Holiday HIIT Workout


Have you ever wondered where the expression “Slow as Christmas” comes from? Everyone knows there’s nothing slow about Christmas. From the start of the holiday season it’s a 24-7, frenetic hodgepodge of festivities that often derails our wellness routines.

But not this year. Give yourself an early gift: Stacey Saritelli’s holiday high-intensity interval training workout. Saritelli — a personal trainer, the fitness director at Breakthrough Fitness Center and the five-time winner of The Island Packet’s "best of" Readers Choice Awards — is a graduate of Penn State University and has a bachelor’s degree in commercial recreation and health education. She also is an ACE/AFPA personal trainer and fitness instructor and an ACE-certified weight management consultant. Yep, she kicks butt — for a living.

“This 25-minute HIIT workout is a quick way to get in shape,” Saritelli said. “The basis is functional, full-body moves that build strength, stamina and stability all while increasing your metabolism.”

Holiday HIIT Workout2Intensity intervals increase the amount of calories you burn during and after your exercise session, she said.

“It is widely accepted that strength training increases the body's metabolism, causing it to store less fat tissue, which will result in reduced body fat and increased lean muscle mass.”

Sounds like just the ticket to help keep off those holiday pounds.


WARM UP (2 minutes)

Do anything that gets the body warm, like marching in place or toe taps

Segment 1

(repeat twice)

  • PLANK ROWS (45 seconds): From plank position, alternate tapping your palms to the opposite shoulder
  • JUMP SQUATS (45 seconds): With your toes at 2 and 10 o’clock, jump up, landing on your heels with your knees behind toes
  • REST 30 seconds

Holiday HIIT Workout3

Segment 2

(Do for 2 minutes)

  • BURPEES: From standing, bend at the waist, jump back to a plank, do a modified push-up, jump forward, and jump up

Segment 3

(repeat once)

  • SCISSOR LUNGES (30 seconds): Alternate forward jumping lunges
  • MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS (30 seconds): In the plank position, quickly bring alternating knees to your chest
  • V-TUCK CRUNCH (30 seconds): Laying flat on back, contract abs, lift chest and bring knees in toward chest
  • X-JACKS: From a low squat position, explode into the air into a large “X” and land softly in a squat
  • REST 1 minute

Holiday HIIT Workout4Segment 4

(3 minutes)

  • SPEED SKATERS (50 seconds and a 10-second rest): Quick side to side movement, with one leg behind the other and using resistance band
  • ELBOW PLANKS JACKS (50 seconds and a 10-second rest): With your elbows under your shoulder and heels pressed back, quickly jump out and in
  • TRAVEL SQUATS (50 seconds and a 10-second rest): Using a resistance band around the knees, squat back and then travel to the right eight times and to the left eight times

Segment 5

Cool Down (3 minutes)

  • GLUTE LIFTS (1 minute): On your back and with a band around the knees, lift and lower your glutes, contracting at the top and keeping heels flat
  • BICYCLES (1 minute): Lie on the back and put a resistance band around the knees; alternate right elbow to left knee and left elbow to right knee keeping elbows open
  • BEAR CRAWLS (1 minute): On hands and knees and with band around the knees, lift knees slightly off floor, and then crawl to the right four times and to the left four times


 (2 minutes holding each pose for at least 30 seconds)

  • On your back, hug your knees to your chest, then lift the left leg in air and hold straight
  • Take leg across body to right, look over left
  • Repeat other side
  • Roll over to Child's Pose: kneel, then lean toward the ground, keeping your hands down at your side, until your head rests on the floor or you can’t stretch forward any further
  • Advance to standing, bent at the waist — also known as standing forward fold — and then roll up and finish with a big inhale and exhale

Becca Edwards is a wellness professional, freelance writer and owner of b.e.WELL+b.e.CREATIVE (