Are you tired of using the same old workout equipment? When COVID-19 forced us to shift sweat sessions from gym to home, we had to perform a little hocus pocus to ensure exercising was still engaging. One of the best ways to achieve that goal is by introducing new toning tools and techniques.
Since so many are working out at home now, exercise equipment is in high demand and selling at premium prices. Luckily, you don’t need to go out of your gourd, or break the bank, to find effective aerobic accessories for your in-home gym. Rather, step outside and pick up one of the jolly jack-o'-lanterns plopped on your front porch.
A pumpkin can provide the same powerful perks as a weighted medicine ball, without the steep price tag. Just like the medicine ball, there are a variety of weights to choose from, allowing for ample options when picking the appropriate poundage for your workout needs.
Burn off your Halloween candy calories with the pumpkin-inspired circuit below. You’ll want to choose two pumpkins, one that’s heavier and one that’s lighter. Pumpkins with shorter stalks are ideal for performing these exercises. For best results, repeat the entire circuit three to five times, then complete 30 minutes of cardio (i.e., walking, running, or biking).
Hold your pumpkin with both hands close to the chest. Keeping the pumpkin tucked close to your body helps protect your lower back.
Engage your core muscles as you elevate the pumpkin overhead so your hands are aligned above shoulders. Return the pumpkin back to your chest.
With your body weight in your heels, hinge back at your hips, and lower down into a squat. Push through your heels to stand. That’s one repetition. Repeat this entire sequence 12-15 times.
Once complete, put the pumpkin down and do 30 jumping jacks.
Hold the pumpkin at your waist, standing with your feet hip-width apart, and knees slightly bent.
Tighten your core, squeeze your glutes, and tuck your elbows at your sides as you pull the pumpkin up toward your chest. Hold for a count.
As your lower the pumpkin back to the starting position, move at half speed so gravity will apply extra pressure to your biceps. Repeat 12-15 times.
Once complete, put the pumpkin down and do 20 jumping jacks.
Reverse lunge twist
With the pumpkin at your chest, adjust your feet to shoulder-width apart.
Keep your gaze forward as you step back with your right foot and lower into a lunge, with your hips stacked over your right knee and your front left knee stacked over your ankle. At no point should your front knee extend past your toes.
Once balanced, extend your arms out from your chest and (in a controlled manner) twist your entire upper body to the left and then back to the front. Pull the weight back to your chest, stand, then bring your feet together. Practice 10 repetitions then repeat on the opposite side, twisting to the right this time.
Once complete, put the pumpkin down and do 15 jumping jacks.
Weighted wall sits
Hold the pumpkin at your chest and lean back against a sturdy wall.
With your body weight in your heels, bend at your knees to carefully slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Your knees should be directly over your ankles and your entire upper body should be flat against the surface of the wall.
Hold for 30-60 seconds.
Once complete, put the pumpkin down and do five jumping jacks.
Ashley Blake Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach. To learn more about her virtual training program, visit ashleyblakefitness.com.