Written by Dan Marquette under the direction and review of Nikki Prosch, former SDSU Extension Health & Physical Activity Field Specialist.
This Thanksgiving, try a fun-themed workout to help you stay active and give thanks for fitness. This 20-minute, Thanksgiving-themed workout is something you can do with family or on your own! All you need is a timer.
Start the clock and begin each exercise when a new minute begins. Complete each exercise for the first 30 seconds and rest for the second 30 seconds. If you are up for a challenge, complete the exercise for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds.
Warm Up - Raise Your Heart Rate!
- Walk or jog in place.
- Wave your arms like your conducting an orchestra.
- Seated march.
Alternating Turkey Leg Lunges
- Start by standing up tall.
- Step forward with one foot until your leg reaches a 90-degree angle. Your rear knee should remain parallel to the ground and your front knee shouldn’t go beyond your toes.
- Lift your front lunging leg to return to the starting position.
Sweet Potato Push Ups
- Begin with your chest and stomach flat on the floor. Your legs should be straight out behind you and your palms should be at chest level with the arms bent out at a 45-degree angle.
- Exhale as you push from your hands and heels, bringing your torso, chest, and thighs off the ground.
- Pause for a second in the plank position — keep your core engaged.
- Inhale as you slowly lower back to your starting position.
Classic Stuffing Supermans
- Lie on your stomach, arms straight out in front of you.
- Engage your abs. As you inhale, lift your knees, arms, and chest off the floor.
Brussels Sprout Squats
- Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
- Keep your chest up, engage your abdominals, and shift your weight onto your heels as you push your hips back into a sitting position.
- Lower your hips until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor.
- You should feel the squat in your thighs and glutes.
- Pause with your knees over, but not beyond, your toes.
- Exhale and push back up to the starting position.
Deviled Egg Dips
- Sit down on a bench, hands next to your thighs. (You can also perform a bench dip off a stair or other elevated surface; the same steps apply.)
- Walk your feet out and extend your legs, lifting your bottom off the bench and holding there with extended arms.
- Hinging at the elbow, lower your body down as far as you can go, or until your arms form a 90-degree angle.
- Push up through your palms back to start.
Pecan Pie Planks
- Get into the top or start of a pushup position.
- Keep your toes firmly planted on the ground, your back straight, and your core tight.
- A saggy back or bottom during a plank can result in lower back pain later on, so be sure not to compromise your form.
- Do not let your head sag.
Fresh Baked Bridges
- Start flat on your back with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle and feet placed flat on the ground.
- Make sure your toes are turned outward at 45-degree angles and your knees are facing in the same direction as your toes.
- Drive down through your feet and push your hips up. You should feel this variation fatiguing the outer portion of your thighs.
- Make sure you keep your knees over your toes throughout the entire movement. Don’t let them move forward over the toes.
- In a controlled motion, let your hips sink back down toward the ground. This completes 1 repetition.
Butternut Squash Shoulders
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms parallel to the floor.
- Circle your arms forward using small controlled motions, gradually making the circles bigger until you feel a stretch in your triceps.
- Reverse the direction of the circles after about 10 seconds.
Feather Flappers (Jumping Jacks)
- Begin by standing with your legs straight and your arms to your sides.
- Jump up and spread your feet beyond hip-width apart while bringing your arms above your head, nearly touching.
- Jump again, lowering your arms and bringing your legs together. Return to your starting position.
Turkey Trots (Jog in Place)
- Lift your right arm and left foot at the same time.
- Raise your knee as high as your hips.
- Then switch to the opposite foot, quickly lifting your right foot to hip height.
- At the same time, move your right arm back and your left arm forward and up.
- Continue these movements.
Mashed Potato Mountain Climbers
- Come into a plank position.
- Keep your body straight as you draw your right knee into your chest.
- Return it to the original position.
- Alternate between the right and left legs.