The Kitchen Circuit Workout

Posted On Nov 21, 2018 By Amy Kiser Schemper

A woman performing a push-up in a kitchen.

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Abs are made in the kitchen”. Usually this phrase refers to the fact that you can’t get that defined six-pack without eating a healthy diet. This time of year, when we end up spending extra time in the kitchen preparing and serving that special holiday meal, I would change the phrase to “Bodies are made in the kitchen” and make it less about diet, and more about getting active whenever we can, wherever we can.

The holidays are often a time when we eat a little more; there’s no shame in that, practice portion control and enjoy! But they can also be a time when we let our workouts fall by the wayside. Between preparing, cooking, and cleaning up after the holiday meal, it seems there’s no time left to get in a workout.

I would encourage you to think outside the box (or outside the gym) and see your kitchen as an alternate home gym space. Here are a few ways to get moving while you get cooking.

  1. Bodyweight exercises are a chef’s best friend

    In between basting the turkey and stirring the pot, get a set of basic squats, lunges, pushups or planks. They take up little space, and require no equipment.

  2. Set the timer for yourself and your food!

    Use that kitchen timer (or your phone or watch) and give yourself “Activity Breaks”. (I know, sounds like an oxymoron but it’s not) every 20-30 minutes. When the timer goes off, stop what you’re doing and get moving.

  3. Keep some equipment in sight

    If you own a set of dumbbells or a resistance band, keep them in view while you’re cooking. When you get a break, do a quick set covering the major muscles groups: rows, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, shoulder presses, squats and lunges.

  4. Dance it out!

    I’m not a pro at anything in the kitchen (thankfully my husband is), so I often have to crank the music to stay energized to get things done. Turn on your favorite tunes and jam! This is especially fun with toddlers and kids.

  5. Get creative with your space

    Countertops are great for incline pushups or tricep dips. Dishtowels make great gliders for legs and core. Canned goods are perfect for light weighted arm exercises.

Check out the video below for a challenging kitchen workout.

Do each move for 10 reps, and then repeat!

  • One leg counter push-up with knee crunch
  • Sliding side lunge
  • Sliding reverse lunge
  • Sliding curtsy lunge
  • Pilates arm circles
  • High row rear delt raise

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A fit man performing a knuckle plank.