It's official - Christmas is here and there's more parties to attend than you can shake a stick at. It can be hard enough sticking to fitness goals from January to November, but when the festive season rolls around and calendars get busier than ever, finding the time and motivation to exercise becomes harder and relaxing on the sofa with a mulled wine and mince pie becomes an ever more tempting prospect.

During times like these, short, sharp workouts that get straight to the point are ideal. I've designed this twelve days of fitness programme to keep your fitness levels up when you're pushed for time this Christmas period.

On the first day of fitness, my PT gave to me… Burpees

What better way to kick off the 12 days of fitness with the much loved burpee? Burpees are a total body workout, working the legs, glutes and core to name just a few. Doing intervals will also ensure you reap the cardio benefits.

Stand with your feet just under shoulder width apart, bend knees and reach down and place hands on the floor so that you are sitting on your heels in a crouch position of a squat thrust. Transfer all your weight onto your hands. Thrust legs out and back as a normal squat thrust. From the squatting position jump up with hands above your head, feet leaving the floor before hitting the ground again and returning to the squatting position and start again.

Aim for 10. Take a 20 second rest and repeat three times.

On the second day… V-sits

Keep your core safe from the all those canapés with these belly burners.

Lie flat on the ground and raise your feet off the ground about 6 inches. Slowly raise your legs and sit up with your torso, bringing your hands to touch your toes. Slowly lower to the start position, keeping your back and legs straight.

Aim for 5 - 15 repetitions and repeat two to three sets.

On the third day… Squat Jumps

By day three you'll be hitting your stride, so it's time to work those legs and glutes. Try some squat jumps for another full body workout that will get your heart rate up and prepare your stamina ahead of all those parties!

Start with your feet shoulder width apart, place your hands on your temples with your elbows pulled back. Squeeze the shoulder blades together to keep the back upright. Lower your bum down to the floor and then as you stand back up, jump up into the air, landing in the starting position.

Do ten as fast as you can. Take a 20 second rest and repeat three times.

On the fourth day… Press Ups

It's hard work holding all those glasses of wine and champers - work on your arms and upper body muscles with some press ups to ensure you're ready for the challenge. Add in a clap if you're feeling brave.

Place your hands flat on the floor with fingers pointing forwards about shoulder width apart. The feet should be pushed as far back as possible. Lower your body until your chest is about a fist height from the floor, with the arms bent and pointing out slightly.

Straighten your arms until your body comes back up to the start position.

Do 15 repetitions, and repeat three sets.

On the fifth day… Jump Lunges

Get your dancing legs ready with this classic exercise with a twist.

Stand with your feet together and lunge forward with your right foot. Jump straight and switch legs in mid-air. Land in a lunge with your left leg forward and repeat, switching legs again. Land softly and keep the core braced to help keep you stable.

Do 15 repetitions, and repeat three sets.

On the sixth day… Plank Jacks

If you've consumed a few too many mince pies by day six, this plank variation will get you back on track, building strength in the core and lower back.

Start in a plank position, ensuring there is a straight line from the shoulders to the ankles. Engage the core and jump your feet out to the side as if you were doing a jumping jack but keep the upper body still. Return to the starting position to complete one rep.

Do 10, take a 20 second rest and repeat three times.

On the seventh day … Tricep Dips

Lugging around all those shopping bags whilst Christmas shopping can be a real strain on the arms. Build your strength with these tricep dips to ensure you're ready.

Sit with the back of your hands facing forward, resting against the edge of a chair or another flat surface. Place your feet shoulder width apart and bend your knees to a 90-degree angle and push your bottom forward off the chair. Lower yourself to the floor and lift yourself back up. Be sure your spine stays straight during the exercise to prevent injury.

Do 15 repetitions and repeat three sets.

On the eighth day … Tuck Jumps

Blast that heart rate up on day eight to beat that party hangover. Tuck jumps are a great HIIT exercise and have multiple cardiovascular benefits.

Start in a standing position, with legs about hip width apart. Jump into the air. As you do, bring your knees as high up as you can. Land with softened knees to protect your joints.

Do 10, take a 20 second rest and repeat three times.

On the ninth day … Floor Wipers

By day nine those buffet tables and meals out might have started to take their toll. This killer core exercise is a great way of getting you back on track.

Lie on your back with your legs together and your arms outstretched to the side pressing your hands, palm down, on the floor. Lift your legs until they are a few inches from the floor, keeping your abs tight. Move your legs so your toes are as near as you can be to your right hand, rotating the hips slightly to allow the legs to move up. Return your legs to a straight position but make sure they do not touch the floor. Repeat moving your leg up to left hand and return to centre.

Do 15 repetitions and repeat three sets.

On the tenth day … Glute Bridge

This glute burning exercise will ensure you look great in that LBD this party season. Hold for as long as you can at the top to reap the booty burning benefits.

Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat to the ground. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold this position for 30 seconds, before returning to the starting position.

Do 15 repetitions and repeat three sets.

On the eleventh day … Squat Thrusts

Squat thrusts target several major muscles groups in the legs and also build cardiovascular endurance - great for helping you to carry on dancing into the early hours at your work Christmas do.

Start in a press up position with your hands shoulder width apart. In one movement, jump your legs towards your chest, until you are in the tuck position. Jump your legs back out to the starting position.

Do 10, take a 20 second rest and repeat three times.

On the twelfth day … Bicycle Crunch

Congratulations - you made it! Celebrate with a classic bicycle crunch.

Lie on your back, placing your hands to either side of your head without locking your fingers or pulling on the head. Lift the knees to a 45 degree angle, and slowly pedal your legs, touching your elbow to the opposite knee and back. Twist back and forth through the core and keep the elbows back to avoid straining the neck.

Do 15 repetitions and repeat three sets.

To find out more about British Military Fitness, please visit: www.britishmilitaryfitness.com

Keep your fitness levels up this Christmas with this fitness programme by Vicky Kerr

Keep your fitness levels up this Christmas with this fitness programme by Vicky Kerr


by for www.malextra.com