Get Fit with the 12 Moves of Christmas Workout!


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  64 comments   :  145,132 Views

The holiday season has officially started, and you may have already noticed your fitness routine start to slip a little. To keep your motivation high in the crazy days ahead, we've created this fun, calorie-blasting cardio and strength circuit workout. The 12 moves in this routine don't require any sort of equipment, so you can do them anywhere. (No more excuses for skipping out on exercise during holiday travels!) Plus, did we mention that it's FUN? This workout constantly switches from one move to the next, so you never have time to get bored.

To do the workout, start from the top and work your way down the circuit. Go immediately from one move to the next, completing the number of reps (or minutes) listed next to each exercise. Move as quickly as you can to get your heart rate up and burn more calories. If you're a beginner, try the whole circuit one time through. For intermediate or advanced exercisers, do the whole circuit two or three times through.

This fast-paced routine may be just the ticket to help you avoid gaining those pesky holiday pounds this year. So, what are you waiting for? Blast your favorite festive tunes and get in the spirit while you sweat. Don't forget to Pin, Like, and Tweet to share with your friends! Happy Holidays!

(Click here for a PDF version. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF.)

Will you try the 12 Moves of Christmas workout? If you already have, how did you do?

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    I am in a contest at my gym. I will be sure to include some of these moves.
    thanks! - 12/13/2017   8:48:38 AM
  • 63
    A slow cooker can help busy people make healthy meals faster. - 5/26/2017   3:15:15 AM
  • 62
    You are stronger than you think you are. - 5/18/2017   3:43:32 AM
  • CATLADY1955
    Many of these exercises are beyond my aging body. I am finding that I am more flexible and stronger but not to this level yet. - 12/27/2016   7:56:37 PM
  • KASHIF786786
    Happy Holidays to all. - 12/25/2016   11:39:15 AM
  • DSC1DC
    pdf contains error. can not view. - 12/25/2016   8:36:59 AM
  • 58
    What am I doing wrong? I cannot get the pdf to appear on my Windows computer using Chrome or on my iPad using Safari. I wanted to save it so I could do this workout when I'm offline! :-( - 12/16/2016   7:03:38 PM
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    looks interesting and yes I will be doing it - 11/14/2015   11:41:52 PM
    Great Workout. It kicked my butt one time through. I did start out with modified pushups and a modified plank, but I hope to get to the point where I can do it all as presented. :) This will be part of my indoor winter workout choices. - 1/8/2015   9:24:41 AM
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    Only if I want to not be able to move. Please, please, please, post workouts for those of us who are older and not as mobile. I'm no longer 20 years old and wear a size 2. - 12/26/2014   11:16:32 AM
    These would be great if i was younger. If i did this stuff i'd be hurting for some time or injured. Thanks but no thanks.....i'll walk. - 12/16/2014   3:13:43 PM
    I agree with many others... if I were to do these I would end up at Christmas like I did last february when I went to the Y and the young aerobics instructors weren't honoring our older bodies. it worked for a week or two and then I was in so much neck pain that I couldn't get out of bed... almost needed surgery!!!! now I know my limits and do exercise but in ways that honor the neck. nothing jerky, and when pushing the wrist back very very slow. - 12/16/2014   8:49:24 AM
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    Love the concept (and the pdf!) but I have to agree with other comments. Many of the routines are directed at a younger more fit demographic. Please... consider offering alternatives! a 3-tier workout perhaps?? workouts with mods? Check your SP demographics and I think you'll find a large group are older which translates into knees, hips, wrists that need TLC. - 12/10/2014   9:37:50 AM
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    I have to admit, the routine seems a bit intimidating as I don't have good balance. My personal challenge is to do this routine on Friday. I may not be able to it all but I will certainly try to work hard at what I can do!

