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Your 12 Days of Fitness Christmas Countdown Workout Is Here!

Jingle all the way to the gym to get a solid tone before the holiday weekend.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

The countdown to Christmas has officially begun, and you're celebrating it by jingling all the way to the gym to get a solid tone before the holiday weekend. The days leading up to Christmas, along with Christmas morning, make a solid chunk of time to kickstart your fitness goals for the new year. Your 12 days of fitness Christmas countdown workout is here to sleigh and bump up the calorie burn, so let's get started.

It's smart to start building the habit of strength training regularly going into the new year so that it's easier to maintain. It'll become a key part of your lifestyle, and if you have the resolution to achieve a certain fitness goal, then you may have a higher chance of succeeding. In addition, exercising over the next 12 days will help you stay active and burn extra calories so you can offset the little extra holiday indulgences you treat yourself to.

When it comes to exercise selection, compound movements are the name of the game, as they activate more muscle groups and torch a greater amount of calories. After wrapping up your compound lifts, you can perform single-joint movements to make the best of your Christmas countdown workout.

Now, let's get into the seven best exercises you can do over the next 12 days, which will bring you into Christmas morning before the holiday feasting begins.

Dumbbell Goblet Squats

woman at gym demonstrating goblet squat exercises to shrink pot belly fat

This Christmas countdown workout starts with the dumbbell goblet squat. Begin holding one dumbbell vertically in front of your heart's center. Keep your core muscles tight, hinge your hips back, and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Rise up ¼ of the way, then lower back down, and drive through your heels and hips to stand back up, flexing your quads and glutes to finish the motion. Complete three sets of 12 reps.

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Dumbbell Bent-Over Rows

fitness woman performing dumbbell bent-over rows part of Christmas countdown workout

For this exercise, keep your feet shoulder-width distance apart, push your hips back, and bend your torso so that your body forms a 45-degree angle. Tighten your core, and row both dumbbells toward your hips, squeezing your lats at the end of the motion. Straighten your arms fully before performing another rep. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

incline dumbbell bench press

Position yourself on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand for the dumbbell bench press. Hold the weights straight up above you with your arms fully extended. Pull your shoulder blades back and down into the bench as you lower the weights down to your chest. Once you feel a solid chest stretch at the bottom, press the weights back up to the starting position, squeezing your upper pecs and triceps at the top. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

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Lat Pulldowns

fit woman doing lat pulldowns for Christmas countdown workout

Start your lat pulldowns by gripping the lat pulldown bar with your hands just outside shoulder-width and your palms facing away from your body. Lean back a little, and pull the bar down toward your sternum with your elbows, squeezing your lats at the bottom of the motion. Resist on the way back up, maintaining tension in your lats. Let your shoulder blades come up at the top of the motion so that you feel a solid stretch. Complete three sets of 10 reps.

Dumbbell Pushups

woman doing dumbbell pushups

For this next exercise, place a pair of dumbbells in front of you, and assume a pushup. Keeping your core tight, hips high, and chest tall, use control to lower your body, coming down until your chest is an inch or two above the floor. Get a solid stretch at the bottom of the movement, then push yourself back up, flexing your pecs and triceps to finish. Complete three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

Dumbbell Walking Lunges

woman doing dumbbell walking lunges

Have a dumbbell in each hand for this exercise. Step forward with one leg, and firmly plant your foot on the ground. Then, lower yourself using control until your back knee gently touches the floor. Walk forward with the other leg, and repeat. Complete three sets of 12 reps for each leg.

Dumbbell Hammer Curls

dumbbell hammer curls exercise

Last but not least, let's finish up with dumbbell hammer curls. Grab a set of dumbbells with a neutral grip, making sure both hands are facing each other. Keep your shoulders pulled back, and curl the weights up, flexing your biceps and forearms the whole time. Squeeze hard at the top, then resist on the way back down. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S., CSCS
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim
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