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Torch Calories with the Turkey Burner Workout!

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
11/14/2012 6:00 AM   :  126 comments   :  109,099 Views

I created this simple, five-exercise workout circuit to get your heart pumping and your muscles moving so you can torch some serious post-Thanksgiving calories. It doesn't use any equipment, and it can be done anywhere, even in a small hotel/guest room! The quicker you move and the more times you repeat the circuit, the higher your calorie burn will be.
Are you up for the challenge? Try it today and then comment below to tell us how you did!

The basic workout circuit consists of five equipment-free exercises. Perform the number of reps listed with each, and do them in this order. For detailed instructions for each move, scroll below the workout graphic.

Don't forget to share this workout with your friends and "pin" it for later!

Workout Instructions
If you're more of a beginner, simply get through the circuit at your own pace, resting as needed. Repeat it one more time if you feel up to it. If you're an intermediate exerciser, push through three continuous sets of the circuit with little to no rest. For advanced exercisers, set a timer for your desired workout length—such as 10, 15 or 20 minutes (recommended)—and then repeat the circuit as many times as possible (aka AMRAP) for time. But make sure to never sacrifice form for speed. Safety first...which reminds me: All exercisers should warm up for 3-5 minutes before you start, and stretch when they're done.
For detailed instructions of each move, see below:
Jumping Jacks
Stand tall with your back straight, abs engaged, shoulders relaxed, arms at your sides, and feet together.

Hop out with both feet while extending your arms out, forming an X with your arms and legs. Hop back in to the starting position (legs together, arms at your sides). Repeat.

Be sure to land softly, keeping the knees slightly bent to reduce impact. Move faster to increase the intensity. Modify as needed by stepping instead of jumping.

Plie Squats
Begin this exercise by standing with your feet wider than shoulder width apart and your toes turned out.

INHALE: Slowly bend your knees, keeping your back straight, lowering down as low as possible. Make sure your knees don’t cross the plane of your toes. EXHALE: Straighten legs and come up to the starting position to complete one rep.

Stand tall with your back straight, abs engaged, shoulders relaxed, legs together, and arms at your sides.

Make sure you breathe deeply throughout this exercise. Burpees string together four distinct movements: 1) Squat deeply, placing your hands on the floor in front of you and bending your knees and hips deeply. 2) Shift your weight into your hands and jump back to a plank position so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your hips to your feet. Keep feet together, abs tight, and hands directly under the shoulders in this position. 3) Jump your legs back in so you return to the deep squat described in phase 1. 4) Stand back up and return to the start position. Repeat all four phases continuously.

Note: Burpees are a very advanced exercise that require cardiovascular stamina, core strength, and a high range of motion in the knees. Practice caution and modify as needed, moving at your own pace.

Start with hands shoulder width apart on the floor and up on your toes, so that your body is supported, keeping your body as straight as possible. (Workout graphic shows one leg lifted for additional challenge, optional.)

INHALE: Bend your elbows and lower chest to 90 degrees at the elbows. EXHALE: Push up so that your arms are straight, making sure your elbows aren’t completely locked. Modify on your knees as needed.

Bicycle Crunches
Begin by lying on your back, placing your hands behind your ears. Lift your legs in the air and bend your knees so that your legs form a 90 degree angle at your hips.

Move your legs in a bicycle motion. When your left knee is closer to your body, reach your right shoulder toward it. When your right knee is closer to your body, reach your left elbow to it. Move in a slow, controlled manner.

Are you going to try the Turkey Burner? If you tried it, how did you fare?

