Celebrity trainer Astrid McGuire will give it to you straight. “If you can carry a 5-pound purse everyday, you can hold 5-pound weights,” she says as she hands me a set of dumbbells. As a leading trainer and fitness model, McGuire has heard every excuse people give themselves for skipping workouts. One of her favorites? “It’s the holidays!“ Don’t get her wrong—she believes in embracing the festivities and all they have to offer. To McGuire, it's about being “90% ready.“ That is, taking yourself, mind, body, and spirit, with good nutrition and exercise 90% of the time, so that when the holidays do arrive, you can enjoy yourself. When I suggest that people often feel to busy around the holidays, McGuire quickly shoots down the notion. “If you can make an appointment to get your hair and nails done, you can make an appointment for fitness,“ she says. Point taken.
It’s McGuire's no-excuses mentality that has helped shape the bodies of celebrities, and has made her one of the most in-demand boot camp instructors in Los Angeles. So with all the holiday food, drinks, and potential stress to steer you off your fitness course—what better way to keep you on track than with McGuire’s anywhere-anytime kick booty routine?
All you need is a set of 5-lb. weights.
1: Tri Burpee Bicep
What it does: tones all over your arms and gets your heart rate up.
Pick up your dumbbells, one in each hand. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and do one bicep curl. Squat and place weights on the floor. Hold them like handles as you jump into a plank position. Lower your body down into a tricep pushup (elbows and arms stay close to the body and bend straight back rather than splaying out to the sides). Press up, jump your feet in toward your hands, stand up, and repeat.
Do as many as you can in 60 seconds! Keep track and on every circuit, try to do go faster and fit a few more in.
2: Swing Around Abs
What it does: works your abs, especially the transverse abdominus, and gives you a quick cardio burst!
Hold dumbbells in each hand and start with feet shoulder-width apart. On an inhale, keeping arms separated, bring both weights down and over to left hip. As you exhale, keeping arms straight, swing arms straight up (to eye level) and bring them back down at a slight angle over to the right hip. To use some power from your legs, keep a slight bend in the knees every time you bring the weights low to each hip. Keep the core engaged the whole time. Repeat in the opposite direction.
Do as many as you can in 60 seconds, but be sure to keep proper form.
3: Reverse Lunge Kick
What it does: gets heart rate up and works your balance, core, arms, and legs (glutes, hamstrings, and quads!).
Keep one dumbbell in each hand with forearms bent up and step your right foot back into a reverse lunge. Keep your weight on your left foot, push up and kick your right leg through as you extend your arms straight and back by your butt. Make sure to keep your foot flexed to activate the quad!
With dumbbells in each hand, hold a fighting stance (forearms bent up). Take a big step back with your right leg into a reverse lunge. Keeping the core tight, power off your bent left leg to kick your right leg through as your press the weights back with straight arms, down and back by your butt. As you kick, be sure to keep the foot flexed to really activate the quad.
Repeat for 30 seconds, switch sides, and repeat.
What it does: works your arms, abs, and legs
Hold one dumbbell in each hand with arms down your side, and start with feet shoulder-width apart. Do one jump squat (jump up with weights in a curl position, and land lightly on your feet as you bend into a squat and bring the arms straight with weights pointed at the ground).
From the bottom of the squat, immediately curl biceps to a static hold and keep them there as you twist your torso to the left and right. Lower weights back down and repeat.
Do this for 60 seconds.
Repeat all four exercise 3–4 times for a full-body workout. Happy holidays!
Kit Rich is Los Angeles-based fitness trainer with endless exercise and nutritional know-how. Hollywood's hottest stars are addicted to Kit's unique, multi-disciplined approach that combines cardio, yoga, Pilates, and weight training. Kit's clients are immediately taken by her funny and honest approach to health and fitness. She treats her clients as she treats herself, "with a hard challenge, sensibility, sensitively, and a good laugh." Follow Kit on Twitter @kitrichfitness.