Curated By Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.
The key to staying healthy and fit in December has always been simple: efficiency. From shopping lines to travel plans with family to general fatigue from a long year, no month seems designed to test your fitness resolve (and saps your free time) more than this one. And often, that leaves precious little gym time.
Don’t fight this. Instead, adapt by building shorter workouts, much like this 20-minute session that challenges every muscle in your body (and lets you break a good sweat, too). You’ll focus on exercises built to catch your body off-guard and moves that activate multiple muscle groups.
Doing this will keep calorie burn high, supercharge your coordination (weekend warrior hoopsters, you’re welcome), and prime your body to go hard in January. Try it out four days a week this month.
DIRECTIONS: Set a timer for 20 minutes. Do the movements in order, resting minimally between sets. After you go through the circuit, rest 30 seconds, then repeat until time is up.
Romanian Deadlift to Row
Start standing, then push your butt back and lower your torso until it’s at a 45-degree angle with the ground.
Tighten your abs, then row both dumbbells to your rib cage. Lower them and stand, squeezing your glutes. With this single move, you’ve activated nearly every major muscle group in your back. Do 10 to 12 reps.
Bear Plank Row
Set up in a bear plank, hands on dumbbells directly below your shoulders, knees below your hips, glutes tight, back flat. Row each dumbbell to your rib cage.
You’re blasting critical back muscle, challenging your abs, and pushing your heart rate more than you may think. Do 8 to 10 reps.
Hollow Body Alternating Press
This one smokes your abs and chest. Lie on your back, lower back pressed into the ground, legs and shoulder blades off the ground, dumbbells held above your shoulders.
Without letting your shoulder blades touch the ground, lower each dumbbell to your chest, then press it back up. Do 8 to 10 reps per side.
Reverse Lunge to Alternating Press
Stand holding dumbbells at your chest, then take a reverse lunge step back. Don’t let your back knee touch the ground.
Hold this position as you do an overhead press rep on each side. Stand back up. Do 8 to 10 reps per side.
Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.
Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience. He’s logged training time with NFL athletes and track athletes.
His current training regimen includes weight training, HIIT conditioning, and yoga.
Ebenezer has had multiple prestigious positions including serving as a sports and tech columnist for the New York Daily News.