4 Fun Christmas Workouts To Torch Those Holiday Calories

The holiday season is a special time of year when friends and family gather together to eat, drink, and be merry. 

But let’s face it. Trying to stick to our usual, healthy diets, with so much delicious temptation on every table, is tricky. All of those special treats and family traditions.

They are hard to turn down. And why not enjoy them? I mean, Christmas only comes once a year, right? 

Now that we’ve accepted that we are going to eat that slice of pie, or two, handful of Christmas cookies, and glasses of eggnog, to mention just a few delicious indulgences, why not squeeze in some Christmas workouts to help burn those extra holiday calories and help keep our minds at ease and our waistlines in check?

In this article, we have put together four fun Christmas workouts, from strength training to high-intensity cardio, to get you through the holiday season guilt-free. 


Let’s jump in! 

A person flexing their bicep and smiling.

4 Christmas Workouts To Torch Those Holiday Calories

#1: Christmas Cookie Circuit 

Circuit training is a great way to burn calories and work out your entire body in just one session! 

Our Christmas Cookie Circuit is just the right mix of cardio and strength training as you move from exercise to exercise with very little rest, keeping your heat pumping at all times. 

The other great thing about this particular one of our Christmas workouts is that it’s a bodyweight workout, so if you don’t have gym equipment like dumbbells or kettlebells and need to work out at home, never fear!

You can do this workout in the comfort of your living room with just a bit of space to move around. 

Here we go! 

A person doing a push-up.

Before you begin, be sure to warm up with 5-10 minutes of light cardio (such as walking or marching in place) and dynamic stretches (such as leg swings, heel-to-toe walks, and Frankensteins).

Click here for a complete list of pre-workout dynamic stretches that you can perform before any workout.

Now that you are all warmed up and ready to go, let’s get to the main event. 

Perform each of the following exercises for 30 seconds each, moving from exercise to exercise with no rest in between (just the time it takes you to switch positions). 

If you are more advanced and would like to increase the total time of each exercise, you can adjust it to 45 or even 60 seconds if you are up for it.

Perform 3-4 rounds in total, depending on your fitness level: 

A person doing high knees.
  • 30 seconds of High Knees
  • 30 seconds of Pulse Squats 
  • 30 seconds of Jumping Jacks
  • 30 seconds of Push Ups
  • 30 seconds of Diagonal Mountain Climbers
  • 30 seconds of Alternating Reverse Lunges
  • 30 seconds of Butt Kicks 
  • 30 seconds of Glute Bridges 
  • 30 seconds of Half Burpees
  • 30 seconds of V-Ups 
  • 1-2 minutes of complete rest between rounds

Cool down by performing static stretching that targets each muscle group used throughout this circuit, in this case, your entire body.

Click here for a complete list of post-workout stretches to ensure you have cooled down properly.

A person doing mountain climbers, one of the Christmas Workout exercises.

#2: Tree Trimming Tabata 

For our Tree Trimming Tabata get ready for some high-intensity aerobic work! 

As a quick refresher, a Tabata is a type of HIIT workout (high-intensity interval training) where high-intensity effort and complete rest are alternated throughout the duration of the session for maximum calorie burn

The traditional format for a Tabata is 20 seconds of high-intensity work and just a quick 10 seconds of complete rest repeated for 8 rounds.

Therefore, each of our Tree Trimming Tabata Christmas Workouts is only a short 4 minutes for those who are pressed for time, but those four minutes are at an almost all-out effort level.

You should complete the most possible repetitions of each exercise during the 20 seconds of work without compromising your form and technique, of course. 

Here are three Tree Trimming Tabata Christmas Workouts to begin to burn those holiday calories before you even sit down to dinner. 

Three people doing burpees.

As with any exercise and all of our Christmas workouts outlined here today, it is essential to warm up your muscles before starting with 5-10 minutes of light cardio and dynamic stretches. This is to avoid potential injuries, muscle strains, or pulls and to prepare your body and mind for the workout ahead. 

When you are warmed up and ready to go, perform each Tabata workout, resting fully (about 3-5 minutes) between each one. 

  • 4-minute Burpee Tabata
  • 3-5 minutes of complete rest
  • 4-minute Mountain Climber Tabata 
  • 3-5 minutes of complete rest
  • 4-minute Jump Squat Tabata 

If you only have 4 minutes to sneak your workout in, choose just one, or split them up throughout the day.

When you have completed your high-intensity Tabatas, cool down by performing static stretching that targets each muscle group used. 

A person doing a clapping push up.

#3: Candy Cane Countdown Workout 

For this Christmas workout, we will do a countdown circuit of exercises to get your heart rate pumping and make those muscles burn. 

