Don’t blame it on the turkey. The turkey didn’t tell you to sit around all day.

The problem with the idea of the post-holiday workout is that it assumes you’re some well-cut, buffed prime specimen of the human species who somehow ran afoul of a gazillion-calorie Thanksgiving feast and then stayed off the wagon through Christmas and New Year’s Day.

We make no such assumption. Instead, we’re going to assume that you were so-so in the workout market and then simply threw in the towel the day after Thanksgiving. Now, you’re looking at a month of pecan pie, ice cream, generous portions of turkey, chicken and whatnot, larded down with stuffing and finally fire-hosed with eggnog and alcohol.

Face it, you’re not kidding anyone.

In that spirit, we offer the following holiday workouts, culled from some of the best physical fitness sites on the planet, in the hopes that they may jump-start your routine not only this holiday season, but well after January 1, 2017.

  1. 15 Minutes with a Medicine Ball

Courtesy of the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), this routine works the calves, glutes, inner and outer thigh, abs, back, and shoulders.


  • Squats
  • Feet-on-Ball Push-up with Abdominal Roll-up
  • Ball Dumbbell Row
  • Walking Lunge with Medicine Ball Rotation
  1. 30 Minutes with Some Dumbbells

Another NASM workout, this routine is billed as a “calories crusher.”


  • A “cardio burst” brisk walk or light jog, with steps used for step ups.
  • Stretching
  • Lunge to Curl and Overhead Press with dumbbells
  • Squats and rows with a step for step-ups
  • Stability Ball Dumbbell Chest Press
  • Single-leg Balance with Triceps Extension
  1. 30 Minutes with a Chair

The routine combines three lower body workouts (squats or lunges) and three upper body exercises (modified push-ups or chair dips).


  • Jogging in place
  • 10 to 20 repetitions of a lower body exercise
  • 10 to 15 repetitions of an upper body exercise
  • Jumping jacks
  1. The ‘Express Session’

Designed as a workout for business travel, its selling point is basically remembering the routines you’re shelling out the big bucks for in yoga class and simply doing them on the road.


  • Quick walk or jog
  • Superset of 25 push-ups, 25 crunches
  • 25 tricep dips and 25 prisoner squats
  • Three yoga poses to stretch. Suggestions: downward dog, triangle pose and classic forward bend.
  1. The 30-30 Cycling Workout

This is high-intensity interval training designed to improve aerobic capacity as effectively as continuous endurance training at moderate intensity — but in far less time.


  • 10-minute warm up
  • 30 seconds fastest sustainable effort, 30 seconds rest x 10
  • 10-minute warm down
  1. And Oh, Yeah, the Full-Body Workout

Designed to hit every major muscle group in your body, this routine will help make you into a better, “bomb-proof athlete.” We’re not quite sure what type of bomb they’re referring to, though.


  • 10 pull aparts
  • 10 push-ups
  • 30-60 second plank
  • Repeat the above exercises 3x through
  • Easy 60 second jog, rest 30 seconds
  • 30 seconds high-knees run in place
  • 10 monster walks (each direction)
  • 10 Y squats
  • 30 seconds high-knees run in place
  • Repeat the above four exercises 3x through
  • Easy 60 second jog, rest 30 seconds
Woman in white exercising with a chair on the floor of her home. She is performing push-ups.

7. Five Minutes of Full Endurance

The idea is a workout taking less time than it takes to watch an episode of South Park.


  • Front squat to push press
  • Kettlebell swing
  1. The Density Workout

Think of this as an overseas workout – in case you’re traveling abroad for the holidays and don’t want to deal with the language barriers involved in locating a good gym.


  • Bodyweight Squats x 25
  • Push Ups x 20
  • Single Leg Hip Thrusts x 15 (per leg)
  • Pike Pushups x 10
  1. The 25-Minute Daily Holiday Blitz

We saved this one until last because it’s probably the most exhausting. It’s your call.


  • Bear Crawl
  • Turkish Getup
  • Dumbbell Squat to Stand
  • Alternating Split Squat Jumps
  • Deadlift
  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Neutral-Grip Pullup
  • Dumbbell Farmer’s Walk
  • Waiter’s Walk