12 Days of Christmas Moves to Fight the Heavy Holidays: Day 12!

Upper and Lower Back Airplanes  #12DaysOfChristmas #fitness #moveoftheday from my Slimnastics Book/ DVD/APP day 12:

Lower for Living:

Strengthening your lower back muscles is important for people who don’t exercise on a regular basis, but equally as important for those who do exercise but overlook the lower back. If you have a bad lower back, you can’t do those crunches, bicep curls, lunges or daily living activities.

Upper for Posture:

The upper back exercises are important as well, especially if you sit at a computer or hunched over a desk much of the time. It is equally important if your exercise routine includes pushups and bench presses but not working the opposite muscle group – the trapezius and rhomboids. Hunched posture can cause painful knots and strains, chiropractor bills and give the wrong first impression.


Airplane – This exercise will work but upper and lower back. The airplane (pictured below) is performed by lying on your stomach with arms extended out to the sides at shoulder level.

1) Lift your head, chest, arms, knees and feet off the floor, leaving just your torso on the mat. It is also important to keep looking at the floor, not cranking your head up to look at the wall in front of you. Keeping your gaze on the floor keeps the neck in line with the spine. Hold for 3 seconds and release. Repeat 10 times.

2) Next, speed up the move to 15 faster singles, not pausing at the top.

3) Finally, hold the arms, legs and chest up to the top of the move keep the legs and chest lifted, and “flap your wings” by moving the hands up and down for 10 repetitions. As a bonus, this exercise also tones your tush!

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Fitness – fit it in this holiday! Nikki


12 Days of Christmas Moves to Fight the Heavy Holidays: Day 10

#12DaysOfChristmas #fitness #moveoftheday 20 Wheel push-ups from my FitTravelWorkoutDVD/App – this move shot in Chicago! It works upper back & legs…

This move is especially important if you work the pectoral muscles a lot through push-ups, flies and bench presses because this works the opposing muscle group, the trapezious and rhomboids.


Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 7.45.01 PMLay on your back, feet on the floor and knees bent. Lift hips up slowly and flip hands by your ears so that your finger tips point towards your feet. Slowly lift the upper body off the ground. If you feel strong and comfortable to add on, bend the elbows and do 15-20 push-ups upside down so that you touch your head lightly to the floor. Lower when finished by bringing the head, upper back, mid back, lower back and glutes to the floor slowly. Do a counter-stretch by bending knees into chest. Repeat 2-3 sets to work the upper back and legs, stretch the abs, and improve your standing posture!

Fitness – fit it in anywhere! Nikki

12 Days of Christmas Moves to Fight the Heavy Holidays: Day 9

Triceps Press Lunges #12DaysOfChristmas #fitness #moveoftheday From my Booty Camp DVD/APP…

30sec HIIT Cardio Moguls from my Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D. becomes Slim And De-stress DVD/App)!

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Jump feet together to the right, leap high in the air with bended knees and land with feet together to the left. Repeat for 30 second intervals. March to recover for 10 secs and repeat and other 30 second interval. Combine this with my other moves from the 12 days of Christmas posts this week!

Fitness – fit it in! Nikki

12 Days of Christmas Moves to Fight the Heavy Holidays: Day 8

Lunge and Leap  #12DaysOfChristmas #fitness #moveoftheday from my Fit Travel Workout DVD/APP (this move shot in Venice, Italy!)

lunge to touch2Do a side lunch to the right, keeping the R knee over the ankle. Support yourself with your right hand on your knee and reach toward the floor with the other hand.

lunge to touchSpring off the ground and jump into the air toward the left, with feet together and arm reaching overhead.

lunge_to_touch italy

Then do a side lunge to the left, with left hand on left knee for support and reach your right hand towards the floor. Repeat the leap in the middle to complete one rep.

Do 10 reps for a  lunge and leap cardio interval that also works the calves, quads, inner thighs and glutes.

Take this move anywhere your travels lead! – Nikki


12 Days of Christmas Moves to Fight the Heavy Holidays: Day 7

Triceps Press Lunges #12DaysOfChristmas #fitness #moveoftheday From my Booty Camp DVD/APP…

(After the last move, this is a great way to work opposing muscle group)

Do 20 alternating forward lunges while lifting one or two heavy weights overhead into a tricep french press. You do this by bringing your weights together overhead and bending the elbows. The weight is now behind your neck. Lunge forward. As you bring the leg back to stand tall, lift the weight back overhead by extending the elbows. Be sure to keep the arms right next to your head and elbows pointing forward, not out to the sides.


