bodyweight workout plan

9 Bodyweight Workouts to Stay Fit During the Holidays

Hitting the gym can be extra tricky during the hectic holiday season, especially if you plan to travel. Even if you’re staying put, you may find your schedule quickly filling with holiday parties, recitals, and family events. How to enjoy the holiday festivities without sacrificing your fitness? One option is to embrace bodyweight workouts.

Home bodyweight workouts are a huge time saver and can help you stay in serious shape. In fact, the right full bodyweight workout can torch calories and keep your muscles strong and lean… in 20 minutes or less. 

So, if you need to swap your gym appointment with your kid’s holiday piano recital, not to worry. This article gives you 9 amazing bodyweight workouts that you can use to create a no-excuse holiday bodyweight workout plan. You’re going to end this year feeling and looking better than ever!

What Is a Bodyweight Workout?

Exercise machines and free weights, like dumbbells and kettlebells, work wonders when you can visit the gym, but when you’re squeezed for time, bodyweight exercises can be effective all on their own. Instead of using machines and equipment to create resistance, the weight of your body will be your resistance.

With a helping hand from good ole gravity, bodyweight exercises – like pushups, sit-ups, and air squats – increase your muscular endurance by moving the weight of your body. Bodyweight exercises can also give you a great cardio workout.

What Are the Benefits of Bodyweight Workouts?

Can performing full-body bodyweight exercises really help keep you in shape when you’re stuck in your brother-in-law’s guest room for the holidays? The answer is yes. Here are a few reasons why learning home bodyweight workouts is an absolute must over the final part of the year.

They’re Convenient

You can do bodyweight workouts anywhere, including at home, on the road, or in a hotel room.

They’re Quick

By dialing up the intensity, you can complete a heart-pounding, sweat-pouring workout in 10 to 20 minutes.

They’re Free

No need to buy fancy equipment to keep in shape over the winter months. Home bodyweight workouts will only cost you sweat and effort.

You’ll Burn Lots of Calories

The right bodyweight workouts will tax your muscles and cardio system and help you burn a huge number of calories. Extra helping of mashed potatoes anyone?

You’ll Improve Your Muscular Endurance

Muscular endurance is the ability of your muscles to continue performing a movement. Bodyweight workouts often include lots of fast reps, which are perfect for building muscular endurance.

You’ll Improve Your Cardio Fitness

High-intensity bodyweight cardio workouts will force your heart to work hard, which will improve your VO2 max (or the efficiency with which your body uses oxygen) over time.

They’re Flexible

Only have 10 minutes to work out today? No problem. You can still put together a bodyweight workout that will have you feeling exhausted but great afterward. Want to work on your core to keep your tummy tight? There’s a bodyweight workout for that, too. Whatever you want, you can program the right workout for you.

You’ll Never Get Bored

With tons of bodyweight exercises available and endless combinations and modifications, you never have to do the same workout twice. Fresh workouts will keep you motivated and far away from any workout ruts.

How to Adapt Your Bodyweight Workout Plan

The 9 bodyweight workouts below are meant to inspire you as you begin planning your own bodyweight workout routine. Depending on your experience, fitness level, and comfort with the movements, you may need to decrease or increase the difficulty of the workouts. To do this, you can change the:

  • Intensity: Go slower to ramp down the challenge or faster to ramp up the challenge
  • Time: Increase the time domain to make the workout more difficult. Cut time off the workout to make it easier.
  • Rounds and Reps: Do fewer rounds or fewer reps per round to make the workout less challenging. Add an extra round or a few more reps to increase the challenge.
  • Exercises: Almost every exercise includes a modification that can make it less difficult or more difficult. For example, if a pushup is too difficult, perform knee pushups. If a pushup is too easy, try a diamond pushup or use yoga blocks to perform deficit pushups.

The key is to adapt the workouts to fit your unique needs. Over time, as your fitness increases, dial up the challenge so you can continue to see progress.

9 Beginner Bodyweight Workouts

Feeling fired up and motivated? These are 9 great workouts to add to your bodyweight workout routine. Feel free to modify any workout to make it your own!

1. Arm Yourself

This upper-body workout is harder than it seems, especially when you hit the final round. These movements will work your shoulders, chest, traps, lats, and triceps.

