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High-Energy Cardio Workout to Relieve Stress

Try This High-Energy Workout to Relieve Holiday Stress

high energy workout

If holiday stress is likely about to be on your horizon, beat it with a quick, high-energy workout to release some of that pent-up energy. Exercise has already been shown to boost mental health and relieve stress in tense times, and it's one of my favorite ways to defuse a situation or cool off when I find myself getting a little too heated.

Although a run is typically my go-to form of stress relief, during winter months, I've been finding solace in getting decked out in my best sweat-ready gear like the UA Vanish Seamless Mid Sports Bra ($40) and opting for some high-energy, at-home cardio workouts.

To give me a brand-new series to add to my decompress and de-stress routine, I turned to trainer Brian Witt, CSCS, CES, PES, and PN1, at Crunch. He shared with me five moves that work the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core. What's more, these five moves can be sequenced in two ways to get two amazing workouts.

The exercises:

Bodyweight lunge to twist

  • Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and your arms lifted in front.
  • Take a step forward with your right leg. Bend both knees and rotate your torso to the right.
  • Return to the starting position, and repeat the movement on your left side.
  • Alternate sides until the set is complete.

Bodyweight "prisoner" squat

  • Stand with your legs slightly wider than hip-width apart and your feet parallel with your palms at the back of your head so your elbows are opened wide.
  • Making sure your elbows are pulled back and your chest is lifted, bend slightly at your hips while also bending your knees and lowering down to a sitting position.
  • Straighten back up, and repeat.

Bodyweight good-mornings

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your palms at the back of your head so your elbows are opened wide.
  • Pull your abs to your spine, and keep your back neutral while pressing your butt backward.
  • Hinge at your hips until your back is almost parallel to the floor. (This is a more pronounced forward bend than the first exercise.)
  • Straighten back up, and repeat.

Spread-eagle sit-up

  • Lie on the ground, and spread your feet as wide as you can, anchoring your feet to the ground.
  • Keeping your arms straight above your chest, sit up until your body forms a 90-degree angle.
  • Reverse the movement to return to the starting position with control.

Toe touch

  • Lie on your back holding a dumbbell, and lift your legs until they're perpendicular to the floor.
  • Extend your arms, lift your shoulders off the floor, and try touching your feet with your hands.
  • Return to the starting position, and repeat.

The sequences:

HIIT format:

  1. Perform five sets total.
  2. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest.
  3. Perform each exercise back to back.
  4. Rest for 60-90 seconds between each round.

Circuit format:

  1. Perform three to five sets.
  2. Perform each exercise for 12-15 reps.
  3. Perform each exercise back to back.
  4. Rest for eight to 10 seconds between each exercise.
  5. Rest for 60-90 seconds between each set.
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