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12 Days of Christmas Moves to Fight the Heavy Holidays: Day 6

Biceps Curl Lunges #12DaysOfChristmas #fitness #moveoftheday From my Destination: Wedding Workout DVD/APP


Start with 20 alternating back lunges  (be sure to step far back and keeping the front knee directly over the ankle as you lower.) It becomes a multi-tasker by adding front bicep curls when you come back to a standing position. Use weights heavy enough for you to feel challenged after 15 reps. Keep your abs tight. Lower the weights as you lunge back again.

nbb back 3 way lunge

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Fitness – fit it in over the holidays! Nikki


12 Days of Christmas Moves to Fight the Heavy Holidays: Day 5

#12DaysOfChristmas #fitness #moveoftheday

The next move, from my Booty Camp DVD/APP works the shoulders and inner thighs (since we worked outer thighs yesterday).

chest press plea squat larger

Assume a plea squat position by standing with feet wider than shoulder width apart and toes pointed out to the sides. Bend knees at a 90 degree angle so that your knees are directly over the heels and your waist is almost at knee level.

Engage your abs, start a shoulder overhead press with 10 lbs+ weights in your hands, palms facing forward, in line with your ears. Straighten the elbows and press weights to the ceiling as you straighten the legs. Bring weights back down and end at your ear level, as you squat back toward the floor, taking care not to bounce weights into your shoulders. Do the plea squat shoulder press for 15-20 reps.

Fitness – fit it in during the holidays!

Exercise Routines In Household Games

Much is made these days of the various workout apps available to mobile users. There are apps that track your runs, demonstrate exercises, (at least attempt to) count your calories, and even one that incentivizes running by making a game out of running away from digital zombies. Some of these exercise apps can be very simple, but a lot of the time they’re more trouble than they’re worth. They can also make users forget just how simple (and enjoyable) it can be to design an effective exercise routine that plays like a game. So here are a few everyday workout games you can play without a mobile app, and which can help you to see real results.

The Push-Up Card Game


There are several variations of this game, but Nexercise explains it in perhaps its simplest form. Basically, the idea is to use a deck of cards to dictate a push-up routine, with each numbered card representing a set number of repetitions, and each face card representing the next value up (so after 10, a Jack is 11, a Queen is 12, a King is 13, and an Ace is 14, though Aces can also be 1 depending on your desired intensity). One way to go about this workout is to do it with a partner and have colours dictate who does push-ups, so that each time you flip a card, red or black decides which of you does push-ups and the number decides how many. Another way to use the suits is to do the workout on your own and have them dictate which type of push-up you do for each card.

The Nexercise article has some helpful suggestions for this style of the game, including wide arm push-ups for Spades and other ideas. It’s a more difficult game than it sounds like, and if you’re not already in an upper-body workout routine, you’ll want to start with half a deck at the most. Still, it’s a fun and effective way to build up your strength and endurance.

Exercise Bingo

Exercise bingo is a wonderful idea that was written about at Military Fitness, and it allows you a great deal of freedom and flexibility to work on different exercises. It’s also very simple. Basically, the idea is to design a bingo card with each square representing a different exercise, and then play the game as you ordinarily would, completing exercises along the way. Another way to play the game, however, if you want to up the stakes so to speak, is to go online and find a real bingo site to serve as a platform for your own version of the game.

Now, this is still a simple practice far different from downloading a mobile exercise app, and instead it is essentially a way to enhance an existing game. But it can make for some inspiring competition between you and your friends or family. The bonus options at Betfair, one of the leading platforms, include free start-off budgets for newly established accounts. This gives you the option to play online bingo with real money on the line, something that could easily be twisted into an incentive for the exercise game. For example, if you really want to get competitive, use the online game to coordinate with your exercise bingo card and give whatever winnings there may be to whomever performs the most exercises over the course of a game!

These are just a couple of examples of the ways in which everyday games can be turned into exercise tools and motivations. And if you do a quick search, there are dozens of other examples—versions of these games, and additional games dealing with cards, casino activities, board games, etc.—that provide simple, household workout ideas. Just remember: any card can be turned into an exercise trigger, and any square on a gaming board can have a task attached to it.

Fitness – fit it in! Nikki

12 Days of Christmas Moves to Fight the Heavy Holidays: Day 4

#12DaysOfChristmas #fitness #moveoftheday

The next move, from my Booty Camp DVD/APP works the upper back, abs and outer thighs.

Get down on your hands and knees. Use medium-sized weights and balance on them. Lift your right arm out to the side while lifting your bent left leg out to the left side (we call this the hydrant, get it?). Repeat each side x20.

up back hydrantFitness – fit it in this holiday season! Nikki