Well, it’s that day again. A day for spending time with those you care about, and for giving thanks for whatever you are grateful for in your life. It’s also a day which may just be the highest caloric intake day of the year. I don’t blame you – it’s like the food is just staring at you, asking to be eaten, with all of it’s aromatic powers! But, when it’s all said and done, you have to find a way to wake your body back up after the turkey and fixings-induced shock placed on your digestive and metabolic system. So here’s a full-body post-thanksgiving workout idea to combat the food hangover many feel the following day. To have some fun with this, the workout is going to be based on my Thanksgiving Day menu. I plan on doing this exact workout, using the following “weights”: (2) 20lb dumbbells, my 40lb daughter, and my 50lb son. Talk about dynamic variable resistance training – they can get squirmy!
**Note: The order of the exercises does not match the order in which I ate this food. However, who says you can’t have dessert first every once in a while??
- Apple Pie Activation and Dynamic Warm Up: A proper warm up is always key! If you need some guidance, check out my blog on “4 key components of a successful dynamic warm” up”. Should take about 10 minutes.
- Baked Asparagus Agilities: Only rule: Spend 5-7 minutes doing some sort of “agility” or “plyometric” workout. Some ideas: jumping rope 30″on/30″ off, agility ladder drills, dancing (throw on some good beats!). Me? I’m going to play tag with my kids. You can’t catch me!
- Sweet Potato Casserole Side Plank Series: On your forearm and foot if you can, or start on your forearm and knee. Set 1: 60″ hold each side. Set 2: Side Plank while marching your upper leg slowly 15 times, each side. Set 3: Side plank with rotation (15 each side): reach underneath between your body and the floor with your upper arm, take a scoop of that casserole on the floor behind you, then rotate back up and feed it to someone standing behind you. Well, visualize doing that – don’t really have to share your casserole.
- Gobble Gobble Goblet Squats: Hold your weight at your chest “goblet” style. 3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (I’ll start with the dumbbells, then I’ll hold my daughter, then it’s my son’s turn!)
- Pumpkin Pie Push Ups: Not just your standard push-ups, these have to fight all of those calories in that delicious pumpkin pie (with whippped topping)! Go scorpion-style. For these, as you perform your descent, use one leg like your “stinger”, reaching up and across as far as you can. Your foot returns to the ground as you complete your ascent. Next rep switch legs. Next rep reach under and across as far as you can. Next rep switch legs. 3 sets of 12 push ups.
- Lasagna Lunge Circuit: Holding your weight your shoulders (I’ll be draping a kid over my shoulders), perform a stationary lunge star in the following sequence. Lunge forward R (then push back), lunge lateral R, lunge reverse standing on your R, lunge reverse standing on your L, lunge lateral L, lunge forward L. 3 times around = 1 set. 3 sets. Remember, aim for 90/90 hip and knee flexion!
- Mashed Potatoes Plank Series: Plank (on your forearms). Set 1) 60″ hold. Set 2) Alternating hip abduction (leg out to the side slowly) x 15 each side. Set 3) High Plank (Push up position start) slow alternating mountain climbers (25 each side)
- Herb-flavored Stuffing Single-Leg RDLs: Standing on one leg (shoe stays flat), holding your weight(s) hanging in front of you, hinge at your hip as far as you can as if you were “flying parallel to the floor”, then return to tall posture. 30 total reps each leg.
- Beverage curls: Some variation of biceps curl. Focus on good posture, no collapse of your trunk. 30 total reps. Stay hydrated. Responsibly.
- Steamed Parmesan Broccoli Bridges: Lying on your back, holding your weight up directly over your chest (if using your child like I am, play “airplane”). Lift your hips away from the floor, pushing through the back of your shoe. While in the up position, lower your weight towards the floor over your head, return arms to start position, lower hips. 30 total reps.
- Cream Cheese Corn Crawling: 3 sets of 1 minute of crawling, with the focus on slow movement. All different directions. Visualize that you have that bowl of corn with cream cheese melted all up in it sitting on your back – don’t spill it! My kids will love this one – guarantee there will be 1 or 2 on my back at various times, making it even tougher for me. They see quadruped position and take it as an open invitation to climb.
- Chicory Salad Stretches: Cool down with about 3-5 minutes of the static stretches of your choice.
- Ice Cream. Just eat some. A small scoop of ice cream along with some leftovers for your post-workout recovery meal. Acceptable substitutes include yogurt, pudding, or a simple smoothie. Hey, you have to have a “step down” eating approach – going straight to all salads might cause your body (and your stomach) to fight back. 🙂
Have a great start to your holiday season!
Ryan Stevens, MPS, ATC, CSCS