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Your 15-Minute Thanksgiving Day Fat-Burning Workout

Avoid the extra fat gain, and enjoy yourself during the holiday.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Turkey, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, candied yams, and five kinds of pie—there's nothing better than Thanksgiving Day! But if you're too worried about gaining weight during the feast, your best solution is to do a quick little workout before you indulge. That's why we've curated a Thanksgiving day fat-burning workout that you'll only need to carve out 15 minutes for.

After a workout, your muscles need nutrients to repair themselves, you need glycogen to refuel your energy, and your body is burning more calories than before. If you do an intense workout before your meal, you'll use those calories to recover and repair rather than turn to fat.

Thankfully, you don't need to spend two hours in the gym—all you need is just 15 minutes to get an incredible workout! Start with three simple exercises, set 15 minutes on a timer, and repeat the circuit as many times as you can with as little rest as possible. Once the timer rings, you're done!

To make things more challenging, you can increase the time of this fat-burning workout, increase the weight you use, or count how many sets you complete in 15 minutes and then beat that number during the next 15-minute workout. Here's the circuit:

Reverse Lunge

reverse lunges exercise

This is an amazing move that targets so many muscles in your lower body as well as your core. It's easy to do and reduces the stress on your lower back and knees compared to traditional barbell squats. This is because your torso stays upright and you have a smaller knee bend.

To do a reverse lunge, take a long step back so that your knees make two 90-degree angles at the bottom. Then, pull yourself back up with your forward leg. Repeat on the same leg and do all six reps. Then, switch legs. Complete six reps on each side.

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woman performs pushups at home for fat-burning workout

For an upper body exercise, nothing beats a classic pushup. It strengthens your chest, shoulders, arms, and core all at the same time, which helps you get maximum results with minimal work.

Get in a pushup position with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Keep your lower back flat and don't let your hips sag. As you lower yourself, keep your shoulder blades squeezed together, and keep your elbows close to your body. To make it harder, elevate your feet; to make it easier, elevate your hands on a bench or Smith machine. Complete six reps.

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Inverted Row

inverted row

One of the most common training mistakes is to only focus on the muscles you can see in the mirror. But if you want to burn a lot of fat and build lean muscle, you should prioritize the muscles at the back of your body—and the inverted row does just that.

Whether your gym's in your apartment building or you have a convenient home gym, set a barbell on a power rack or Smith machine. From underneath, pull yourself up, and touch your chest to the bar. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and keep your body straight like a plank. To make this exercise easier, elevate your hands by raising the barbell; to make this exercise harder, lower your hands by lowering the barbell or by elevating your feet on a box or a bench. Complete six reps.

Anthony J. Yeung
Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, is a fitness expert featured in Esquire, GQ, and Men’s Health and the founder of GroomBuilder, the destination for men who want to transform their bodies for their weddings. Join the free 5-day course to burn fat and build muscle for the big day! Read more about Anthony