Torch Calories With the Turkey Burner Workout!


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  168 comments   :  264,010 Views

I created this simple, five-exercise workout circuit to get your heart pumping and your muscles moving so you can torch some serious post-Thanksgiving calories. It doesn't use any equipment, and it can be done anywhere, even in a small hotel/guest room! The quicker you move and the more times you repeat the circuit, the higher your calorie burn will be.
Are you up for the challenge? Try it today and then comment below to tell us how you did!

The basic workout circuit consists of five equipment-free exercises. Perform the number of reps listed with each, and do them in this order. For detailed instructions for each move, scroll below the workout graphic.

Don't forget to share this workout with your friends and "pin" it for later!

Workout Instructions
If you're more of a beginner, simply get through the circuit at your own pace, resting as needed. Repeat it one more time if you feel up to it. If you're an intermediate exerciser, push through three continuous sets of the circuit with little to no rest. For advanced exercisers, set a timer for your desired workout length—such as 10, 15 or 20 minutes (recommended)—and then repeat the circuit as many times as possible (aka AMRAP) for time. But make sure to never sacrifice form for speed. Safety first...which reminds me: All exercisers should warm up for 3-5 minutes before you start, and stretch when they're done.
For detailed instructions of each move, see below:
Jumping Jacks
Stand tall with your back straight, abs engaged, shoulders relaxed, arms at your sides, and feet together.

Hop out with both feet while extending your arms out, forming an X with your arms and legs. Hop back in to the starting position (legs together, arms at your sides). Repeat.

Be sure to land softly, keeping the knees slightly bent to reduce impact. Move faster to increase the intensity. Modify as needed by stepping instead of jumping.

Plie Squats
Begin this exercise by standing with your feet wider than shoulder width apart and your toes turned out.

INHALE: Slowly bend your knees, keeping your back straight, lowering down as low as possible. Make sure your knees don’t cross the plane of your toes. EXHALE: Straighten legs and come up to the starting position to complete one rep.

Stand tall with your back straight, abs engaged, shoulders relaxed, legs together, and arms at your sides.

Make sure you breathe deeply throughout this exercise. Burpees string together four distinct movements: 1) Squat deeply, placing your hands on the floor in front of you and bending your knees and hips deeply. 2) Shift your weight into your hands and jump back to a plank position so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your hips to your feet. Keep feet together, abs tight, and hands directly under the shoulders in this position. 3) Jump your legs back in so you return to the deep squat described in phase 1. 4) Stand back up and return to the start position. Repeat all four phases continuously.

Note: Burpees are a very advanced exercise that require cardiovascular stamina, core strength, and a high range of motion in the knees. Practice caution and modify as needed, moving at your own pace.

Start with hands shoulder width apart on the floor and up on your toes, so that your body is supported, keeping your body as straight as possible. (Workout graphic shows one leg lifted for additional challenge, optional.)

INHALE: Bend your elbows and lower chest to 90 degrees at the elbows. EXHALE: Push up so that your arms are straight, making sure your elbows aren’t completely locked. Modify on your knees as needed.

Bicycle Crunches
Begin by lying on your back, placing your hands behind your ears. Lift your legs in the air and bend your knees so that your legs form a 90 degree angle at your hips.

Move your legs in a bicycle motion. When your left knee is closer to your body, reach your right shoulder toward it. When your right knee is closer to your body, reach your left elbow to it. Move in a slow, controlled manner.

