Hey Love Squad!

This holiday season it's my pleasure to give you all a very special gift. For some of you a few gifts–abs. My friend, fitness guru, and fellow fitness model, Chris Ryan, has shared some words of wisdom on how to get through the holidays without forfeiting all your work of 2015. Holidays can be tough because of travel, food, and the sheer stress of gift giving. While all this can be taxing on your body, what you don't want to do is forgo your workout. Chris offers moves to help us finish strong as we ring in the New Year. 

-Love, ally


unnamed-1Freelance writer: Chris Ryan


’Tis the Season for joyous cheer, family gatherings and celebrations with friends. But it’s also the time of year when stress levels rise, alcohol consumption increases, and sweets seem to always be right in front of your face. It’s the perfect time to skip your workouts, isn't it? Heck no!

It’s the end of the year; you don’t want to let all your gains from 2015 remain in 2015. It’s time to take those gains with you into 2016 and beyond. No excuses. Let’s sprint through the finish line together!

There is no question you will be pressed for time this holiday season for your daily workouts. The worst thing you can do is stress about it though. As the Nike slogan says, “Just Do It.”

The main thing you need to concentrate on is simply moving your body. You may not have the time for your normal hour long class with your favorite instructors, but that doesn't mean you can't get in a great workout.

It’s time to burn off that Holiday stress with some awesome intervals. Are you ready for the Twelve Days of Christmas Stress Buster?

This workout not only tones your midsection and gets your heart pumping, but is designed to be a fun, energetic way to alleviate stress. I mean, who doesn't love slamming and throwing stuff?

The goal of this workout is to do each of the movements for the set number of reps with the famous holiday Christmas song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. Yes, that means you will start out with 1 rep for each movement and repeat each one through 12 reps of each movement.

Med Ball Soccer Throw-Ins:

Start out with a moderately heavy medicine ball. A 5lb-20lb should be a good weight for most people depending on fitness level, so please scale accordingly. Stand approximately 8-10ft away from a wall with your medicine ball. Start out with one soccer-style throw-in with the med ball suspended overhead. Step forward with one foot while firing the ball powerfully into the wall at eye level. Each throw-in counts as 1 rep, but be sure to alternate the lead foot on every other rep as the workout progresses. Upon completion of your first med ball throw, immediately go into the next movement, the med ball slam.

Med Ball Slam:

Stand over the same med ball with your feet on the outsides of your hips and toes slightly pointed out. Pick up the med ball and bring it overhead, then immediately slam it down as hard and as fast as you can into the floor. This is one rep. After completion of this rep you will move into the next movement, the split squat jump/burpee combo.

Split Squat Jump/Burpee Combo:

Leave your med ball to the side for this series of body weight movements. Start in a split squat/lunge position with your right leg bent in front with a vertical shin position, where your right knee is directly over your right heel. Keep your chest up and left leg bent behind you as your trail leg, with your left knee touching or just slightly off the floor. Jump up and switch your feet in mid-air to land with your left leg out in front, bent at the same vertical shin position as your right leg was. Your right leg will now be behind you as your trail leg, just as your left leg previously was. Then jump up to a standing position with both feet underneath your hips. Immediately jump down into a burpee, touching your chest to the floor and then stand back up. This whole segment of 1 split squat jump right, 1 split squat jump left, and 1 burpee is one rep. You will go back to the split squat jumps after each burpee, when you start each successive round. You will continuously add onto this segment to eventually work up to a series of 12 total reps of this combo.

Here is the way the Twelve Days of Christmas Stress Buster will look:

Round 1: 1 med ball soccer throw-in + 1 med ball slam + 1 split squat jump/burpee combo Round 2: 2 med ball soccer throw-in’s + 2 med ball slams + 2 split squat jump/burpee combos Round 3: 3 med ball soccer throw-in’s + 3 med ball slams + 3 split squat jump/burpee combos …..Continue with this rep scheme through the final round of 12, which will look like this: Round 12: 12 med ball soccer throw-in’s + 12 med ball slams + 12 split squat jump/burpee combos

While this workout is designed for moderate to advanced fitness levels, a beginner can still have fun with it by adding in a short 15-30 second break after each round. Additionally, feel free to switch out the split squats for a basic air squat/burpee combo depending on fitness level as well.

For the more advanced athlete, you should try and burn through this workout as quickly as possible with good form. Try and avoid resting between exercises and rounds. Control your breathing and most importantly have fun and bust some holiday stress!