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  • 76
    I can do the jumping jacks and squats with ease (I have a video that does 263 in one session, some with weights and some power jumping!) but having severe RA and replacement elbows with bone breaks in both, I am unable to put any weight or pressure on my hands and elbows, so no planks/push ups for me. I do a modified burpee though. I do the sqaut, but put only one leg at a time out back so there is no weight on my hands, just the one leg, and then when I stand up, I jump up instead of just standing up. I can do wall push ups in lieu of the floor ones. So those are my modifications to this workout. - 11/15/2012   12:53:22 PM
  • 75
    I think I'll try this over the weekend... - 11/15/2012   12:22:08 PM
    Wah wah its supposed to be challenging thats why its called a workout. And no I'm not a youngster in case you were wondering. - 11/15/2012   11:27:25 AM
  • 73
    Like most responders, I can do some of these, but anything to do with upper body strength will probably just cause me injury. I will try the push-ups until I feel strong enough to do a burpee. Otherwise, I will be flat on my face. I will also get clearance from my doctor before proceeding. Don't need to re-injure my back. - 11/15/2012   11:19:03 AM
  • 72
    Great for young folks with good muscle strength, but I suspect a lot of members (like myself) cannot do some of these exercises even a couple of times, let alone as many reps as called for here. Got any suggestions for the rest of us willing, but not able (and older) members? - 11/15/2012   10:28:23 AM
    I have so many limitations, I know I can't do the burpies, but I will modify the other 4 so I can do them. It's worth a try for me. - 11/15/2012   7:49:38 AM
  • 70
    I can tell you're not cooking on Thanksgiving day. My gallery kitchen is too small for this exhaustive program. Tell you what, you come here and cook, and I'll do the exercises. - 11/14/2012   3:05:16 PM
  • 69
    Ok this is a lot harder than it looks....just sayin' :D - 11/14/2012   1:55:48 PM
  • 68
    Wish there was some way to track burpees/ squat thrusts on the SP fitness tracker. I was really surprised that such a common exercise wasn't listed when so many less popular variations of squats and thrusts were listed. I don't like to do burpees to begin with and I really don't like them when I can't track that I did 'em! LOL - 11/14/2012   12:49:55 PM
    I started this workout last year and continued until summer of this year when I stopped due to a shoulder injury. Liked the workout, but loathed the burpees. Added mountain climbers for extra cardio and got to the point where I could do inclined pushups. A great workout.

    For those who think they're too old, Coach Nicole does offer modifications in other videos for the burpees, pushups and jumping jacks. ( And I belong to one of the 50+ Spark Teams). - 11/14/2012   12:06:14 PM
  • 66
    Whoa. Ok, that is hard!! For me, I had to modify the exercises. I did 50 JJ but slow and small, 40 plie squats(ok), 30 burpee/squat thrusts but only kicked back my feet half way? not a full plank at all and was very much out of breath!, 20 push-ups modified on my knees, and 20 bicycle crunches(10 not enough)
    Don't forget to stretch!
    Feel like I got a good workout all in all:) - 11/14/2012   12:05:16 PM
  • 65
    I have a confession. I LOATHE burpees !!

    - 11/14/2012   11:38:22 AM
  • 64
    Might try this tonight. My lower body strength is good enough, but upper body isn't....20 pushups is asking a lot. Maybe I'll flip the last two 10 pushups and 20 crunches - 11/14/2012   11:29:53 AM
    WOW looks so hard cant wait to try it tomorrow - basketball tonight!!
    - 11/14/2012   11:04:47 AM
  • ALEXIS102
    WOW that was a good work out! it's prefect for the holidays. Thank you!!! - 11/14/2012   9:49:43 AM
  • 61
    You seriously expect a 64 year old with arthritis to do this workout? - 11/14/2012   9:25:27 AM
  • 60
    Burpees are the beginning parts and end parts of the 8 count body builders we used to do in the Navy. After the plank, you kick your feet apart then back together then do a push-up. then it's the squat then stand. - 11/14/2012   8:32:30 AM
  • 59
    Going to try this burpees look challenging... - 11/14/2012   8:31:20 AM
    killing!! - 11/14/2012   6:25:32 AM
    I have to work my way up to the Burpees. - 12/29/2011   6:10:58 PM
  • 56
    Gonna give it a go! Thanks! - 12/29/2011   10:22:06 AM
  • 55
    Well, I almost made it, but the burpees made me a little out of breath so I had to take a break to catch my breath ..............will try again. It really got me going. - 12/4/2011   9:55:43 AM
  • 54
    Getting better, can do 50 jumping jacks without stopping. :) Now the burpee's, that is a whole different story. :( - 12/3/2011   1:31:59 PM
  • 53
    I like this for a quick intense workout.
    However, I do wonder why Coach Nicole calls the 4th exercise "Burpees" here, and "Squat-Thrusts" on the Bootcamp workout of the cardio DVD.
    Also, it would be helpful if there would be some hint on how to enter this into your fitness tracker. I'm entering it as "circuit training" based on the refences to "get through the circuit" and "repeat the circuit" in the paragraph before the exercise descriptions - I hope that's accurate! - 11/30/2011   10:23:19 AM
    Will give it a go body permitting !!!! - 11/29/2011   10:07:27 AM
    Turkey Burner Workout - the reality:

