The holidays mean hours in the kitchen baking cookies, planning and cooking holiday meals, and clean up. Since spending all that time cooking also means less time at the gym, we’ve got five fitness moves you can actually do in the kitchen. As you’re waiting for the water to boil, a batch of cookies to bake, or a sauce to simmer, put this holiday kitchen workout on your menu.
5 Fitness moves you can do in the kitchen
It takes 5 minutes or less for the coffee maker to brew a pot of java. In that time, you can do a couple sets of squats. Aim for 20 reps per set.
To perform: Stand with your feet about hip-distance apart. Bend your knees while keeping your chest and head high and sit your hips back as if you’re going to sit in a chair. Make sure when you squat down, your knees stay over your ankles; focus on getting your rear back. Return to standing and repeat.
Lunges are a great lower body exercise that strengthens your legs and glutes, challenges your core muscles, and improves your balance. While the cookies are baking, do 2 to 3 sets of 20 lunges.
To perform: Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart. Step your right foot forward and bend your right knee to a 90 degree angle (your right knee should be over your right ankle) while bending your left knee towards the floor. Keep your body straight up, not leaning forward into the lunge. Return to standing and switch legs to repeat. Alternate legs throughout the set.
3. Back rows
You don’t need a back row machine to work your back muscles (and improve your posture) and strengthen your biceps and shoulders. Keep your dumbbells handy or equally fill two grocery shopping bags with cans until they weigh about 10 pounds. Do 20 repetitions, slow and controlled.
To perform: Lean forward at the hip until your upper body is parallel to the floor. Put a slight bend in your knees. Holding dumbbells or grocery bags, bend your elbows and raise them to the ceiling while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower arms and repeat.
4. Push ups
While you’re waiting for the water to boil, use the counter as a convenient exercise space to tone and strengthen your chest, arms, and shoulders. Do 2 to 3 sets of 20.
Perform it: Face the counter and place your hands on the counter, wider than shoulder-distance apart. Walk your feet back, keeping your torso and legs in line, until you are at a diagonal. Lower your chest to the counter while bending your elbows, until your elbows reach a 90 degree angle. Push back to start position and repeat.
5. Chair reverse crunches
Grab a chair while the sauce is simmering and work on your core muscles. Aim for 20 to 30 crunches, alternating your legs.
To perform: Sit towards the front edge of a chair (preferably one that is padded) and place your hands behind your glutes, grabbing the sides of the seat of the chair. Lean your torso back. Lift your right knee up and towards your chest as you suck your belly button towards your spine, and perform a reverse crunch. Return your right leg to start position and repeat with your left leg.