Pump­kin power

Work off those treats with Oc­to­ber’s most pop­u­lar veg­etable

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - Features - BY CHRIS ZDEB

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.

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