A Thanksgiving Workout You Can Do Anywhere

If you view Thanksgiving the way I do – one day to sleep in among a life of early days – you may not have made it to the gym this morning.

The extra sleep part of Thanksgiving – or even access to a gym – isn’t true for everyone on the holiday. Travel can be truly disruptive to a routine – if you let it be.

When I was younger, I used to brave the long Thanksgiving lines at O’Hare, carry on all of my worldly possessions (I have a tried and true method of not giving up my carry on – I call it “don’t make eye contact if they ask you to use the bag sizer and just repeat the phrase, ‘It fits. It always fits.'”) and run into the waiting arms of my parents in Minnesota.

In Minnesota, my mom would beg, borrow or steal to get me a guest pass to her gym or we’d do a bodyweight Thanksgiving workout in my parents’ living room. Bless that crafty woman.

But after I met Hubs, holidays were promptly divided up and for Thanksgiving we stay in the Chicago area. This always makes me a little bit misty to be away from my family and a little bit happy to have a second family that wants me around. Emotions are hard.

So no matter where you are – the home that holds all of your stuff or the home that holds all of your family – you can get a workout in, even if your gym is closed and even if your mom wasn’t able to connive her way into a free guest pass.

Use this workout on its own or combined with our other bodyweight workouts. Need music? You can use this 30 minute playlist on Spotify.

Do this three times through!

  • 1:00 lateral hops
  • 1:00 downward dog push-ups
  • 1:00 lateral lunges
  • 1:00 arm pulses
  • 1:00 squat jumps

Lateral hops: With your feet about hip-width distance hop up and over a line, real or imaginary. Land with a soft knee. Bonus points for having fun while doing it.

asweatlife_a-Thanksgiving-workout_6 asweatlife_a-Thanksgiving-workout_5 asweatlife_a-Thanksgiving-workout_4(All photos by Christiana Basso)

Downward dog push-ups: In a downward dog position – body in an inverted V, gaze on your toes – bend your elbows and straighten then. Your ears should move along your arms as you lower down.

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Lateral lunges: with your feet wider than hip-width and your toes pointed straight forward, bend your left knee and sit your butt back to the left, while keeping your right leg straight. Repeat on the other side. Your weight should be in your heel and your bent knee should be behind your toe.

Lateral lunge from the front
Lateral lunge from the side

Arm pulses: Every time you do this move, you’ll hold your arms differently. First time through, you’ll hold your palms straight forward and pulse your hands forward. Second time through, you’ll hold your palms up and pulse your hands up. The last time through you’ll pulse your palms back.


Squat jumps: With your feet hip-width distance, squat low, jump high and land softly.

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(Disclaimer: This workout is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor is it a replacement for seeking medical treatment or professional nutrition advice. Do not start any nutrition or physical activity program without first consulting your physician.)


Move Workouts

About Jeana Anderson Cohen

Jeana Anderson Cohen is the founder and CEO of asweatlife.com a premiere wellness media destination that creates content and community to help womxn live better lives and achieve their goals. Before founding health-focused companies Jeana earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison - and fresh out of college she worked on the '08 Obama campaign in Michigan. From there, she created and executed social media strategies for brands. aSweatLife fuses her experience in building community and her passion for wellness. You can find Jeana leading the team at aSweatLife, trying to join a book club, and walking her dog Maverick.