I don't know about you, but I find myself doing a lot of hustling and bustling throughout the holiday season.
Between hours spent baking in the kitchen, carrying heavy packages and all the festive decorating, I've noticed that a strong upper body is essential to get things done.
Today's workout at is designed to give you sculpted shoulders and arms that can withstand all the mixing, shopping, wrapping and cleaning that comes along with all the festivities of the season!
Do each of the following exercises for 20 seconds. The entire routine takes just a little over 3 minutes to complete. To reduce the intensity, spend just 10 seconds on each exercise or omit some of them. Remember to keep your abdominals tight and your shoulders away from your ears throughout these movements.
1. Pummel fists: With arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height, pummel your fists up and down, palms toward the floor, in a small and rapid motion.
2. Scissor fists: Continue with the small and rapid movement, but turn your palms toward each other, and alternating which fist is on top.
3. Big X: Reach one arm above your head and out toward the side while the other arm reaches down and toward the side. Have the hands meet in the middle and then alternate the move to the other side. It should feel like you are drawing a big letter "X" with your hands.
4. Little Circles: With your arms straight out to the side, bend at the wrist so that your fingertips are pointing upwards. Draw quick little circles forward with the heel of your hand for 20 seconds and then backwards for 20 seconds.
5. Palm Rotations: Remain with the arms straight out to the side and rotate the palms up and down.
6. Shoulder Taps: Bring the arms straight out in front of you, at shoulder height, with palms open and facing up. Bend at the elbows to tap shoulders and quickly return to starting position.
7. Serving Platters: Remain with the arms straight out in front of you, at shoulder height, with palms open and facing up. Bend the arms to bring the elbows back behind you and then return them to the starting position, as if you were carrying and extending a serving platter forward.
8. Bicep Bumps: Continue standing with the arms straight out in front of you, at shoulder height, but turn the palms to face one another and bend at the elbows to create a 90 degree angle, fingers toward to the ceiling. Reach the hands up and down rapidly, just a few inches, without allowing the elbows to drop below shoulder height.
9. Big V: Bring the elbows in to touch each other and then extend the arms up and outward, like you are drawing the letter "V" with your elbows.
10. Shaving the Head: Stack the palms and bring the hands above the head. Hinge forward slightly from the waist and bend at the elbows to bring the hands behind the head and then up and forward over the head.
11. Quick Press: Drop the hands down behind the seat, cup the palms tightly and press back rapidly, just a couple of inches. Lift one leg at a tie to make the exercise more challenging.
Phew! That's it. A couple of rounds of this workout will set your arms and shoulders on fire! As it's a lot to remember, I recommend making yourself an index card to remind you of the exercises and the order they're in. (I have been known to make a cheat sheet on my hand to help me out in the past.)
In between these upper body sets, add some cardio and lower body exercises, such as the plyometrics from last week's or a series of kicks from our a while back. Be sure to stretch afterwards to keep from getting too sore.
Enjoy your workout!