How to Tone Up and Trim Down for the Holiday Season

With Christmas coming up, you might as well say goodbye to your weight loss plan. However, a twofer tone-up routine that intersperses high-octane cardio bursts with muscle-burning strength moves can give you the edge you need to outlast the temptations of the holiday season. Thanks to Bombshell Bootcamp co-creator Cari Shoemate, a Houston-based trainer who’s whipped hundreds of women into shape with her calorie-scorching circuit workouts, you can sculpt the areas that need the most attention, ready for the season’s festivities.


Shoemate’s workout contains butt-boosting exercises, as well as core-strengtheners that focus on working your deep abdominals, obliques, and six-pack muscles, so you can relax when the turkey hits the table. Shoemate even shows you how adjusting a few areas you’ve never even thought of can help you to look slimmer all over. She explains, ‘Sculpted shoulders balance out your lower body, creating an illusion of a slimmer waist and hips.’ To do her trim-and-tone circuit, which includes cardio bursts and strength moves, all you need is a set of three- to five-pound dumbbells and time on three non-consecutive days a week. Add in your favourite form of cardio for 30 minutes twice a week – with bonus points if you make one of these sweat sessions a booty-shaping hill workout – and you’ll be able to say Bah humbug to holiday weight gain.


1. Plank Macarena: This move targets your shoulders and abs. Start in a full plank position with your arms straight and your wrists on the floor under your shoulders. Lift your left hand and tap your right shoulder, returning the left hand to floor and repeating with your right hand. After this, tap each hand to the opposite hip. Then, bend your and lower into a forearm plank, and repeat same sequence of shoulder taps and hip taps. Straighten your arms and repeat from the start, continuing for one minute.


2. Single-Leg Squat Kick: If you want to get your bum and outer thighs in shape, this is the exercise for you. Hold a dumbbell horizontally with both of your hands at chest height. Your feet should be slightly wider than hip-width apart, parallel, with your left foot on top of a bench or step and your right foot on floor. Keeping the weight in front of your chest, lower into a squat and hold for two to three seconds. Then, lift your right leg about 45 degrees from floor, keeping your weight centred over your left leg. Squat a little deeper by lowering your right foot back to the floor. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps; switch sides and repeat.


3. Running V-Sit: Do this move to target your arms, abs and hips. Start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and your arms at your sides. Leaning back slightly and engaging your abs, slowly lift your feet and extend your legs to form a V. Reach your arms towards your feet, hold your calves for a moment to get your balance, then release. Keeping your legs extended and about 45 degrees from floor, bend your elbows 90 degrees and move your arms back and forth (as if running). Continue for one minute.


4. Scissors Lunge: This move covers the most body parts in total; targeting your shoulders, triceps, butt, quads, and calves. Standing feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides with a dumbbell in each hand, lunge back with your right foot, bending both knees 90 degrees. At the same time, lift your left arm forward to shoulder height and your right arm behind you you’re your thumbs facing the sky. Then, stand up and lower your arms back to your sides without swinging them. Repeat with opposite legs and arms and do 10 to 12 reps on each leg.

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