    Thank you for sharing. - 12/9/2014   11:21:25 AM
  • 50
    For those of us with Arthritis, we will have to avoid most of these exercises. According to the article "Best & Worst Exercises for Arthritis" by SparkPeople Guest Blogger, Vijay Vad, MD, "The Worst Exercises for Arthritis . . . 2. Squats and Lunges: Any movement that puts an uneven load on your knees and hips can irritate your arthritis." Although, I will post this on Facebook and Pinterest for the benefit of others! - 12/9/2014   5:11:43 AM
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    For me burpees, jumping and lunges are a big no no! Otherwise I can do the rest with no worries~ - 12/9/2014   3:33:20 AM
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    There are so many exercises that are difficult to do because of the arthritis in my thumbs and knees - I've learned to modify but it's hard to keep the intensity up when I do that. Weight bearing with my hands flat on the floor is darn near impossible. Likewise jumping. - 9/23/2014   7:20:18 PM
    I've done it a couple of times. I like that it doesn't need any equipment, but it is challenging enough to get my blood moving. - 12/26/2013   3:36:03 PM
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    I will try. Thanks for sharing - 12/23/2013   5:28:33 AM
    Love this !! - 12/21/2013   11:09:42 AM
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    Great work out ideas to do anywhere on vacation! Love love love your long hair Nicole! - 12/14/2013   2:14:46 PM
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    Looked like fun, so I gave it a go. Worked out with a group at a fitness center this summer and the trainers there had us doing many of these exercises without the modifications. My sister and I are 77 and 75 respectively and we made the trainer proud of us. Still, I DID have to modify some of the exercises on your list a little bit to complete them to my satisfaction, and the side plank at the end left me with a miserable pain in my back, so I must have been doing something wrong as I tried it. (The disadvantage of doing it at home instead of with a trainer who can make sure you are in the right position as you work out.) Wish I knew how to add it to my fitness tracker tonight. - 12/13/2013   8:37:09 PM
    When I first saw this I thought how great and as I'm in what I would consider good shape for a 68 year old , decided to give it a try. Got through most of the moves, modifying when needed. But I agree that you need more work outs geared to those of us who may not be able to move as well as they could before. You need moves that work for all ages not just the agile younger ones. thank you - 12/13/2013   10:27:59 AM
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    I agree that more routines like this are needed for those with health and mobility issues but there are great seated workout videos on Spark:

    I have done these quite a few times when I was tired and since I have been injured. I am doing the seated core workout today at work since my cube mate is off today and he won't look at me like I have two heads! :-)

    - 12/13/2013   8:12:03 AM
  • 40
    This thread has been here an entire year with comments about how the other half live.
    The underserved older and less flexible people.
    We have asked for some one to give us ideas we do not have any of our own since we are not fitness coaches. We need a coach who will listen to our plea for help. Last year's comments are here on this same issue of exclusion but so far to no avail.
    I wonder if the rest of the world will be asking about it next year at this time. This site is becoming much less user friendly.It is directed at the ones who are already fit.
    Will the seniors and overweight Sparkers still be ignored. Pat in Maine. - 12/13/2013   7:44:01 AM
    Would love for this to be able to hang on the wall on like a poster.
    - 12/13/2013   6:35:00 AM
    HolyWOW this was challenging! I would love to have this workout on video to follow along! My only problem was interpreting the directions...I would really benefit from having more than one photo of the exercise. I'm still not 100% on if I did the right lunge variants or not...but the whole set of exercises...*dang* was I sweating and breathing! I'm saving this workout, and I'm going to make it into a video for my own reference. (I *love* just turning on a DVD and not having to count or time the workout, etc) Great routine!! thank you so much!! - 12/30/2012   6:18:16 PM
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    Love this list! Perfect to get back into HIIT if all 12 moves are completed for time. - 12/10/2012   2:35:31 PM
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    Just completed! I did modify some moves, but completed them basically in order 12 down to 1. I modified the chimney climber by not jumping--stayed in plank but touched toe lightly and slowly up by my hands. I also modified the jolly jacks--without the squats--and rather than the snow angels, did plain jumping jacks for 2x. Rather than the last plank (my shoulders can't hold out with all the plank work!), I did different ab work. Oh, and the nutcracker--didn't jump it. Just did a long leg back touch and brought knee forward and up. I also did several of the 2-4 moves in various orders to rest body parts, and then did a bit of slow walking to recover in between every couple of minutes. Overall, it took me 20 minutes. Great workout! I recorded it as an estimate: vigorous calesthenics (spelling?!) for 20 minutes. Yay! If jumping jacks aren't an option, can move one side's arm and leg out, bring in, then move other side out, back and forth. No jarring, but still movement! Have fun! - 12/3/2012   10:27:11 PM
    most of the exercises would be tough for me to do, I think for now I will just put on some Christmas music and dance the pounds away. Anyone want to join me? - 12/1/2012   8:46:42 PM
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    Reading a set of exercises like this makes me so envious of how I was about 45 years ago!
    I agree with OldAndSlow1 - a similar idea for those of us who can't readily get down to and up off the floor, and can't do the lunges etc. it's all very well to tell us to do modified versions, but it gets way too much when we have to modify every single exercise.
    Thanks for providing the Count Down WorkOut, though. I'll envy everyone else their every move :) - 12/1/2012   5:28:34 PM
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    It looks like a good workout but most of the jumping exercises are too hard on my knee. Is there a similar workout without the jumping? - 11/30/2012   10:49:05 PM
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    Iím curious: How is everyone tracking this on their fitness tracker?

