12 Days of Fitness

12 Exercises and How to Add them to Your Workout Routine!

By: Marley Carviou, Rierson Fitness Personal Trainer

The holiday season is here! As you gear up for the end of the year and busy holiday schedules, finding the time to workout and be active can get increasingly more difficult. Keep reading for some inspiration for new movements that you can add to your workout routine to keep things fun to combat the stress of the holidays. Keep in mind this is a busy phase of life for many, so don’t over complicate your fitness routine! Pick 3-4 movements you can confidently perform with good form, and complete 4-5 rounds of 8-10 reps of each of those exercises. And just like that you have a quick and simple workout to do in between baking cookies and wrapping presents! Be sure to check out our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram where we will have videos of each exercise posted!

Day 1 

On the first day of Christmas, Santa’s trainer gave to me…..goblet squats! A goblet squat is a great exercise for all fitness levels that targets the glutes, hamstrings and quads. When performing the goblet squat you have the weight in front of you, which helps to reinforce posture and engages the arms and core. Our favorite que to use when coaching the goblet squat: chest up, keep the weight at nose/chin level, knees track in line with middle toes, and sit hips down and back like there is a chair behind you.

Day 2 

Another favorite here at Rierson Fitness is the push-up. This is another movement that can be modified for all fitness levels and is easy to do at home or at the gym. If getting a full push-up is difficult, try keeping your knees on the ground or elevate your upper body by putting your hands on a chair or bench so you don’t have to go as low!

Day 3 

Everyone loves a challenging core exercise, so don’t be afraid to try out tall plank shoulder taps. This puts a fun twist on a normal plank and works anti-rotation of the core muscles. Some cues to master this exercise include slightly widening your feet to keep a strong base, keep both hip bones pointing towards the ground, and keep your nose over your fingertips, not behind them!

Day 4 

Another lower body exercise that can be performed at home or in the gym is the reverse lunge. This is a great movement to work on single leg strength, stability and balance. If you have mastered the reverse lunge, you can make it more challenging by holding onto dumbbells or using a barbell on your back to add some weight!

Day 5 

The days are getting colder, so to warm you up and get your heart rate up, try practicing line jumps. This exercise is great for strengthening the tendons of your ankles and knees, and will prepare you for more challenging plyometric exercises. A fun way to incorporate these is to set a timer for 15 seconds and see how many reps you can do in that time!

Day 6 

We are halfway there! On the sixth day of Christmas, Rierson Fitness gave to you…a forearm plank! You are never too good for the basics, and this is one full body exercise that never goes out of style. Our favorite coaching cues to tell our clients is to push the ground away from you to keep the shoulders strong, and to tuck your tailbone to keep your back from arching.

Day 7 

Baking cookies takes a lot of arm strength, so to keep those shoulders strong try out prone Y raises. This is a great move for shoulder mobility as well as strength. You can perform these on the ground, or if you are at the gym you can use a bench and hold on to small dumbbells to add a challenge. 

Day 8 

If you want to work your core but are sick of sit-ups, try out a lying knee tuck. This exercise is great for the core but also for your hips and low back. To modify this exercise, you can raise your feet higher off the ground, and to make it more difficult, keep your feet as close to the ground as you can!

Day 9 

We may not have nine ladies dancing as the traditional song says, but we do have another lower body exercise for you: squat jumps! This is a lower body plyometric exercise that you can perform as fast or slow as you need to based on your fitness level. When landing the jump, think about landing softly on the ball of your foot and not letting your feet slam hard into the ground.

Day 10 

For the tenth day of Christmas, we have single leg RDL’s, which are a very challenging lower body exercise that works on balance, stability and hamstring strength. When practicing the single leg RDL, I often have people start near a wall or chair for balance. This allows us to really work on form and not be falling over every rep.

Day 11 

The next move is another upper body one that can be performed at home or in the gym, tricep dips! You can perform these on a chair or bench, and you can adjust the distance of your legs to make the movement easier or more difficult. Make sure you keep your butt close to the bench!

Day 12 

And finally, on the twelfth day of Christmas, Rierson Fitness gave to me, mountain climbers! Another great full body exercise, we suggest starting these in a slow and controlled manner. Make sure you start in a strong plank position before moving your knee forward to your chest. Think about moving extra slow to make the movement a little more challenging! 

Thanks for following along for Rierson Fitness’s version of the 12 Days of Fitness! Don’t forget to check out Facebook and Instagram to see our most recent post where you can see a demo of each movement listed above. Remember there is no shame in making modifications to movements that may be too challenging for you. Choose the movement that feels best and master the form before jumping to the more difficult version! If you have more questions or concerns regarding these exercises or others, or you want to get started before the new year, you can send us an email at info@riersonfitness.com or give us a call at 319-290-6319. At Rierson Fitness, we take pride in our ability to safely and effectively teach our clients exercises that are best for them. Happy Holidays from the Rierson Fitness Team!


And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/riersonfitness and Instagram @riersonfitnesss. 

On December 22, 2023 this entry was posted in Health and Fitness, Uncategorized by Jeff Rierson.