Are you going to try the Turkey Burner? If you tried it, how did you fare?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
Got a story idea? Give us a shout!
NEXT ENTRY >   Better Butternut Squash Recipes


  • 168
    These are all tried and true exercises - 12/27/2017   12:29:40 AM
  • AMBER461
    Great, thanks for sharing. - 11/30/2017   6:34:52 PM
  • 166
    thanks. - 11/22/2017   9:58:11 PM
  • 165
    GREAT - 11/22/2017   3:23:48 PM
  • 164
    That was brutal. Made it through 2 rounds. The burpees are killers! Now to do some strength training. - 11/22/2017   2:39:22 PM
  • 163
    definitely a beginner here. I can do maybe 1 burpee haha. - 11/22/2017   1:49:00 PM
  • 162
    will definitely do this... - 11/21/2017   9:55:46 PM
  • 161
    Thanks - 11/21/2017   8:44:26 PM
  • 160
    Not viable for me, but have learned to modify. - 11/21/2017   5:58:01 PM
  • 159
    Great ideas!
    - 11/21/2017   4:03:58 PM
  • 158
    Great workout Thanks - 11/21/2017   3:27:07 PM
  • 157
    Wish I could do those!!! I can do some but not most. :-( - 11/21/2017   1:54:35 PM
  • 156
    I can do all except burpies - 11/21/2017   1:20:16 PM
  • 155
    Thanks - 11/21/2017   10:42:55 AM
  • 154
    Thanks - 11/21/2017   10:39:36 AM
    Thank you for compiling the turkey burner workout I will do it on Thanksgiving. - 11/21/2017   7:55:22 AM
  • 152
    Today is my long run day so Iíve saved this workout to try tomorrow. I have a love-hate relationshi with burpees! - 11/21/2017   7:42:29 AM
  • 151
    Looks like a great workout! Now to see if any of the guests want to do this with me :) - 11/21/2017   1:00:59 AM
  • 150
    Little early for exercises on Turkey Day, but they will hopefully get me off the couch and out of the kitchen. - 10/1/2017   11:17:56 AM
  • 149
    Small changes lead to big changes and big changes lead to results. - 4/25/2017   4:19:50 PM
    All great and tough exercises - 4/6/2017   8:23:06 PM
  • 147
    Would love to do this workout, in fact, I would like to do any workout. Silly me broke a bone in my foot and I am still restricted with what I can and can't do. - 11/25/2016   1:35:51 PM
  • 146
    Too high level, Nicole. - 11/24/2016   12:24:41 PM
    It would have been better if Nicole had included modifications for those of us who don't do jumping jacks, burpees, etc. No all of us are 20 years old!

    There are better workouts by other instructors right here on Sparkpeople. - 11/24/2016   12:04:30 PM
  • 144
    I did seated jumping jack and modified push-ups and burpees. - 11/24/2016   8:25:54 AM
  • 143
    My spirit was amazingly willing but my joints especially the bum knees were weak, so this one is a big "NO" go for now since this is my first week on Sparkpeople, but after I lose some weight and strengthen my knees who knows. I might even be able to do some burpees and jumping jacks. - 11/24/2016   6:42:13 AM
    Yeah... no. For a person unable to get down on the floor, most of these are a no go. - 11/24/2016   2:02:43 AM
  • 141
    Oh good grief! I just did this for the first time and I died after the third burpee lol. I did it though!!! - 1/1/2015   1:53:26 PM
  • 140
    Whew...I don't know about anyone else but what a way to sweat :). Felt good although I couldn't do the burpees. - 11/26/2014   2:28:07 PM
  • 139
    Calories you burn on Thanksgiving are really from days before the meal...............just do these if you feel guilt that you realistic, friends. - 11/25/2014   1:08:06 PM
  • LOKI65
    Going out of town for Thanksgiving with my husband. We recently joined a gym and meet with a personal trainer 1x a week. We will definitely do this work out as well as watch our food intake. We don't want to undo all of our hard work! Its amazing, how after working out, the LAST thing you want to do is eat poorly. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! - 11/25/2014   12:12:33 PM
  • 137
    Way too difficult for this 65 year old. - 11/25/2014   10:35:02 AM
  • 136
    Yikes, with a knee replacement, was unable to do many of these. Not sure my modifications got the same burn! - 11/25/2014   10:21:05 AM
  • 135
    I had to go into the search engine and get some modified jumping jacks (bad knees) I was able to do the Plie squats. The Burpees were very challenging for me. My right knee doesn't bend all the way so these were almost not possible. I just did what I could. The Pushups were also modified (I do 2 sets of 15 every other day). I wasn't able to do the one legged pushups..(too hard), but I will continue to try them! I also do the bicycle crunches 2 sets of 15 every other day too! Whew what a workout! :) - 11/24/2014   12:24:12 PM
  • 134
    Where are the modifications . . . . this workout is very hard on someone with bad knees. - 11/16/2014   9:57:13 AM
    Think I'm going to give this one my best go. Any thoughts on what to track this under for calories burned? - 11/15/2014   10:35:54 PM
  • 132
    I did the exercises that Nicole did while sitting. I never thought that a person could get their heart rate up there like that does.

