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At-Home for the Holidays

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woman doing squat in living room

Life can be a whirlwind. With busy schedules, mile-long to-do lists and being on-the-go from one extracurricular activity to the next, it can be tricky trying to find time to exercise. But don’t give up quite yet! Just because you may be facing pesky time-constraints in your day, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a quality workout.

At-home workouts are an ideal, time-efficient alternative for days you may find yourself unable to make it to the gym. Even more specifically, total-body workouts are great for getting the most out of a workout in a short amount of time. 

Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer Louie Herrera explains how to get the most of a 30-minute at-home workout circuit. An efficient circuit incorporates the seven basic functional movement types which include:

•    Squatting
•    Lunging
•    Jumping
•    Reaching
•    Lifting
•    Pushing
•    Pulling

These movement types can be maximized by using merely your own body weight or equipment such as resistance bands, exercise balls, dumbbells and kettlebells. Try this at-home workout next time you’re crunched for time!


  1. Lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on floor, rock both hips back and forth for approximately 30-45 seconds.
  2. Starting on your hands and knees with a neutral back position, flex your spine slowly while tucking your chin under you slightly.  Hold this pose for 20 seconds. Extend the spine slowly with a neutral neck and hold this position for another 20 seconds. 
  3. While kneeling, extend both arms straight up in the air and reach as high as possible. Hold this overhead reach position for 20 seconds.


1.    Squat – Kettlebell Front Squat
Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width and your toes facing front, turned slightly out. Drive your hips back—bending at the knees and ankles while pressing your knees slightly apart—as you sit into a squat position. Keep your heels and toes on the ground, allowing your chest and torso to slight lean forward, about 15 degrees. Hold the kettlebell from the bottom with both hands, close to your chest while performing the squat.

2.    Lunge – Kettlebell Reverse Lunge
Stand with feet hip-width apart, then step backwards with your right leg until your front knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Your back leg should be straight as your torso leans about 15 degrees forward. Your right knee should be in line with your toes. Push yourself forward to the start position and repeat with your left leg. Hold the kettlebell with the arm opposite of your bent leg.

3.    Lift – Kettlebell Deadlift
Begin in a standing position, holding a kettlebell with both hands by the handle. Begin by allowing your arms to hang perpendicular to the floor, with the wrists pronated and the elbows pointed to your sides. Initiate the movement by flexing your hips, slowly pushing your glutes out as far back as you can. This should entail a horizontal, hinging movement of the hips, rather than a downward, squatting movement. The knees should only partially bend, and your weight should remain on your heels. With a straight back, drive your glutes back as far as you can, which should generate tension in your hamstrings as your hands approach knee level. Maintain an arch in your back throughout the exercise. When your hips cannot perform any further backward movement, pause, and then slowly return to the starting position by extending the hips. 

4.    Reach – Staggered Stance Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Stand tall with your chest out and your feet in a staggered position, keeping your knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your shoulder level with your palms facing out. Press the weight overhead, completely extending your arm, and return to shoulder level.

5.    Push – Pushup
Begin in a plank position with your hands holding yourself off the ground at shoulder-width apart. As you bend your elbows and lower toward the ground, your elbows should be at about a 45-degree angle to your body. Pause at the bottom before your chest touches the ground and push your body back up the initial plank position. Think about keeping your core engaged and back flat, so that your body is in one straight line from the top of your head to your heels. 

6.    Pull – Dumbbell Bent Over Row
Assume a standing position while holding a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip. Bend over, hinging at the hips until your torso is roughly parallel with the floor. Begin the movement by pulling the dumbbells straight back, driving the elbows behind your body while squeezing the shoulder blades. Pull the dumbbells towards your body until they meet your ribs and then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. 

7.    Jump – Squat Jump
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and hinge at the hips to push your glutes back to lower yourself down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Explode off the floor and jump as high as you can. Allow your knees to bend 45 degrees when you land, and then immediately drop back down into a squat, and jump again.

For best results repeat this circuit as many times as possible, performing each exercise for 12 to 20 reps for 30 minutes.

For more information about Cooper Fitness Center or to schedule a session with a Professional Fitness Trainer, visit or call 972.233.4832.