Sarah Cremen – Personal Training Sarah Cremen – Personal Training

Don’t Become One With The Couch This Christmas…

Don’t Become One With The Couch This Christmas…

My clients have worked hard all year and undoubtedly, they deserve an auld break every now and then and no better time than Christmas week.

Note I say Christmas week, not Christmas month as I’m very happy to report that this year, unlike other years, most clients have been training hard until now and will continue to do so right up until Friday.

Maybe it says something about my coaching around this time of year (or lack thereof in previous years) or maybe it’s simply knowing that there is a break just around the corner that has meant they are still prioritising their health in the midst of “silly season”.

Either way, maintaining your baseline fitness and strength in the next few weeks will mean you can avoid rolling back into the gym come January, feeling like you have to start from scratch with the rest of the New Year’s resolutioners.

So…here’s a bodyweight workout that any able-bodied, injury-free person with two square meters to spare can get done over the Christmas period (if you are not the above person…proceed at your own risk!). You can get a lot done in a little amount of time with exercises that utilize multiple muscle groups, get your heart rate pumping and hopefully, make a dent in those excess Christmas calories.

It’s basic, yes, but the basics work, so set aside 15 minutes (preferably in the morning, it’s less likely to actually get done as the day goes on), focus on your form, tempo, breathing and muscle recruitment and I defy you to not break a sweat!

Squat X 20 Reps

Step-By-Step Guide

  • Start in standing position with feet hip distance apart.

  • Flex at your hips and knees and sit back into the chair slowly.

  • Reverse the motion to return to standing, driving through your heels and squeezing your glutes at the top of the position.

  • As you squat, keep your chest up, gaze forward and knees driving outwards.

Press Ups X 10 Reps

Step-By-Step Guide

  • Start with your hands shoulder-width distance, arms locked out and core braced.

  • Lower yourself until your chest is just shy of the edge of the chair.

  • Keep your elbows tight to the body, squeezing through your shoulder blades and maintaining a plank position as you move.

  • Press your body back to the start position, finishing with arms fully straightened out and repeat.

Reverse Lunges X 20 Reps

Step-By-Step Guide

  • Start in standing with arms on hips or down by your side, feet shoulder-width distance apart, chest up and eyes forward.

  • Step back allowing your hips and knees to flex as you lower yourself until your back knee is just shy of the ground.

  • Drive through the front heel to return to start position, alternate legs and repeat.

Plank With Knee Drive X 10 Reps

Step-By-Step Guide

  • Start in a press up position; hands directly under shoulders and shoulder-width distance, arms locked out.

  • Maintain core engagement and a neutral spine with ankles, knees, hips and shoulders aligned throughout.

  • Without rotating the torso or dropping the hip, bring one knee towards the chest in a slow, controlled movement.

  • Return to start position, alternate and repeat.


AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 15 minutes

Set your timer for 15 minutes and get moving; 20 squats, straight into 10 press ups, 20 lunges, 10 knee drives…straight back to squats again. Keep note of the amount of rounds you get through. Rest if you need to, keep moving if you don’t.


  • Do a warm up (need inspiration? Click here). If you are totally strapped for time, cut short your workout but never sacrifice the warm up.

  • Perform on non-consecutive days.

  • It’s better to stop and rest when fatigued than to carry on with crap form.

  • Take the time to make each rep count…it’s quality, not quantity of movement that’s important.

  • Adapt as necessary; if it’s too hard – use upper limb support for squats and lunges, hold a plank on your elbows instead of adding knee drives etc. If it’s too easy – do a full depth squat, do your press ups to the floor, make the lunges jump lunges!

  • Find a way to push yourself a little more each time; squat a little deeper, try to beat your previous score on rounds, rest a little less…

  • Stay active on your non-training days too; walk, run, hike, play with your kids, whatever it is, just make sure you move. It’s so much better for the body and mind than turning into a slug and will make your job (and mine!) a whole lot easier in January!

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