    With this I did what I could but even that was "fun" lol. I just added reps to make up for my deficencies a little bit at least. Have heel spurs and carpal tunnel. I have sooo much to work at that I've learned that I have to pace myself and sometimes recreate the exercises modify and hope that it still works what it's suppose to. - 11/15/2014   6:32:46 PM
  • 131
    It really underscores how much more strength training I need. It's a real challenge for me! - 11/15/2014   4:31:25 PM
  • 130
    I wanted to try this last Thanksgiving, but I was sick with Bronchitis. This year, I am going for it....even with modifications. :) - 11/15/2014   2:21:11 PM
  • 129
    I like it! I've been trying the NY Times 7 minute scientific workout but this is a lot easier to remember! Not to do....but to remember! Happy Thanksgiving all! - 11/15/2014   1:04:59 PM
  • 128
    Reminded me of the Jillian Michael's workout we do at Curves- and it was a lot harder than it looks! I only went through it once and then saw that once through is only the beginner workout...I'm not ready to do it two more times so I guess I'm just a beginner! I really like this workout plan, though, and will try to add it to my exercise regime. - 11/15/2014   9:23:43 AM
  • 127
    ummm, sorry about that meal theory, but squat thrusts are done the same as burpees' except that at the end of the burpee you are supposed to hop when you stand back up from the squat .. there isn't enough of a difference to me to have changed the name .. it is dopey .. but it is what it is .. i have read on what makes the difference between a burpee and a squat thrust and NEVER read anything about doing it after a meal, (so hence being called a burpee), only that the difference is the hop at the top of it.. every thing i have ever read says NOT to do any strenous exercise after a meal .. - 5/7/2014   10:14:53 AM
  • 126
    COWABUNGA DUDE! That kicked my arse!! Just what I needed. Probably not a good idea that I tried this after 30 minutes on the elliptical but I made it through twice.

    I did 10 Burpees, walked in place for a minute, then 10 more, walked in place, then the last 10.

    For the push-ups, I did it on my toes but I did 10 with one leg up, walked in place a minute, then 10 more with the other leg up.

    I am drenched in sweat! I love it!

    You never disappoint Nicole! - 11/29/2013   8:16:27 PM
  • 125
    This looks ans sounds a great workout to squeeze in to a busy day.
    I have a weak lower back, so instead of burpees I do mountain climbers.
    Apart from that one move, I shall definitely be doing this! - 11/29/2013   11:10:49 AM
  • 124
    And a partridge in a pear tree! - 11/28/2013   9:03:42 PM
  • 123
    Did it! - 11/28/2013   6:39:39 PM
  • 122
    I did a water aerobics class which gave me 4000 steps! - 11/28/2013   2:30:53 PM
  • 121
    I am going to do what I can. Push ups, burpees will be challenging. Will look for modifications. - 11/28/2013   1:28:59 PM
  • 120
    I don't think I will do a great job with the burpees and the push ups will try it though and modify , - 11/28/2013   12:27:52 PM
    I might try this but I'll have to modify - not because of health reasons though. Rather, because I exercise early in the morning and I can't do much noise and jumping jacks and burpees require noisy jumping, so some silent modifications will be needed. - 11/28/2013   11:39:52 AM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›