01/04/2021 LIFESTYLE How to Get Back in Shape After the Holidays Norse-god-style

5 min

with actor and TAG Heuer Ambassador Chris Hemsworth

Ahhh, the holiday season. It’s the time for festive food, family, friends, fizz… and a bit more food, because why not? There’s always the occasional weirdo trying to enforce a compulsory walk between turkey and mince pies to ‘aid the digestion’ – and we might even groan our way out the door just to keep the peace on Christmas day. But how many of us can honestly say that we stick to our fitness routines (let alone diets) between mid-December and the New Year? And let’s just take a moment to celebrate that. Because what’s life really for if there’s never a moment to relax the discipline and indulge the senses? Bravo. Well done. We’re proud of you. 

Ok, now for the tough love. If the feasting season has left you feeling somewhat… overindulged… or if all your clothes have mysteriously shrunk in the wash, including your belts, and the thought of an early morning run makes your stomach churn with dread (or indigestion), it might be time to re-evaluate.  

We’re bringing you a no-nonsense guide to getting shredded (or maybe just getting your workouts back on-point) in the New Year, however much eggnog you’ve downed since Xmas Eve. And who better to show you the ropes (and the #bodygoals) than our very own TAG Heuer Ambassador, Chris Hemsworth. To ensure it’s impossible to deny that this man walks his talk, we’ve included some pics. You get the idea. Hemsworth-level results not guaranteed, but anything is possible when you’re committed!

While we’re all trying to work out how to workout during lockdown or with restricted access to gyms and facilities, we’ve brought you a set of exercises that can easily be done in your own home, with only your body weight and bottle: if you don’t have a medicine ball on hand, fill up a couple of large (2L) bottles full with water and get pumping!

Total workout time: 8, 16, or 24 minutes depending on what you have time for… because unless you’re a heart surgeon on call, you probably have 8 minutes to spare. No more excuses! 

Instructions: repeat each exercise for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of rest. For an 8-minute workout, do one ‘set’ followed by one rest period, then move on to the next exercise.  For 16 minutes, it’s 2 sets, and 24 minutes it’s 3 sets… you get the idea. 

Up the intensity:  to really feel the burn (and reap the rewards), up your set time to 45 seconds and rest for 15 seconds between sets. 

Medicine ball/bottle crunches 

Target: full body.  Each Set: 30 seconds

  • Sit on the floor with knees bent upward and feet spread a little wider than hip-width apart. 
  • Hold a medicine ball or bottle in front of you at chest height, with arms straight.  
  • Lean forward, bending from the waist, and touch the ball to the floor between your feet as far away from you as possible. 
  • Sit up slowly, and continue leaning back all the way to the floor, keeping arms and back straight.  
  • As you lower your back, raise your arms over your head and touch the ball to the floor behind you. 
  • Reverse the motion, sitting up slowly, back straight, arms overhead.  Repeat for 30 seconds.

Push-Pull

Target: Abs and arms. Each set: 30 seconds

  • Take full plank position (as if about to do a press-up), with feet wide and  hands shoulder-width. 
  • Pull one elbow up to the ceiling keeping the upper arm parallel to the upper body, whilst pushing the floor hard with the other hand. 
  • Alternate this push/pull action in the plank position for 30 seconds. 
  • Make sure to brush your side as you pull your elbow up, and turn your upper body toward the lifted elbow in order to achieve ‘full pull’.

Drop lunge

Target: total body. Each set: 30 seconds

  • Stand tall, hands in front of your body.
  • Jump your right leg forward and your left leg behind you, bending both knees to 90 degrees and coming into a lunge.
  • Jump back to standing.
  • Jump your left leg forward and your right leg behind you, bending both knees to 90 degrees and coming into a lunge.
  • Jump back to standing.
  • Continue, alternating sides as quickly as possible, for 30 seconds

Burpee Crunch

Target: abs and legs. Each set: 30 seconds

  • Start in plank position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your wrists and elbows stacked directly beneath your shoulders. Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe.
  • Jump your feet up to your hands.
  • Lift your hands off the floor and stand up.
  • As soon as your body is upright, kick your right knee up and pump your left elbow down, as if you’re performing a crunch in the air.
  • Bring your hands back to the floor and jump your feet back to plank position.
  • Jump your feet up to your hands.
  • Lift your hands off the floor and stand up.
  • As soon as your body is upright, kick your left knee up and pump your right elbow down, as if you’re performing a crunch in the air.
  • Bring your hands back to the floor and jump feet back to plank position.
  • Continue, alternating the “crunch” on each side, for 30 seconds.

Plank Jack Hop 

Target: total body, especially abs and legs. Each set: 30 seconds

  • Get on all fours with your toes on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Your wrists and elbows should be stacked directly beneath your shoulders. Keep your core tight so your body is in a straight line from head to toe.
  • Squeeze your thighs and butt as you jump your feet apart and then together.
  • Next, jump your feet up to your hands, coming into a crouch position.
  • Jump your feet back to plank position.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

Step to Jump Squat 

Target: lower body, especially quads and glutes. Each set: 30 seconds

  • Start with both knees on the ground, toes tucked under, as if you’re getting ready to step forward.
  • Step your right foot forward, keeping your knees bent to 90 degrees. Then step your left foot forward so you’re in a low squat.
  • Jump up, extending your legs fully and sending your arms behind you to help with momentum.
  • Land lightly, back in a low squat.
  • Bring your left leg back so you’re on one knee, and then bring your right leg back to meet it.
  • Continue, alternating which foot you are stepping up with first, for 30 seconds.

 

Pop Jacks

Target: abs and legs. Each set: 30 seconds

  • Start in plank position with your shoulders over your wrists, abs engaged, and toes shoulder-width apart.
  • Jump your feet up to land directly behind your hands.
  • Lift your hands off the floor to come into a squat, bringing hands to your chest.
  • Staying in a squat, jump feet together and then apart.
  • Immediately drop your hands to the floor and jump your feet back into a plank position.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

Tricep Press-Back 

Target: triceps and abs. Each set: 30 seconds

  • Start on your hands and knees, with your knees hip-width apart.
  • Move into child’s pose: Sit back on your heels and fold your butt backward, resting your belly on your thighs (or as close as you can get).
  • Return back to all fours, and continue your forward motion right into a full push-up, or modified push-up on your knees.
  • Do one push-up, and then push back into child’s pose.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

If in doubt, always remember to K.I.S.S- that’s ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’. Start with one 30-second set of each exercise, for a short, sharp 8-minute workout that targets all your major muscle groups – and which you can easily fit in during your lunch break. Feeling stronger by the day? Up the pressure to 45 seconds of continuous effort for each set. You’re more likely to stick with a short and simple routine than a long and complicated marathon that leaves you hobbling around the house for a week. But even an 8 or 16-minute blast of High Intensity Interval training, or ‘HIIT’, can boost cardiovascular health, reduce stress and cortisol levels, reduce inflammation, improve lung capacity and blood glucose levels, and help you sleep better. Oh, and if you stick with it… give you a set of abs so stunning, they’ll make you forget all about 2020.  

The perfect companion to your new targeted workout routine?  The TAG Heuer Connected has multiple features that make it the perfect coach/trainer/cheerleader to keep you on track in 2021.  From chronograph features to heart rate monitor, route planners and calorie burn calculators, the Connected is a veritable gym-on-your-wrist.  What’s more? If HIIT just isn’t your thing, not check out our latest Connected Golf Edition – for sports enthusiasts with high-performance in mind.  Discover the full TAG Heuer Connected collection and find your perfect fit here.

The exclusive TAG Heuer sports app measures your performance, from running and cycling to golf and fitness.