When we think of the best season to workout out in, most of us probably think of summer. With all that sunshine and those skin-baring opportunities (hellooo, pool!), it’s natural. But this time of year can also be quite fun—you just have to have the right workout.
Fitness expert Sara Haley’s Winter Wonderland Workout alternates between cardio and sculpting moves to take the heart on a little roller coaster ride. The Snowman Shuffle, Ski for Speed and Snowball Fight are meant to drive your heart rate up, while the Sledding Push Off, Snowboard Slip & Glide, and Snow Angel Abs are intended to allow you to catch your breath as you sculpt your body. If the entire circuit is done four times (alternating right and left lead), you will have an approximately 25- to 30-minute workout.
Make sure to take a few minutes to warm up the body before beginning this routine. Once done, be sure to cool down with the Cozy Fire Stretch. And most importantly, have a wintry good time!
The Winter Wonderland Interval Workout
1. Snowman Shuffle. Begin with the knees soft, balancing on the balls of your feet. Reach up and pack the top of an imaginary snowman. Then shuffle your feet by stepping the right foot to the left and then stepping the left foot out into a medium squat, reaching for the belly of the snowman. Shuffle again to squat down low, reaching out to pack the bottom of the snowman. Reverse your direction (packing low to high), shuffling the left foot to the right. Repeat for 60 seconds.
2. Sledding Push-Off. Begin seated on the floor with your legs out long, and your body leaning back with your arms supporting you behind your back (fingertips towards you) with soft elbows. As if you were pushing off the snow to begin sledding downhill, dip yourself back so that your elbows come closer to the floor (remembering to keep your shoulders pressed down away from your ears and your core engaged). Press back up to where you started. As you dip down again, rotate to one side and drop one elbow, placing the opposite arm on your hip, as if you were rocking to one side of the sled. Come back to the center and dip again and then rock to the other side. Repeat sequence six times. This is great for your upper body and obliques!
3. Ski for Speed. This drill simulates telemark and downhill skiing. Begin in a lunge with your back foot lifted in a telemark position. Jump up and switch the feet and land in a lunge so that you are skiing with the opposite leg in front. Next, slalom by jumping feet together and over to the right, sitting into the right hip (pictured right). Work to keep your heels on the floor and knees and feet together, and counterbalance with your arms before jumping to the other side. Repeat sequence for 60 seconds.
Slip and glide!
4. Snowboard Slip & Glide. In an exaggerated snowboard stance, sit into a squat with your hands out in front of you for balance. Shift your weight into your right leg, picking up your right heel into a side slip and do it eight times. Next, place your heel down and glide by tapping your left foot back behind the right foot and back out to the side eight times. This works your butt and legs, and is a great balance challenge for the core!
5. Snowball Fight. Begin with feet shoulder distance apart. With the right leg in front, sit into a deep squat (back flat, heels down), with arms in front of yourface as if preparing to throw a snowball. Next, run forward right-left-right, circling the back arm forward to throw the snowball. Be sure to keep the core engaged to help maintain your balance on one leg as you throw the snowball. Then run backwards left-right-left and sit back into your squat. Take bigger steps to increase your heart rate! Repeat for 60 seconds.
6. Snow Angel Abs. Begin on your back with your legs stretched out wide and your arms at your sides. Simultaneously close your legs and reach your arms above your head. Engage your core and lift both legs and arms up off the floor. Hold for a count of four. Slowly lower back down to floor and return to your starting position. Repeat the sequence six times.
Cozy Fire Cool Down Stretch. Once you’ve been through the circuit four times, it’s time to cool down! Begin lying on your back with your arms and legs stretched out long. Slowly curl your body up on one side, rounding the spine, pulling your knees in towards your chest and hold for a count of four. Return to your back with your arms and legs stretched out long and repeat on other side. Repeat this sequence four times.
A big thanks to Sara for the winter interval training! The weather outside might be frightful, but this workout is so delightful! —Jenn