout there are a few really important factors; it shouldn’t require a lot of room, it shouldn’t require any equipment, and it shouldn’t take a long time to get through. As long as it ticks all of these boxes, and is challenging of course, then it’s a good way of working out at home.

Allow me to introduce you to: Tabata training.

push up exercise

Beat the Santa belly with this 20 minute workout

Tabata training is a form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that lasts four minutes. These four minutes have you going as hard as you can for twenty seconds, then having a ten second breather until they are over. So, you’ll do eight rounds in each four-minute section. You can repeat the process a few times before you’ll be completely exhausted, so we will be doing five bouts of four minutes.

Next, we need to choose five different exercises to really test your body, and also to work as much of it as possible. While we could just stick to cardio, the timings of the exercises themselves will get your heart racing, so we can focus on more interesting exercises instead. Which exercises to go for though, that’s the question?

While there is plenty of room for your own preferences here, I’ve chosen the five exercises that I think will hit you hardest and give you the best overall workout. First of all, you want to have a warm-up round, something full-body, but not to brutal. Jumping Jacks are a nice way to kick this off, they offer a real chance to jump around, get the heart racing, and if you find them too easy, you can just speed them up.

Next let’s hit the legs, so Bodyweight Squats, make sure you go nice and low, and don’t stop moving during those twenty second bursts. For the upper body we have the ever-reliable push-ups, if you can’t do full ones then drop your knees down.

The last two exercises should completely finish you off. Both have to be energetic full-body movements that will guarantee you feel this workout everywhere. So, the fourth exercise is Tuck Jumps, you jump as high as you can and bring your knees to your chest, remember to bend your knees as you land. Finally, we have the single worst exercise in human history, the Burpee. Make sure you fully extend your body when you are kicking your legs back, and fully stretch your arms up when jumping.

With all of that put together, your workout will look like this:

  • Jumping Jacks (20 seconds as many as you can, 10 seconds rest) 8 times
  • Bodyweight Squats (20 seconds as many as you can, 10 seconds rest) 8 times
  • Push-ups (20 seconds as many as you can, 10 seconds rest) 8 times
  • Tuck Jumps (20 seconds as many as you can, 10 seconds rest) 8 times
  • Burpees (20 seconds as many as you can, 10 seconds rest) 8 times

There we have it, a simple twenty-minute workout that you can do while in the comfort of your own home, or while visiting family, or even in the office if you want to. This’ll help you keep on top of your fitness when you just can’t get to the gym. You can always switch up the exercises themselves but follow this template and you’ll get some good results and keep on top of your own goals.

Jason Coles – Personal Trainer and Freelance Games Writer. Follow him on Twitter @EnotheStrife


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