    Buy fresh Turkey. Discover it's really fresh. It's still gobbling.
    Chase Turkey around yard. Duck children demanding you don't kill "Henry"
    Chase children around yard to prevent them setting Henry free. Duck turkey
    repeat this several times over the next few hours.
    remember sparkpeople article on healthy takeout
    Phone takeaway
    Discover Henry likes noodles - 11/28/2011   4:30:40 PM
  • 50
    Thanks, Coach Nicole. Taking it to the gym today and introducing it to my workout buddy! - 11/28/2011   8:53:19 AM
  • 49
    How sad is that when I click burpees, I was taken to to purchase deodorant? Thought I was going to Spark's exercise demos - 11/27/2011   6:19:32 PM
  • 48
    I will definitely give this workout a try. Thanks for creating it. I like the fact that it doesn't use equipment and can be done anywhere. - 11/27/2011   1:30:32 PM
  • 47
    This was great! I am an outdoor walk/runner and with the cold weather coming soon I am nervous about getting in my cardio. this routine burns calories and kicked my butt! With my travel schedule, this will be perfect in hotel rooms! Thanks! - 11/27/2011   12:25:26 PM
    Due to arthritis, some of these are pure torture. I modify them but still hang in there trying to get some calories burned up. - 11/27/2011   10:31:13 AM
  • 45
    I tried these this morning, cutting all exercise in half and I had to modify the burpees; and still had a hard time. I was ok on the others in the circuit. May keep doing all but the burpees and increase to original numbers. - 11/27/2011   10:15:08 AM
  • 44
    I remember doing the Squart-thrust in sixth grade. Boring. LOL - 11/27/2011   9:10:36 AM
  • 43
    Looks suspiciously like a Crossfit WOD ;). BLONDIEGRRL is right, those are squat thrusts you demonstrate. Burpees are pure evil with the pushup added in there, lol. Had to do LOTS of them yesterday at my Crossfit class. Not so sure I want to do them again so soon but will give it a shot tomorrow. - 11/26/2011   10:02:13 PM
    I'll plan on doing these tomorrow morning. - 11/26/2011   8:33:14 PM
  • 41
    Oh God, I remember and hate--squat thrusts since I was in gym class years--and years ago! - 11/26/2011   8:04:20 PM
  • 40
    Even modified, I almost killed myself! - 11/26/2011   6:37:59 PM
  • 39
    Just got back from the gym, so I won't do these today, but I WILL do them Mon. or Tues.
    I would LOVE to have more "show" short lists like these to mix up my exercise routine. This is EXACTLY what I've been looking for!

    Thanks for taking the time to put together & post them! - 11/26/2011   5:39:38 PM
  • 38
    I did a set of these yesterday and then did another set. Leaves me out of breath. :) Only issue is those burpees. Wow, those things are hard! - 11/26/2011   11:22:21 AM
  • 37
    I love Coach Nicole's workouts, but have not been able to do a Burpee since college. Sorry, I'm skipping this workout and selecting one of my other favorites from Coach Nicole. Ever try her Jump Rope or Kickboxing workouts? They rock! - 11/26/2011   10:29:30 AM
  • 36
    This is a great circuit!

    I forget to think about the older crowd or those that are really outta shape - I love a challenging workout, but maybe Spark should include more stuff for them. - 11/26/2011   9:45:14 AM
    These are great! The jumping jacks really get the heart pumping. I just hate burpees! I wish there was a way to log in these exercises in the cardio section. Squats doesn't come up as an option. - 11/26/2011   9:39:17 AM
  • 34
    Yes I will need to modify BURPEES are for the very fit crowd.
    That being said, I do agree with SABLENESS I am 68 years young and I have many friends in the senior age group who might be able to do this. I think somehow some way we seniors must be included somehow with workouts for us.
    I still cherish my VHS yoga tapes "Yoga for round bodies" watching overweight women doing exercises that are weight and age approprite would make many of us feel more included. I am a big fan of yours and because of my Yoga I easily adapt but I feel perhaps we can help other seniors and overweight Spark people some how PLEASE! Pat in Maine. - 11/26/2011   8:42:44 AM
    Exercises sound simple, but difficult!! I teach tap dance, and we call a "burpee" - the "flash trick step", kids love it!! - 11/26/2011   8:03:15 AM
    wish I could do these but due to disabilites cannot do these exercises...sounds like a great idea though.Any ideas for those of us who are more beginner level exercise like walking type exercises without getting down on the floor or on your knees or jumping? - 11/26/2011   1:58:48 AM
  • 31
    This looks great -- going to try it tomorrow morning. - 11/26/2011   1:18:03 AM
  • 30
    i will definately give it a go.never heard of a burbee before.yesturday did 5km on exercise bike,2km on treadmill and 3 hours walking outside. - 11/26/2011   1:09:12 AM
  • 29
    I started sweating just watching the videos lol guess thats a sign - 11/25/2011   11:34:01 PM
  • 28
    This was great! I did 20 minutes, 2 1/2 miles on treadmil & was able to do 2 of these sets with little to no rest. Great addition to my exersice as I needed a bit of a change to my routine. Gonna have to try to do all 3 sets tomorrow. Thanks so much! - 11/25/2011   9:12:57 PM
  • 27
    I'll have to do this tomorrow. - 11/25/2011   7:57:08 PM

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