FitnessThanksgivingWorkout Plans

10 x 10 Thanksgiving Day Circuit

Partner up and have some Thanksgiving Day fitness fun with family and friends. These ten activities can be done by just about everyone.

What you’ll need:
• Open area to move around
• Round ball, fondly named the “Turkey”  (for kicking, throwing and passing)
• Optional additions: football, light weight medicine ball, playground ball or soccer ball

Perform 10 repetitions of these 10 moves, then repeat the circuit for an additional round, or two!

1. Step-ups: Find an elevated surface for this warm-up activity- it can be a step, a curb, even playground equipment. You’ll step up with the right foot, then the left, then down with the right, down with the left (up/up/down/down). For the second round, try speeding up the pace or find a higher step!

2. Jumping Jacks: An old-school stand-by. Give us ten of your best jumping jacks!

3. Squats: For this variation start with your hands behind your head, elbows pointed out and feet straight ahead. Draw your navel in and slowly lower your hips as close to knee level (thighs parallel to the ground) as comfortable while keeping your knees in line with your toes. Stand up and repeat.

4. Over-Unders: Standing back to back with your partner, one person starts with the “Turkey” (a ball) in their hands and reaches overhead and passes the ball to their partner’s hands. Now this partner passes the ball through and under their legs to their partner. Repeat. During round 2, reverse direction.

5. Single-Leg Balance Toss and Catch: This activity challenges your balance and coordination. Your partner stands on one foot and tosses the “Turkey” (the ball, remember?), you catch and toss back as they maintain their balance. Switch places or you can both be standing on one leg for this round. Second round, you’ll switch legs.

6. Back-to-Back Twisting Turkey Pass: Standing back-to-back, elbows bent at 90 degrees, you’ll rotate to your left as your partner rotates to their right to grab the “Turkey” (don’t forget, this is the ball, perhaps a medicine ball). This will continue in a circle pattern. For round 2, switch the direction of the rotation. If you want to increase the challenge, try lowering into a squat position, back to back.

7. Walking Lunges (or for the younger crowd-skipping): Take a large step forward with your right leg, bending your right knee as you let your left knee bend toward the ground. Push up to standing, then repeat with your left leg. Avoid letting your front knee go over the front of your foot.

8. Throw, Catch, Repeat! This is more than a simple game of catch. You and your partner are at least 10 feet apart. Using the ball of choice (football, light medicine ball, soccer ball, etc.) you both constantly move- side-to-side, up and down, front and back, as you try to successfully mirror each others moves while you throw and catch. Watch out- there are lots of smiles and laughter in this activity.

9. Kick and Return: Begin at least 10 feet apart and kick the ball to your partner. Your partner returns the kick to you. Move farther apart on each kick. For the second round of the circuit, try increasing the challenge and kick with the opposite leg!

10. Partner Push-up High Fives: Whether in the standard or modified knee position, start in a head to head alignment with your partner about one foot apart. You each perform one push-up, then with your right hands you high five each other, do another push-up and high five with the left hand. Count out loud until you reach 10, then repeat the entire circuit!

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The Author

Stacey Penney, MS, NASM-CPT, CES, PES, FNS

Stacey Penney, MS, NASM-CPT, CES, PES, FNS

Stacey Penney is the Content Strategist with NASM and AFAA. A 20+ year veteran of the fitness industry, she's worked with the top certification and continuing education groups. At NASM and AFAA she drives the content for American Fitness Magazine, blog and the social media platforms. Stacey received her degree in Athletic Training/PE from San Diego State University and an MS in Exercise Science from CalU, plus credentials in Health Promotion Management & Consulting (UCSD), and Instructional Technology (SDSU). Previous San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force Chair, she’s developed continuing education curriculum for fitness organizations in addition to personal training, writing, and co-coaching youth rec soccer.