Work off those treats with October’s most popular vegetable
You don’t need expensive fitness equipment to work out, just a pumpkin.
With less magic than Cinderella’s fairy godmother needed to turn one into a golden carriage, fitness professional Dan Grant turns Halloween’s favourite veggie into a medicine ball.
A pumpkin workout is a counterbalance to all that calorie-intake.
Grant suggests guys use a 20-pound pumpkin and women choose a 10-pounder.
The four exercises he demonstrates here are part of his regular, 20-minute express boot camps. In honour of the season, we’re calling it the Halloween Express Boo-t Camp.
Putrid pushups: Get into a pushup position on the floor with hands resting on the pumpkin. Beginners can place hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, on either side of the pumpkin, and start on their knees. Engage core, pulIing belly button to spine, and lower chest until it almost touches the ghastly gourd. Pushup with arms. Do four to five sets of 10 to 15 repetitions. Works upper chest and core.
Scary squat presses: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding pumpkin at chest level with palms facing in. Engage core and keep body weight on your heels, which keeps stress off the lower back. Slowly bend knees and lower hips back, as if trying to sit on a chair that is a couple of feet behind you, until the tops of thighs are parallel to the ground and the back is at a 45-degree angle. As you stand back up, press pumpkin up above your head. Do four to five sets of 10 to 15 repetitions. Works legs, butt, core and shoulders.
Vicious V-sits: Sit on your butt on the floor with your knees bent and your legs crossed at the ankles. Hold pumpkin at chest with palms facing in. Lean back with your feet off the floor until you feel your core engage or you’re at a 45-degree angle. Beginners can keep their feet on the floor. Rotate hips to the right and touch pumpkin to floor. Swivel back, then rotate hips to the left and touch pumpkin to floor. Don’t twist too far back so as not to hurt lower back. Do four to five sets of 10 to 15 repetitions. Works core, improves balance.
Devilish diagonal chops: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and engage core muscles. Hold pumpkin with palms facing in and rotate hips to the right, raising arms above the shoulder. With a forceful swing, drop pumpkin in a diagonal chopping motion across the body until the gourd is resting to the left of the left knee. Return to starting position. Do eight to 12 repetitions. Switch sides and repeat. Do four to five sets. Works upper arms, shoulders, core, legs and butt.