    BTW, I love these fun holiday twist. Keep them coming Coach Nicole.
    - 11/30/2012   6:24:04 PM
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    Happy Holidays to all. - 11/30/2012   2:48:17 PM
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    hey do you start with 12 and work yourself down to 1 just wondering ? - 11/30/2012   2:38:05 PM
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    How do you do the plyo lunge in this context. I have looked up some videos and they don't look like what is described here. They certainly aren't something that could be done for 3 minutes and it isn't something that 90 seconds and switch could work with. What is this move in here and is there a video? ? ? Love the workout! My husband and I have done it and gotten a lot of endorphins. - 11/29/2012   7:39:52 PM
    I have the same issue with printing this as dkturner3. My printer also stops after exercise 9. - 11/29/2012   11:24:40 AM
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    my link for pdf doesnt work (frown) idea? how can I print? - 11/29/2012   9:15:21 AM
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    These are some great moves for someone like my daughter who plays sports in college. I saw exercises 12, 6 and 4 as ones that I could probably do. I am willing to do exercises, just wish the article had some less challenging moves. - 11/29/2012   7:39:24 AM
  • 24
    To print this, click on the "click here" for PDF file which is right above the workout Santa in the chimney. Once you get the print version, then right click and select print. Walla, you get the workout!
    I printed it and am going to give it a go! This was presented in a cute, fun way! Thanks, Sparkpeople! - 11/29/2012   7:14:32 AM
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    Will try everyone except those which require jumping. - 11/29/2012   6:32:11 AM
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    Looks like lots of fun but my knees won't take it . - 11/29/2012   2:08:51 AM
  • 21
    Noooo, not me! Maybe if I were 30 years younger! I'll just keep to my walks, but I enjoyed looking at the moves. - 11/29/2012   12:20:11 AM
  • LORIT51
    Not usually big on making comments but when I saw this just had to chime in. These are really tough moves. I am actually a certified fitness instructor here in my home province of New Brunswick but as I am a 50 year old instructor who also has struggled with my weight for several reasons I gotta say I will be modifying these moves big time even though I am basically quite fit. Love the whole idea of the 12 moves of Christmas but will be using moves with a little less impact (especially for numbers 2, 3 and 5). Really cool idea though. - 11/28/2012   7:21:08 PM
  • MRE1956
    All well and good, but since I'm once again in a distinctly "anti-holiday" mood (you know the drill - "no JOB, no JOY"), I think I'll pass......BAH HUMBUG! :( - 11/28/2012   3:59:36 PM
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    I am printing this off twice! One for the fridge and one for the back of my bedroom door! Sneaky ways to get a bit of an extra burn in there! - 11/28/2012   3:32:59 PM
  • 17
    These look awesome exercises, but once again, as with a previous blog, it would be nioce if people such as myself could do them. We are disabled and these are impossible for us.

    Please, Coach Nicole, would you do something similarfro the disabled that they could do from their wheelchairs or sitting down.

    Thank you. - 11/28/2012   2:12:08 PM
  • 16
    Is it just me or does anyone else think the picture at the start of the article would be an awesome cover for Coach Nicole Christmas cards this year? :)
    (just kidding...we love you!) - 11/28/2012   1:25:08 PM
  • 15
    I love the new holiday names! It makes me want to get in the holiday spirit even though it is 80 degrees.

    I usually modify those exercises because I still have a hard time with most of them. It's still interesting to try and see how many I can accomplish and work towards doing more the next time.

    Thanks Coach Nicole! - 11/28/2012   12:16:06 PM

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