Holiday Challenge Week #4: Workout of the Week

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Week #4 of the Holiday Challenge, we are focusing on strengthening our entire body with a HIIT workout!

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) combines short, maximal effort work intervals with rest intervals. While this is a muscle-strengthening workout, performing it in a HIIT style also makes it an aerobic activity that contributes to your weekly aerobic activity minutes. You always have the option to perform this as a traditional strength workout with sets and repetitions if that better fits your needs and preferences.

Every week throughout the Holiday Challenge, we are posting a resistance workout for participants looking to engage in muscle-strengthening activities. Each workout has a different focus, but all include modifications so that individuals of various fitness levels can participate. We encourage everyone to look up additional modifications if necessary. Try searching YouTube for standing workouts, standing abs, no jumping workouts, or similar phrases to find more options that better suit your needs. No jumping and no noise workouts are great options for individuals looking for low-impact routines or for those living on upper levels of an apartment complex.

General Reminders:

  • Disclaimer: Individuals should seek medical evaluation and clearance from a doctor before beginning any exercise regimen. All activities should be carried out at a pace and intensity that is comfortable for the individual.
  • Be as physically active as any health conditions, injuries or disabilities allow. Refer to these resources to find activities that work for you.
  • Increase your activity levels gradually. Take into account where you are now, where you want to be and increase your activity over time.

Workout Reminders:

  • Warm up your muscles and increase your heart rate with 5 – 10 minutes of a low intensity activity like walking or marching in place.
  • Prioritize proper form over the number of repetitions, amount of weight or time you perform the exercise. Using proper form will prevent injury and help you to focus your efforts on the intended muscle(s).
  • Adjust the number of repetitions, sets, exercise duration and/or rest intervals to fit your needs and to ensure you maintain proper form.
  • For most exercises that involve movement, using a slow and controlled tempo is best.
  • All exercises can be performed without weights (even if the animations include them).
  • Workouts or exercises can be performed with specific numbers of sets and repetitions or by performing the exercise for a specific amount of time and resting for another specified time interval.
  • Don’t be afraid to try any of the modifications or challenges or search for additional resources.
  • Cans or water bottles make great light weights for at-home workouts if you would like to add a little bit of an extra challenge to an exercise.

Week #4: Total Body – HIIT

  • HIIT Option: Aim for 30 seconds of high-intensity work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Perform each exercise one after the other. Repeat the entire circuit 3 times and take 1 – 2 minutes rest between each circuit.
  • Traditional Option: Aim for 3 sets of 12 repetitions for each exercise.
  • Adjust sets, repetitions and times to fit your needs, and ensure you are maintaining proper form.
  • Jumping Jacks
    • Modification: Instead of jumping, step one toe out to the side while moving your arms up in the traditional jumping jack motion. Alternate which toe you step out.
    • Challenge: Hold light weights (such as a canned food item) while performing this movement.
  • Forward Lunge
    • Modification: Hold onto a wall or a stable chair for support.
    • Challenge: From the lunge position, bring your front leg up to hip height and balance before returning to the starting position. Try adding weight or performing plyometric (jumping) lunges.
  • Russian Twists
    • Modification: Try trunk rotations either standing or in a chair. Extend your arms straight out in front of you if possible.
    • Challenge: Hold a weight in your hands.
  • Bodyweight Squat
    • Modification: Hold onto a wall or a stable chair for support. Try squatting down to a seated position in a chair, then stand and repeat.
    • Challenge: Try pulsing 3 times when you are at your lowest squat position (raise a few inches, lower back to lowest position then repeat) or perform a squat jump.

Check out previous workouts of the week for more muscle-strengthening activities!

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