Winter is when many of us crave nestling under a cozy blanket and sipping hot cocoa while reading a good book or binging Netflix. It’s also the season when the temptation to indulge in decadent comfort foods and rich beverages is at its peak. While staying comfortable and warm during the cold, dark winter months is tempting, it more often than not leads to packing on extra pounds. Fortunately for you, we’ve put together the ultimate at-home workout to fight winter weight gain.
Keeping winter weight gain at bay is easier than you’d think. We understand that sometimes all you need is a gentle nudge in the right direction to set you on the path to a healthier, fitter you. That’s why we chatted with Kate Meier, CPT, a certified personal trainer with Gym Garage Reviews, who shares a top-notch full-body workout that will torch calories in the fight against winter weight gain. And the best part is you can do everything from the comfort of your home, so you don’t have to go outside and brave harsh weather.
Keep reading if you’re looking for a new workout to help you stay lean all winter. “The following circuit includes exercises that target both the upper and lower body, but more importantly, exercises that get both small and major muscles involved in stabilization and coordination,” explains Meier. “You’ll stay moving throughout each circuit and only take short breaks, adding a cardio element to this routine for ultimate calorie-burning.”
Complete each of the following exercises for 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds before moving on to the next movement. After each round, rest for one minute. Aim to complete five rounds in total.
Whether you love them or hate them (we’re guessing the latter), burpees are an excellent movement for maximizing calorie burn. “Burpees are a great exercise for overall athleticism and mobility,” says Meier. “Dropping to the floor, getting back up, and explosive power are all skills that benefit day-to-day activities and overall strength.”
To perform a standard burpee, stand with your hands at your sides. Next, squat down, placing your hands just inside your feet. Then, jump your feet back until you’re fully extended in a high plank position with your shoulders, hips, and ankles aligned. Next, do a pushup before hopping your feet back up next to your hands. Lastly, jump up while fully extending your arms overhead before landing in a half-squat.
“This exercise targets the legs and glutes and keeps you constantly moving. This way, your heart rate remains elevated throughout the interval as you tighten and tone your lower body,” Meier explains.
First, stand with your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Next, step your right leg back, plant your right foot outside your left leg, and lower straight down until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Next, step back into the starting position, then alternate legs. “For an extra challenge, add a pulse at the bottom of the movement for a serious glute burn,” suggests Meier.
Pushups are a classic exercise that has stood the test of time for a reason. They’re fantastic for building a stronger upper body since they focus on the chest, triceps, and shoulders. Plus, you can do them anytime, anywhere.
To start, get into a plank position with your hands shoulder-width distance apart. Maintain a straight line from head to toe. Then, lower your body to the ground with your elbows close to your sides while keeping a straight back. Pause at the bottom just before your chest touches the floor. Next, push your body back up to the starting plank position, keeping your core engaged and back straight throughout.
“If standard pushups are too difficult, try doing them from your knees or building up with negative reps during which you lower yourself down slowly to the floor and then set back up at the top. This will work the same muscles and help you master standard reps,” says Meier.
This variation on the traditional squat jump incorporates a narrow squat. Adding a narrow squat targets other muscles in your thighs to help you pump out more reps while building more defined, lean legs.
First, stand with your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Next, squat down, ensuring your knees don’t turn inward and your back remains straight. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, jump up explosively and fully extend your body before landing softly into a narrow-stance squat with your legs close together. Next, lower down into the narrow squat, then jump up explosively again once your thighs are parallel, landing in the traditional squat position.
“The Russian twist is a classic abdominal move that builds overall core strength,” says Meier. “The key is to keep moving throughout the interval without sacrificing form—if that means moving more slowly and with more focus, that’s better than squeezing more sloppy reps.”
Sit on the floor leaning back slightly with your knees bent. Lift your legs a few inches off the ground, and extend them about halfway, forming a V-shape with your body. Keep your hands to the center of your chest or hold a light dumbbell as you twist from side to side. Focus on not keeping your legs in position and rotating at each side to target your obliques (side ab muscles) and give your core a serious burn.