Blog – REDCON1
3 Workouts for When the Gym Closes on Thanksgiving

One of life’s biggest irritations is when the gym closes on holidays.  On Thanksgiving Day, we’re all at home with extended family and fattening food everywhere.  When you really need inside a gym the most, how dare they close?  Bring the gym to you with these fun and quick workouts to keep your sanity around your parents and the in-laws.  These are a few of my favorites that can be done in a park, in a yard or in front of your house.  But first, make sure you’re prepared.  There are a few pieces of equipment you might want to use:

  • Light weight dumbbells (no more than 20 lbs., I use 15’s)
  • Ankle bands (the tougher resistance the better!)
  • Resistance bands with handles (moderate resistance)
  • Med ball (I prefer 10lbs)
  • Kettlebell (I’m old with injuries, so I limit the weight to 30lbs. I want a pump, not another injury)
  • Yoga mat or thicker foam mat or towel to lay/sit on pavement
  • Cones or something to use as a landmark

These workouts should take twenty to thirty minutes – long enough to gain peace of mind and short enough that its socially acceptable to step out. Take time for yourself and burn off the added calories with this great holiday stress relief!!

Nobody Wants Turkey Legs

You’ll need: mat, kettlebell, ankle band, dumbbell

Warm up (three rounds):

Walk the floor to push up x15
Walking lunges x16/leg
Air squats x25

Set 1 (three rounds):

Ankle band lateral step x15 right leg leading
Dumbbell side walk glute bridges x25
Ankle band lateral squat step x15 left leg leading
Kettlebell anterior reach x15/leg
800 meter run

Set 2 (three rounds):

Med ball slam x10
Dumbbell squat to press x15 
Med ball Russian twist x10/side
Jumping split squats x10/leg
800 meter run

I absolutely love leg day and find any excuse possible to add more leg exercises into my weekly split.  A perk of this workout is the ability to do it with just your body weight, the bands and weights are to make this work out more difficult for me.  I prepare for this workout by making two small stations with the mat, kettlebell and dumbbell for the first set.  Place the dumbbell next to the mat and position the mat perpendicular to and on top of the side walk curb.  This is to rest your elbows on while doing glute bridges.  Pace out the steps you will take on the lateral squat step and drop off the kettlebell. Next, I measure off 50 meters with cones because I find it easier to run the distances in laps.  When starting the warm up and doing ‘walk the floor to pushup’, make sure to bend at the hips and slightly at the knees when you place your hands on the floor in front of your feet.  Slowly walk your hands along the ground, away from your body, until they are at a comfortable distance to perform a pushup.  After the pushup, walk your hands back towards your feet and stand strait up – that’s one rep. Once toasty warm, attack the sets!   

A Few Tips:

  • The dumbbell on sidewalk glute bridges should rest on your hips and you can pull the ankle band up around your knees to make it more challenging
  • Do NOT rush through lateral squat step, be sure to keep a moderate pace & stay in a low squat stance
  • NO rushing the anterior reach either!
  • You get what you put in with a med ball slam, give it all you’ve got!
  • Get some air on the jumping split squats – find that fast twitch!

Run Like a Turkey with Your Head Cut Off

You’ll Need: cones, kettlebell

Warm up (four rounds):

Walking lunges with a stretch forward x10/leg 
High knee walk x10/leg 
Heel to butt kick jog x10/leg  
Lateral shuffle in a squat position x10/leg
Pushups x10  
800 meter run

Main Event (three rounds):

200 meter sprint – 15 burpees
200 meter sprint – 15 jump squats
200 meter sprint – 15 mountain climbers 
200 meter sprint – 15 kettlebell swings (or in & outs x25)
200 meter sprint – 15 frog hops
Walk to catch your breath & stretch while cooling down

This workout is one of my favorites because its quick, requires very little or no equipment and there’s a lot of running to burn off the massive number of cookies I’ll eat.  Before starting I set cones to mark the start and end of 50 meters to run the required distances in laps. 

A Few Tips:

  • It’s important to take your time going through the warmup and not rush, this is the time to stretch and get ready for all the running. 
  • Do. All. The. Burpees. No excuses – get it done!
  • A mountain climber counts both left and right leg forward as one rep
  • Really put effort into getting a good amount of distance on each frog hop
  • If you do not have a kettlebell, an in & out is a great substitute exercise. 
    • Start standing with your toes and heels touching, then jump strait up into the air and land in a sumo squat.  From the sumo squat, jump again and land with your feet where you started – that’s one rep.
    • Do them banded to really feel the burn!

Pump Away the Food Coma

What you’ll need: med ball, resistance band with handles, kettlebell

Set 1 (three rounds):

Doorstep triceps dips x25
Med ball crunches x25
Bicep resistance band curls x25  
200 meter run

Set 2 (three rounds):

Ankle band squat to kick back x10
Doorstep leg lifts x15 
Kettlebell swings x15
200 meter run

Set 3 (three rounds):

Dumbbell plank row x10/arm 
Med ball woodchoppers x10/direction 
Doorstep incline pushups x10 
200 meter run

This workout includes exercises for the entire body and I walk away with an overall feel good body pump.  I don’t usually include a dynamic warmup, because it’s a lengthier workout for me.  A few body weight reverse lunges, air squats, pushups, toe touches & lateral lunges are sufficient to get the blood moving.  I do this entire workout in front of my house, which makes my life a lot easier on Thanksgiving morning – I can run in the house for a minute to check on food cooking and continue with my workout!

A Few Tips:

  • For doorstep dips and lifts, I sit on the edge of the stairs facing away from the house & place my hands next to my butt on the edge of the step to help balance or hold on to
  • I tend lose balance when doing kickbacks with an ankle band, stand next to something you can rest your finger tips on!
    • One rep consists of a banded air squat and immediately after, from the standing position, right leg donkey kick. Another squat, then left leg donkey kick – amazing glute burn!
  • Plank rows can be challenging when trying to engage your core and keep your back level to complete the row – take your time and remember to keep breathing when you get tired
  • Woodchoppers are an excellent core exercise, push yourself and do more than 10 reps!!
  • For added difficulty, run 400 meters after the bodyweight warmup and after the last set – just in case there was some over eating happening!

No gym really is no problem with a plan and few pieces of equipment.  Enjoy your family, enjoy these workouts and have a happy Thanksgiving!!