Format: Perform 3 complete rounds of:

  • 5 inchworms
  • 30 seconds of arm circles
  •  5 inchworms
  • 30 seconds of lat squeezes (standing up straight, hold your arms in front of you, then pull them back, tucking your elbows into your body and squeeze your lats)
  • 5 inchworms
  • 30 seconds of arm reaches (standing up straight, start with your hands at your shoulders, palms up. Press your arms overhead until they are fully extended)
  • Rest 1 minute
2. Legs for Days

Hit the lower body with this challenging workout that will mold your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. It only contains three separate exercises, but the movements add up in this unique format.

Format: Perform 10 reps of each movement, then 9 reps, then 8 reps, 7 reps, 6 reps… all the way down to 1 rep. Move smoothly and quickly. No breaks between movements.

  • Air squats
  • Side lungs (right + left lunge = 1 rep)
  • Donkey kicks (perform reps on each leg. Ex: 10 donkey kicks on right leg + 10 donkey kicks on left leg)
3. Ab Blaster

Looking to keep your tummy tight during the holiday season? This core workout will tone your abs so you can earn that extra glass of eggnog.

Format: Perform 3 complete rounds 

  •  30-second plank
  • 30 seconds of scissor kicks
  • 30 seconds of Russian twists
  • 30 seconds of bicycle crunches
  • 30-second plank
  • Rest 1 minute
4. Booty Burner

Keep your backside tight with this burns-so-good glute workout. The workout uses the HIIT (high-intensity interval training) format to up the intensity and give you great results in this short and sweet workout.

Format: Perform 3 rounds of 40 seconds “on” and 20 seconds “off.” During the “on” portions, perform the movement at 80 to 90% of your max heart rate.

  • Glute bridges
  • Jumping squats
  • Alternating fire hydrant leg lifts
5. Run, Run as Fast as You Can…

This bodyweight cardio workout is as tough as they come but also an excellent way to push your cardio threshold. You might be surprised by just how quickly this workout goes from easy to exhausting.

Format: Complete the work every 90 seconds until failure.

  • 200-meter sprint (rest for any remaining time)
  • The workout ends when you can’t complete the sprint in 90 seconds
6. You’re a HIIT

Want to get the most bang for your workout buck? If you don’t have much time but still want an incredible workout, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are the way to go. When it’s time to go, give this bodyweight cardio workout your all until you get that sweet but fleeting rest.

Format: Perform 3 rounds of 40 seconds “on” and 20 seconds “off.” During the “on” portions, perform the movement at 80 to 90% of your max heart rate.

  • Side shuffle
  • High knees
  • Air squats
  • Bear crawl
7. Foundation Building

Get back to the basics with this full bodyweight workout that will challenge your cardio capacity and muscular endurance. If the pushups get challenging, try knee pushups or wall pushups.

Format: Complete 10 rounds with no rest between sets. Keep a moderate pace.

  • 5 pushups
  • 10 sit-ups
  • 20 air squats
8. EMOM Bomb

EMOM stands for “every minute on the minute” and is a great way to build your lactic threshold. The key is to try and maintain the same pace from start to finish even as your muscles tire.

Format: Complete the following movements every minute for 10 minutes. Rest in any remaining time.

  • 10 mountain climbers (1 rep = right + left leg)
  • 10 glute bridges
  • 5 wall pushups
9. Interval Insanity

Looking for one more full bodyweight workout? You’ve found it. This workout will make you push yourself with a combination of strength and cardio exercises.

Format: Complete 3 rounds. Try not to rest between movements.

  • 30 seconds of flutter kicks
  • 30 seconds of supermen
  • 30 seconds of calf raises against a wall
  • 30 seconds of back lunges
  • 30 seconds of high knees
  • 30 seconds of bear crawl
  • Rest 2 minutes

Create Your Bodyweight Workout Plan for the Holidays

These 9 bodyweight workouts are a great way to begin building your bodyweight workout routine. As you become more comfortable with different full-body bodyweight exercises and different workout formats, you’ll be able to program your own workouts to keep your momentum going during the holidays. (Or you can try these 10 at-home bodyweight workouts, these 4 bodyweight workouts, these at-home glute workouts, or these 7 at-home workouts.)  

With these bodyweight workouts in your back pocket, you’ll be able to stay fit anywhere no matter how crazy your holiday schedule gets. And, when it’s time to head back to the gym, consider trying a Complimentary 7-Day Pass from an EōS Fitness near you.

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