This is also a bodyweight workout with a mix of plyometrics and cardio moves, so you won’t need equipment aside from a sturdy step or bench.

You will begin with 10 repetitions of each exercise in a circuit style, performing 10 reps of the first exercise, 10 reps of the second, and so on. When you reach the end of the list, you will jump back up to the first exercise and do 9 reps, the second exercise for 9 reps, etcetera, until you reach the end of the list again. 

Continue repeating the exercises in a countdown fashion until you reach one rep.

When you finish, you will have completed 55 repetitions of each exercise! That’s quite a workout if you ask me. 

Ready to go? Get warmed up with your light cardio, dynamic stretches, and let’s go. 

A person doing a box jump.

We’ve written out the first few rounds, so you get a good idea of what they look like: 

  • 10 repetitions of Box Jumps*
  • 10 repetitions of Push Ups**
  • 10 repetitions of Alternating Jumping Lunges 
  • 10 repetitions of Plank Jacks 
  • 10 repetitions of Star Jumps
  • 9 repetitions of Push Ups
  • 9 repetitions of Alternating Jumping Lunges 
  • 9 repetitions of Plank Jacks 
  • 9 repetitions of Star Jumps
  • 8 repetitions of Box Jumps
  • 8 repetitions of Push Ups
  • 8 repetitions of Alternating Jumping Lunges 
  • 8 repetitions of Plank Jacks 
  • 8 repetitions of Star Jumps

Etc……until you reach one rep of each! 

*You can replace box jumps for jump squats if you do not have a plyometric box or sturdy step or bench to jump up on. 

**For push-ups, you can do regular, kneeling, incline, decline, or clapping, depending on your current fitness level. Whichever you choose, be sure to stick with the same exercise for the entire workout. No switching halfway through!

A person doing renegade rows.

#4: 12 Days Of Christmas Workout 

Our Christmas workouts list would not be complete without a 12 Days of Christmas Workout. However, we have added a twist to our version of the 12 Days of Christmas Workout to ensure you get plenty of reps from each exercise. We wouldn’t want to play favorites here!

This is another total-body workout you will cycle through without any rest between exercises. The only rest you have is the transition times between exercises, picking up the needed equipment, or changing positions. 

You will also be able to rest at the end of our workout pyramid between sets so you can catch your breath, recuperate and start all over again. 

To make this 12 Days of Christmas Workout even more of a challenge, we have created it with exercises that call for resistance or weight, such as dumbbells or kettlebells.

If you are working out at home and do not have any available equipment, you can grab some heavy water bottles or exercise with your body weight. 

You will also need a step, bench, or chair for the tricep dips and step-ups. 

A person doing a row.

After warming up adequately, perform each exercise for the number of reps in the number preceding each exercise name. 

Repeat the next 12 Days of Christmas Workout for 2-3 rounds, depending on your fitness level. Be sure and rest between rounds; you’ll need it

  • 1 Kettlebell (or dumbbell) Swing 
  • 2 Tricep Dips 
  • 3 Reverse Crunches 
  • 4 Renegade Rows 
  • 5 Dumbbell Calf Raises
  • 6 Push-ups 
  • 7 Dumbbell Goblet Squats
  • 8 Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows 
  • 9 Leg Raises
  • 10 Alternating Dumbbell Step-Ups
  • 11 Dumbbell Push Press 
  • 12 Dumbbell Alternating Reverse Lunges
  • 12 Kettlebell (or dumbbell) Swings
  • 11 Tricep Dips 
  • 10 Reverse Crunches 
  • 9 Renegade Rows 
  • 8 Dumbbell Calf Raises
  • 7 Push-ups 
  • 6 Dumbbell Goblet Squats
  • 5 Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows 
  • 4 Leg Raises
  • 3 Alternating Dumbbell Step-Ups
  • 2 Dumbbell Push Press 
  • 1 Dumbbell Alternating Reverse Lunges

Cool down by performing static stretching, which targets each muscle group used, again, your entire body.

With these three Christmas Workouts, you have a mix of everything to keep you active during the holiday season. 

Happy holidays! 

If you have finished all of our four Christmas Workouts and are looking for even more ways to burn calories, we have a bunch of other workouts just for you:

The Ultimate HIIT Workout With Weights

Resistance Band Total Body Workout 

Upper Body Workout 

Total Bodyweight Workout 

A person in a red shirt eating a cookie.
Photo of author
Katelyn is an experienced ultra-marathoner and outdoor enthusiast with a passion for the trails. In the running community, she is known for her ear-to-ear smile, even under the toughest racing conditions. She is a UESCA-certified running coach and loves sharing her knowledge and experience to help people reach their goals and become the best runners they can be. Her biggest passion is to motivate others to hit the trails or road alongside her, have a blast, and run for fun!

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