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Are you already dreading your “turkey hangover“? The holidays can be a lot to deal with between travel, indulgent food, festive cocktails, and family stress. Plus, it’s no secret that L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid, can cause a sleep-inducing effect on top of a day filled with lots of inflammatory factors, making your post-Thanksgiving situation a struggle. Don’t fret, though, because we’re here to share exactly how to debloat and feel like yourself again after the holiday hits hard.
While exercise is likely the last thing you probably want to be doing, it’s essential to get your blood flowing and sweat going in order to detoxify your body. As a trainer, I’ve curated the perfect 15-minute post-Thanksgiving “turkey-burn” workout to leave you feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, and totally ready to enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!
Let’s get that sleepy body moving with my favorite full-body exercise. To set up, place your hands underneath your shoulders, your feet hip-width distance apart, your heels driving back, your hips in line with your shoulders, and your abdominals pulling in. Hold this position for 30 seconds, breathing into your rib cage and exhaling out of your mouth to further engage your core.
Continue to hold your plank for another 30 seconds while you perform shoulder taps. Tap your right hand to your left shoulder and then your left hand to your right shoulder while keeping your hips steady. Once that’s completed, hold for a final 30-second plank to finish this exercise.
Side Plank Crunches
Now it’s time to move to the obliques and the glutes. Get into a forearm plank, and then move your right forearm so that it’s parallel to the top of your mat. Stack your feet and hips, and extend your left arm over your ear. Lift your left leg up a few inches off the bottom leg, and then “crunch” in your left arm to your left knee before straightening the leg and arm back out. Repeat for eight reps, and then perform the exercise on the other side. Feel free to drop your bottom knee to come into a modified side plank as a modification.
Pushup to Easy Twist
I love a good strengthening and lengthening combo. To set up for this movement, place your hands under your shoulders with your elbows driving back and grazing the sides of your body. You can do them either on the tops of your thighs (knees bent and feet together) or with straight legs.
Inhale to lower your upper body into a pushup, and then exhale to press yourself back up. Next, step your right foot in between your hands, and keep your left hand down as you lift your right arm up toward the sky. Drop your right hand down to come back into your plank position to do another pushup, and then do an easy twist on the other side. Complete 10 pushups and five easy twists on each side.
Reverse Lunge to Lateral Lunge
This move will light up all parts of your glutes. Start with your right foot forward, and step your left leg back into a lunge, bringing your shoulders over your hips and creating 90-degree angles with both legs.
Once you find the correct positioning, lower your knee down one inch above the floor, and then squeeze your inner thighs and glutes as you return to the starting position. Take a large step out to the left, sink your hips back, and bend your right knee over your left ankle, putting all the weight on your left heel. Keep your right leg straight (but not locked out) with both your feet facing forward. Then, push off your left foot to bring your feet back together. Do eight reps on each side. Repeat for a total of two rounds.
Let’s continue to light that booty up! With your right foot flexed and your knee bent, lift and lower your knee either in line with the hip or slightly above. Hold for a second at the top giving the glutes a squeeze and then slowly lower down to the starting position. Engage your core the entire time so you don’t sink into your lower back. Continue for eight reps and eight pulses at the top for two rounds. Repeat on the left side.
Now, let’s move on to the core. Lie on your back and start with your legs in a tabletop position with your knees over your hips and your feet in line with your knees. Bring your left elbow toward your right knee as you lift your left shoulder blade off the floor and straighten your left leg as best as you can with the band. Now, switch to the other side, connecting your right elbow to your left knee. Continue alternating legs for 20 slow reps, and then speed it up for a final 10 reps.
Nothing will get you detoxed like some bodyweight cardio. This exercise is performed in a straight arm plank position where you alternate bringing one knee in to your chest and then back out again, switching legs until you are essentially “running.” Do this exercise for 30 seconds with a 15-second break for two rounds.
(If you’re looking for even more calorie-burning fitness, check out my 20-minute Thanksgiving “turkey-burn”—no equipment.)
My workout wouldn’t be complete without the grand finale: the forearm plank! Place your forearms parallel on the mat with your shoulders directly over your elbows and your palms facing down. Drive your heels back, engage your legs, and activate your core. Hold for 30 seconds, again breathing into your ribcage and out through your mouth.
Come into a child’s pose, and come back to your breath. Amazing work—you’re done!