The nights are drawing in and the days are getting colder and maybe the duvet is a little more inviting than it was, so it's time you reinvigorated your training by trying out my alternative 12 days workout.
The rules are simple: 1) You must use the numerical values from the 12 days and apply them to exercises, either through time or repetitions. 2) The whole body must be worked! 3) When you get to 12, you have to do it all again from 12 to 1.
I've included a sample workout and some pictures to help you jingle on your way, but you can of course make your own workout using the same formula, dependant on your ability and time constraints.
The workout I've included took our willing participant around 50 mins, making it a perfect winter session. Speak to your Personal Trainer about trying the 12 days Workout, and maybe you won't feel so guilty about that extra mince pie and mulled wine.
Here's the list in full:
1st Day = A partridge in a BURPEE
2nd Day = Two turtle dove PULL UPS
3rd Day = Three French DEADLIFTS
4th Day = Four calling ROLLOUTS
5th Day = Five gold PRESS UPS
6th Day = Six geese are KETTLEBELL ROWING
7th Day = Seven swans are KETTLEBELL SWINGING
8th Day = Eight maids are THRUSTING
9th Days = Nine ladies VIPR ICE SKATING
10th Day = Ten lords are SQUAT JUMPING
11th Day = Eleven pipers TRX JACKNIFING
12th Day = Twelve drummers MEDICINE BALL SLAMMING
And here's the exercises: -
• Begin in a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you.
• Kick your feet back to a pushup position.
• Immediately return your feet to the squat position.
• Leap up as high as possible from the squat position
Regression: To make this easier, step back into pushup position and stand up
2. Pull Ups
• Begin from a dead hang: arms fully extended, hands about shoulder width apart, elbows straight, chest up, shoulders back and tight.
• Pull yourself up toward the bar, leading with the chest and keeping your eyes focused on the bar.
• Drive your elbows toward the floor.
• Clear the bar with your chin.
• Lower yourself in a controlled fashion, then repeat the process.
Regression: Use an assistted pull up machine or a step to help you
• Stand behind the bar, so that it is over the balls of your feet.
• Keep feet shoulder width apart, pointing forwards.
• Squat down grasp the bar, hands slightly greater than shoulder width apart.
• Thighs should be approximately parallel to the ground, back straight, chest up and head and eyes looking forward.
• Torso is rigid with the upper and lower back set tight and the upper back flat, lift the bar using the legs, keeping the bar as close to the body as possible.
• Return bar to ground using a controlled technique.
Regression: Try using a ViPR instead of a bar; Progression: Add more weight to the bar.
• Position yourself in a plank position in front of a Swiss ball and place your forearms and fists on the ball
• Brace your core
• Slowly roll the ball forward, straightening your arms and extending your body as far as you can without allowing your lower back to collapse.
• Use your abdominal muscles to pull the ball back to your knees
Regression: Perform the exercise on your knees instead of in plank position; Progression: Use two swissballs and move one ball at a time forward and back
5. Press Ups
• Kneel on all fours with the hands a little wider than shoulder width
• Straighten your legs out behind you so that your weight is distributed between your hands and toes
• Bend the elbows outwards to lower the chest towards the floor
• Push back up to the starting position
Regression: Stay on your knees to make the press up easier; Progression: Lift one leg off the floor
6. Kettlebell Rows
• With 2 kettlebells aligned under your shoulders, position yourself in a plank holding onto the handles.
• Shoulders should be over your hands and the head should remain in line with the spine in a straight line.
• Make sure your bum is not in the air, or dipping your hips.
• Core engaged, row one kettlebell to the same hip under control, while the other side remains stable.
• During the row, try not to let the hips tilt from side to side.
• Use the pulling side only to move the kettlebell – not momentum from the body or hips.
• Lower the bell under control to its start point, transfer your body weight to balance on the other side and row again.
Regression: Position yourself on your knees; Progression: Use heavier weights
7. Kettlebell Swings
• Stand with knees just over hip width apart, with toes pointing slightly outward.
• Hold the kettlebell in front of the thighs with an overhand grip.
• Thrust forward to bump the kettlebell into motion, doing a half swing.
• Receiving the kettlebell back down, allow the knees to bend slightly but don’t be tempted to squat. You should feel a stretch in the hamstrings.
• Bend the body in the middle so you’re torso is bent forward with a straight back, always look forward.
• On the upward motion allow the energy from the hamstring stretch to recoil and accelerate the kettlebell up to about shoulder height.
• Follow this movement through by squeezing the glutes and locking the knees and hips, getting that snap.
• Allow the kettlebell to drop to thigh height with the arms, and just before it goes through the legs, bend the body forward and the butt back as before.
Regression/progression: Use lighter or heavy weight
8. Barbell Thrusters
• Feet hip width apart
• Hold barbell on your shoulders using the clean grip with your elbows high, the bar resting across your collarbone and your fingertips underneath.
• Squat by pushing your hips back and knees out while keeping your torso upright.
• Explode back up.
• As your legs begin to straighten, push the bar forcefully overhead so that your arms are fully extended and return to the starting position.
Regression/Progression: Use lighter or heavy weights
9. Vipr Ice Skaters
• Neutral grip of the ViPR
• Start with feet shoulder width apart, soft knees, tummy tight and chest up
• Push ViPR towards left foot using right hand at same time left hand pulls ViPR in to body
• Drive right leg behind left leg and dont let your foot touch the floor.
• All the time keeping your chest up and eyes focused in front of you
• Repeat the same for other side
10. Squat Jumping
• Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and toes pointing straight forwards
• Keep the back straight as you initiate movement at your hips
• Push your bum out behind you and bend your knees
• Do not let your knees move in front of your toes
• Drive up and jump as high as you can
• Upon landing, attempt to absorb the load of the jump by landing on the front half of your feet and then sinking back onto your heels as the hips descend into the next squat.
Regression: Perform squats without jumping
11. TRX Jacknife
• Starting Position: adjust TRX straps to knee level. Facing away from the TRX insert feet into handles.
• Once your feet are in the handles, assume the press up position keeping your abs engaged and eyes facing slightly forward and towards the floor.
• Bring your knees in towards your chest squeezing your stomach as you do.
• Lengthen your legs back out to the starting position.
Regression: Try starting on your elbows rather than your hands.
12. Medicine Ball Slams
• Stand with feet shoulder width apart and toes pointing striaght forward.
• Hold a medicine ball over your head and look straight ahead.
• Keep the back straight as you intiate movement from the hips.
• Push your bum out behind you and bend your knees
• Throw the ball down so that it touches the floor two feet from your feet.
• Let the ball bounce off the floor and catch it when it comes back up.
• Lift the ball to the same position where you started from.
Regression/progression: Use lighter or heavier medicine ball