Torch Calories with the Turkey Burner Workout!


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  150 comments   :  254,078 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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  • 100
    Love this! Not sure I can do the burpees or push-ups but I can definitely modify! I am all about moving after eating to keep the food digesting. - 11/13/2013   10:07:50 AM
  • 99
    I like this idea. For me, it's lots of luck on the one-leg pushups, but maybe some day! For now, will do push-ups as I can do them. This I can do in my living room even when busy!! - 11/13/2013   10:03:55 AM
  • 98

    this workout looks tough, but not impossible. I will give it a try this afternoon and again tomorrow. I bet I can get a couple of my houseguests to give this a try on Thanksgiving morning. - 11/13/2013   9:21:02 AM
  • 97
    Love your Turkey Burner Workout. - 11/13/2013   8:41:09 AM
  • 96
    Omg that's a tough workout. Just doing jumping jacks would kill me with my hayfever plus the burpees woah! My put this aside for later when my allergies calm down. Looks nasty but fun lol - 11/13/2013   2:04:18 AM
    Thats some serious stuff..... i was all huffing and puffing after the big Burpeeeee... :) - 11/13/2013   1:30:46 AM
  • 94
    OMG I keep seeing "burpees" everywhere and couldn't figure out what the heck they were from the pics, but after watching the video, I've determined we used to do them in gym class... only they called them "squat thrusts." We had to do a certain amt in a minute to pass gym... - 11/6/2013   1:04:02 PM
  • 93
    I have had a hip replacement so this one I am going to have to skip on - 3/21/2013   2:13:06 AM
    I did them! Modified a bit here and there. Didn't jump with the jumping jacks, because of foot complaints but did move vigorously. Did the girl version of the pushups. And only 20 burpees. The hardest bit was the plies. - 12/4/2012   3:44:53 AM
    Yes, I'm going to try them first thing tomorrow! Just what I was looking for. Thank you for creating this. - 12/3/2012   2:19:30 PM
  • 90
    Well interesting workout I personally dont like Burpees but Ill give it a whirl! On the other hand doing one leg pushups Hmm I dont know about that because I only can do motified pushups! Any suggestions of how to do this one I would love to know! Either way Im gonna try & do my best! :) - 11/27/2012   10:59:42 AM
  • 89
    Great workout for my grandaughter. I don't think I'll be doing some of these with this knee replacement but I'll try for the sake of Thanksgiving.. Happy Thanksgiving to all !!!!!!!!!!!!!! - 11/20/2012   9:43:30 AM
  • 88
    Definitely going to work this one on Turkey day!!! (or Black Friday) - 11/20/2012   9:03:04 AM
    It kicked my butt. I couldn't do as many as it called for but tomorrow is another day and I will work up to it as I can. I was so excited about it though it actually got me out of bed this morning. Thanks Nicole!!! - 11/20/2012   8:37:42 AM
    Looks like a great challenge, and a fun goal for turkey day! Love that absolutely no equipment is needed, and how all the movements will fit into a compact space. Will be fun to give this a whirl and see what I can do :) - 11/20/2012   7:08:45 AM
  • 85
    P.S. In the interest of full disclosure, I did girl pushups (knees down instead of full body) and used both arms. I'm not the best at full pushups! - 11/17/2012   4:19:01 PM
  • 84
    OK. Whether they are Burpees or Squat-Thrusts, they were definitely the hardest for me. I stopped 3-4 times for short 10-15 second breaks, but completed them, and the rest of the exercises. I'm 54, but in pretty good shape. Nevertheless, this was definitely a workout for me!! - 11/17/2012   4:16:03 PM
  • 83
    Some really good ideas. - 11/17/2012   2:53:59 PM
  • 82
    Just did this! Modified the Burpees to one hand down, other hand down, one leg back, other leg back, one leg forward other leg forward, one hand up, other hand up, and jump up in the air to this count:
    Down, Down
    Out, Out
    In, In
    Up, Up and Jump (that jump is optional)
    A little easier than full burpees.
    I also modified the one leg push ups to regular push-ups on my knees.
    Always modify for your body and your fitness level!
    Have fun!
    - 11/16/2012   7:33:29 AM
  • 81
    Sounds great for young folks, but at my age I will do mine in the pool.
    60 minutes of water aerobics make me feel great! - 11/15/2012   10:17:28 PM
    Did it! Thanks! Never did a burpee before but was able to do all 30 by doing it slowly... that's definitely the most challenging exercise in this routine but great to get the old heart pumping. My only recommendation would be NOT to do this right after you eat your turkey. Otherwise, great little workout! - 11/15/2012   6:31:03 PM
  • 79
    Thanks for putting together this work out, and thanks for giving us this opportunity.
    It is up to each of us as individuals whether we try this or not. And, as individuals, we have to decide how we can do the exercises, whether in full or in some modified form.
    The demonstrations don't actually tie up with the suggested exercise, in a couple of instances (pliť squats and 1-leg push ups).
    And my body won't let me do any of these properly. But I can do some sort of modification for each of the 5 exercises, if I think about it.

    My big question is, whether doing modifications will give anywhere near the same result as has been advertised for the full-blown set of exercises?
    Yes, I know the usual answer - any activity is better than none.
    But for limited-ability Sparkers, how well do modified activities compare with the actual activities?

    It would be really interesting to see some info about modified activities and their results. Even just to see the calorie-burn for an able bodied person to do the "proper" exercise and compare with the same person doing a modified version of that activity.
    I know there are huge differentials, to such an extent that maybe it is impossible to give an average. But just to know that this is being looked into would be good. - 11/15/2012   5:29:31 PM
    It is all about trying and knowing how your body works. Ok, so you cant do ALL of the about trying one and working up to or modifying others. I'm not hearing anything positive from you folks. (and no, I am not young and I am fat and have bad knees, but hell, I'm giving these a try).

    -sarah - 11/15/2012   3:48:51 PM
  • 77
    To Coah Nicole,

    Do you have a similar idea for those not able to do your current exercises? for example, there are those of us who are disabled and we could not attempt any of the exercises you suggest. I, for one, could not attempt any of oyur suggested exercises as it would be impossible for me to achieve as I need to be seated and have lower back problems, and i am not the worst case. it owuld be great if you could come up with something that would be practical for us. Thank you. - 11/15/2012   2:15:14 PM
  • 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
    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

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