Turkey Torcher: 4 Quick Workouts That Will Fit Between Courses

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Thanksgiving week workouts are usually best first thing in the morning. According to a research review, even a short exercise session has psychological benefits.

Exercising a few times a week will help you feel more energized — essential for soaking up quality time with loved ones.

Squeeze in a workout as soon as your alarm goes off, then put on your stretchy pants and enjoy the rest of the day!

Workout 1: 5 rounds for 5 helpings

Do 5 sets of the following:

  • 15 sit-ups
  • 30 double-unders or regular jump ropes
  • 15 air squats
  • 30 double-unders or regular jump ropes
Do it like this

In this workout, form trumps speed. Find an open spot on the floor, pop a squat, and complete 15 regular sit-ups, followed by 30 double-unders, aka jump-roping with the rope going under twice. Next, get low into 15 air squats (just pretend you’re sinking into an invisible chair), followed by more double-unders.

Workout 2: Wing Torcher, aka Bear Complex

To complete 1 round, do all 5 exercises 7 times without putting down the barbell. Aim for 5 total rounds, resting after each round.

  • 1 power clean
  • 1 front squat
  • 1 push press
  • 1 back squat
  • 1 push press

Workout 3: Feast-to-Beasts Mode

Partner up and take turns performing these exercises for 30 seconds each.

  • jumping jacks
  • wall-sits
  • push-ups
  • crunches
  • step-up
  • squats
  • tricep dips
  • planks
  • high-knees
  • lunges
  • push-ups with motivation
  • side-planks

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is all the rage, and partner workouts are boss during the holidays. This one is all about expending maximum effort in a minimal amount of time.

So, grab your partner, do jumping jacks for 30 seconds, then take a 30-second breather to check on the pumpkin pie in the oven.

Repeat the jumping jacks 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off by taking turns with your partner for each move.

Workout 4: Turkey Day Tabata

Hop off the gravy train and make room for more with 2 rounds of the following:

  • Tabata burpees (20 seconds)
  • rest (10 seconds)
  • Tabata weighted sit-ups (20 seconds)
  • rest (10 seconds)
  • Tabata kettlebell swings (20 seconds)
  • rest (10 seconds)
  • Tabata burpees (20 seconds)
  • rest (10 seconds)

Tabata is a type of HIIT that includes 20 seconds of amped exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest.

For the burpees: Jump up, place your hands on the floor, then jump your feet back into a plank. Quickly jump your feet forward again, stand, and repeat.

For the weighted sit-ups: Hold a kettlebell, dumbbell, or even a giant can of cranberry sauce on your chest while you do sit-ups.

For the kettlebell swings, squat slightly, keeping your back straight. With your core tensed, swing the kettlebell down between your legs, then back up. Repeat.

Source: Basso J, et al. (2017). The effects of acute exercise on mood, cognition, neurophysiology, and neurochemical pathways: A review. DOI:

Booziest holidays. (n.d.).

Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights. (2018).

Elkington JT, et al. (2017). Psychological responses to acute aerobic, resistance, or combined exercise in healthy and overweight individuals: A systematic review. DOI:


Author: Devika

Devika, M.Sc, NET Qualified is passionate about helping people discover the power of nourishing real food. She specializes in weight management, therapeutic nutrition, food allergies and intolerances, inflammatory diseases, gut health, and functional nutrition. Her approach blends a conventional health care and nutrition background with natural and science-based therapies.