better-health-through-nutrition1*The holiday season has finally arrived. That means many of you will be traveling mercilessly and stuffing your face with big mamma’s sweet potato pie.

Also, the new year is rapidly approaching. Hundreds of thousands of resolutions will be made once December ends, especially those related to fitness. Finding a temporary gym while vacationing out of town, and keeping busy with family, can be a hassle. But fear not couch potatoes, the following is a list of five quick, highly effective workout techniques that can be done in the comfort of your own living-room, or local park.

Happy Holidays (and training)!

1. Burpee (strength training and aerobic conditioning)

Black Burpee

Burpee (4 steps)

From a standing position, squat down so that your knees are bent and your palms are on the floor in front of you. Without moving your hands, kick your legs back into a pushup position; keep your arms straight and use your abdominal muscles to prevent your torso from sagging. From there, do one pushup, bending your elbows so that your body is parallel to the ground. As soon as you complete the pushup, jump back into the squat position and leap as high as you can into the air. Once your feet touch the ground again, you’ve finished your first burpee. Complete 8-10. Rest one minute then repeat two-three times

Variations: Instead of leaping after the squat try running in place for a count of eight steps, doing 10-12 jumping jacks, or beginners can march in place quickly for several seconds.


2. Mountain Climbers (agility, cardiovascular and core strength)


Mountain Climbers

Begin in a pushup position on the hands and toes. Bring the right knee in toward the chest, resting the left foot on the floor. Once the knee is raised, jump up and switch feet in the air, bringing the left foot in and the right foot back. Continue alternating the feet as fast as you safely can for 30-60 seconds. Perform three rounds of these. Rest 1 minute between each.


3. Towel Row (trains middle back, shoulders, biceps, and lats)

towel row

Towel Row

Wrap a towel, or something of the like, around a solid, stable structure and grab each end of the towel in one hand. Place your feet at its base and lean back so that your arms are straight. This is the starting position. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels as you pull yourself forward with your arms. Pause once your hands have come to your chest and your shoulders have fully contracted, then slowly lower yourself back down. Complete 10-15 repetitions. Rest one minute then repeat two-three times


4. Squat Jumps (trains legs and core)

cory jumping

Star Jump

Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing straight forward. Hold your arms loosely at your sides. Squat down by bending your knees and leaning your hips back as if to sit down in a chair behind you. Throw your arms up in the air and jump as high as you can. Land softly in the same spot you jumped from. Bend your knees as you land to prevent (damage) inflammation of your knee joints. Drop your arms as you land. Hold in the landed position with knees slightly bent for two seconds. This gives your ankles and core (abdominal muscles and lower back) time to stabilize. Jump nine more times. Rest for 60 seconds and do another round of nine. Those who suffer from joint pain, should perform this exercise with caution.


5. Chair Triceps Dip (also trains shoulders and chest)


Chair Triceps Dip

Using a chair allows you to get higher off the ground and further challenges the triceps to hold your body up during the dip. Begin with your hands gripping the edge of the chair’s seat with your fingers facing forward, your back facing the chair and your legs extended out in front of you. You can keep your knees bent, but the farther out your legs extend, the more difficult the tricep dip becomes. Keeping your elbows close to your rib cage, slowly lower your torso down, engaging your triceps. Raise your torso back to starting position, keeping your abs tight for stability and balance. Complete 8-12 repetitions. Rest one minute then repeat two-three times

Based in Southern California,  Cory A. Haywood is also a certified personal fitness trainer. Contact him via:[email protected] and/or visit his websites:

cory posing

Cory A. Haywood