The Christmas Workout to Prepare You For the Holidays

Girl if you’ve ever had to buy presents for the whole family, cook Christmas dinner and survive the grocery store, you’ll know how exhausting the festive season can be.

If only there were some kind of workout you could do that would physically prepare you for the trials and tribulations of the Yuletide season.

Well put down your mulled wine girl, because we’re about to turn you into a Christmas athlete.

We’ve created the ultimate workout to prepare your body for the demands of this year. Drill these exercises a few times before the big day and your body will be primed and ready for everything the holiday season has to throw at you.


Farmers carry

woman performing a farmers carry

Remember last year? When you were carrying about 12 bags of presents from the store, back to your car? Your shoulders were killing you, your arms were dead, and your fingers were slowly being crushed by the weight of the bags.

Well this year your fingers are safe. Train farmers carry’s and you’ll race through trips to and from the car like a pro. Aim for 20 meters, then build up the weight or the distance for a super-efficient workout.

How to farmers carry:

  1. Pick two heavy kettlebells of equal weight and place them on either side of you
  2. With a strong, flat back, bend slightly at the hips and break at the knees until you can grip the handles
  3. Pushing through your legs, safely lift both weights
  4. Walk for 20 meters
  5. Reverse the standing motion or carefully place the kettlebells back down on the floor

Dead hang

When it comes to Christmas shopping, whether it’s the food or the presents, there’s one thing that can always let you down. That even the great athletes and shoppers forget about, and that’s your grip strength.

To boost your grip and numb the pain of a plastic shopping bag full of sprouts cutting into your hand, you gotta try the dead hang.

Grip on to a pull up bar and hang down from it for as long as you can. When you drop down, get up there and try again. Repeat 3-5 times, depending on how you’re feeling to really boost that hand strength.

How to dead hang:

  1. Stand on a box under and just behind a pull up bar
  2. Grip the pull up bar and step off the box to free hang
  3. When your grip starts to give either safely drop to the floor or step back onto the box


Kettlebell clean

woman holding kettlebell half way through a festive kettlebell clean

Ok, the farmers walks and the dead hang have got you back to the car, but how are you going to get all those bags in the trunk when you can hardly bend your arm? Kettlebell cleans.

By perfecting the kettlebell clean, you can rest assured you’ve got the strength and skill to get your bags safely into your car.

How to do a kettlebell clean:

  1. Place the kettlebell on the floor with the handle at a 45-degree angle
  2. With your thumb and forefinger facing inwards, bend over, keep your back strong and break at the knees before gripping the handle of the kettlebell
  3. Begin a one-armed kettlebell swing by extending at the hips and knees, generating enough power to move the weight up.
  4. Keeping the kettlebell close to your body, raise your elbow until the weight is at around shoulder height. Then, in one fluid movement, twist your elbow under and let the kettlebell swing up and over your fist.

Tip: Ok, maybe don’t let the shopping bags fly up and over your fist, but the start of this movement should definitely help you get those presents in the trunk.

Wood chops

Baby it’s cold outside and that wood ain’t gonna chop itself. Whether we’re in for a white Christmas or not, it’s always cold at this time of year and there’s nothing better than sitting around a roaring fire on the big day. To keep the whole family warm, we’re going hunter gatherer vibes so you can brush up on your chops, girl.

How to do standing cable wood chops:

  1. Adjust the cable so it’s attached at the top of the cable machine
  2. Take a step back and stand side on to the machine. Twist around so you can grip the cable handle with both hands with both arms fully extended
  3. In one motion, keep your arms straight and rotate through the torso to bring the cable across the front of your body and down. Pivot your feet and bend your knees slightly as you move down to get a full range of motion
  4. In a slow and controlled motion, turn back and up to return to the start position



woman at the bottom of a deadlift

If the snow comes down heavy, the driveway will need clearing ASAP, especially if you’ve got family coming to stay. Shoveling away all that snow can be pretty tough on the posterior chain. To strengthen up your lower back, we’ve got you covered with some deadlifts. Work these and you’ll have all the muscle to make room for everyone.

How to deadlift:

  1. Set up a barbell on the floor
  2. Stand with your feet under the bar so you can’t see the top of your shoe laces and keep them at around hip width apart
  3. Break at the knees and bend over to grip the bar at around shoulder width apart. Your arms should be just outside your knees
  4. Gently pull on the bar without lifting it to take the tension
  5. From here, raise your chest, lower your butt slightly and ensure your shins are touching the bar by bending your knees. Your shoulders should be in front of the bar
  6. Pushing through your heels and keeping your back flat and at the same angle, straighten your legs until the bar is at your knees
  7. In the second pull, completely straighten your knees and hips to fully extend and stand up completely
  8. Return the bar to the floor in a safe and controlled manner by reversing the movement. Keep your back strong and flat throughout


Gobble gobble goblet squat

When you’re getting that turkey up and out of the oven, you’re going to need some serious strength and discipline, cos those birds are heavy AF. And dropping it is a fast track to a ruined Christmas. No pressure girl.

By drilling goblet squats, you’ll hit all the right muscles to help you move the turkey from the oven, up and onto the counter in one seamless motion. No drama, just a perfect Christmas dinner.

How to goblet squat:

  1. Take a kettlebell and hold it in both hands, resting against the top of your chest
  2. Stand with your feet at around shoulder width apart, with your toes pointing slightly outward
  3. Break at the knees and move your hips backwards and down to perform a squat
  4. Stop when your hips are just below your knees, then push up again to fully stand


HIIT sprints

woman sprinting as part of a HIIT workout

The whole Christmas period calls for agility, stamina and some incredible cardio abilities. Whether you’re rushing in to grab the last festive ham or just trying to survive the crush in the stores, having speed and power on your side is a must.

Finish off your Christmas day workout with some HIIT sprints and you’ll have the prowess to handle any situation this year. Not only will this make you the speediest person to ever grave the grocery store, it’ll also help you burn fat super efficiently. That means guilt free binging this festive season.

HIIT sprints:

  1. Warm up with a steady walk for three minutes
  2. Sprint as fast as you can for 30 seconds
  3. Return to a steady walk for one minute 30 seconds
  4. Repeat the sprint/walk pattern ten times

Find out more about how HIIT can help your fitness with our complete guide on SMG. 


Optional warm down: Meditation

Woman meditating

Holyyyyyy Christmas, this time of year is exhausting, mentally and physically. To help you stay sane when you’re surrounded by family, cooking up a feast or trying to buy for those people who have everything, make sure you’re looking after your mind.

This warm down may be optional, but sometimes it is so necessary. Give it a go to help you stay grounded this festive season and recover from the holidays.

How to meditate:

  1. Lie or sit in a comfortable position
  2. Close your eyes and breathe naturally, making no effort to alter your breathing pattern
  3. Concentrate on your breath, noting the movements of your body as you inhale and exhale
  4. Try to maintain this level of focus for 2-3 minutes before attempting a longer period of meditation



The final rep

Make sure your body is a fully-functioning, carefully-conditioned, Christmas-ready machine this year. We’ve covered all of the most challenging physical elements of the festive period to help you craft the perfect physique to handle the demands and the intensity of the season.


Looking for the perfect outfit to accompany your Liftmas workout with our article on the festive fitness clothes you need this year.

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