Jessica Matthews by Jessica Matthews
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Give thanks to your mind and body by committing to and celebrating your health, fitness and happiness all-year round—including during the holiday season. In keeping with our own holiday traditions, this year ACE is sharing a free workout that you can do at home or at the gym on Workout Wednesday—the day before Thanksgiving—where people around the world will break a sweat together in appreciation of their health and wellness. This total-body workout uses minimal equipment yet offers maximum benefits, from strengthening all major muscle groups to torching calories in a fun, functional way. Now that’s something to be thankful for!

What you’ll need: Dumbbells, medicine ball and exercise mat

Turkish Get-ups

Turkish Get-up

Turkish get-up

Turkish get-up

Lie face up on the mat with your left knee bent and right leg extended. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand with your arm straight above the shoulder. With your right arm outstretched on the ground with palm facing down, engage your core and use your right hand to sit up, first moving to the right forearm, then pressing up to the right palm, all while keeping the left arm extended overhead. Push your hips off the ground using the left leg and right arm. Then, quickly—but with control—swing the right leg under the body to end in a half-kneeling position, with the left foot forward and the right knee on ground. Still holding your left arm overhead, stand up, quickly stepping your right foot up to meet the left. Stand tall while holding the dumbbell in the extended left arm, positioned directly above the left shoulder. Reverse the sequence of movements and return to the starting position.

Reverse Jack Sumo Squats

Reverse Jack Sumo Squat

Stand with your feet slightly greater than shoulder-width apart, with toes turned out slightly at approximately 1 o’clock and 11 o’clock. Keeping your core engaged, hinge at the hips, bending the knees bend as you lower into a sumo squat position. Keep your hands positioned in front of the chest, with your palms facing one another. Jump the feet together, rising up on your toes as you sweep your arms overhead, bringing the thumbs to touch. Reverse the movement, lowering directly into another sumo squat.

Push and Row Combo

Push and Row Combo

Push up

With a dumbbell in each hand to alleviate tension in the wrists, assume a high-plank position with the wrists positioned below the shoulders and palms facing one another. Keep the shoulders and hips squared to the mat and perform a single-arm row, drawing the right elbow straight back until the weight is in line with the chest. Re-extend the right arm to the starting position and, with the core engaged, bend your elbows to lower the chest toward the ground for a triceps push-up. Be sure to keep your elbows close to the sides of the body throughout the movement. Press back up to the starting position and complete another single-arm row, this time on the left side.

Reaching Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat

Reaching Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat

Stand approximately 3 feet in front of a bench or chair. Place the top of your right foot atop the bench with your arms extended down by your sides. Slowly lower down into a lunge, keeping the left heel down and the left knee tracking in line with the second toe. Lean forward slightly and drive forward with the arms, reaching the fingertips toward the left toes. Slowly press back up to the starting position, keeping your core engaged.

Dumbbell Thruster

Dumbbell Thruster

Stand with feet hip-width apart, with your toes angled out just slightly. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, just above the shoulders, with the palms facing one another. Engage your core and hinge at the hips, bending your knees to lower to a squat position. Straighten your legs while simultaneously extending the arms overhead, keeping the elbows pointed to 1 o’clock and 11 o’clock. Reverse the movement and repeat the sequence.

Tick Tock Planks

tick tock planks

Begin in a high-plank position, with your wrists positioned below the shoulders and your spine in neutral alignment. With your core engaged, jump the right foot out to side, keeping the hips and shoulders squared to the mat. With control, quickly jump the right foot back to the starting position while simultaneously jumping the left foot out to the opposite side. Continue alternating sides, maintaining proper form throughout the movement.

Rotational Reverse Lunges

Rotational Reverse Lunges

Begin standing with the feet together. Grasp a medicine ball with both hands in front of the chest. With control, step your right foot back into a split-stance position with feet pointed forward. Slowly bend both knees to perform a reverse lunge, lowering until the left thigh becomes parallel with floor and the right knee hovers just a few inches above the ground. Simultaneously, with the core engaged, rotate the torso to perform a wood-chop movement, drawing the medicine ball to the outside of the left hip. Slowly reverse the movement, bringing the medicine ball back to its starting position as you step the right foot up to meet the left. 

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