No Need to Fear Halloween; This Pumpkin Workout Will Help You Tone All Over
Don't get weighed down by bags of Halloween candy this year; blast calories and get in the spirit with a fun and festive workout that requires one piece of equipment that you'll definitely have at home — a pumpkin! Instead of focusing on the chocolate, candy corn, and other spooky confection at your fingertips, celebrate with a workout that will tone your legs, abs, and arms. There's no need to fear Halloween anymore when you have this workout on your side.
This is traditionally done with a medicine ball, but we say now is the season to challenge your push-ups with a pumpkin.
- Start in a plank position with your hands on the top of the pumpkin and your feet wider than hip distance.
- Keeping your torso stable, bend your elbows to lower your chest toward your hands. Keep your upper arms parallel to your torso.
- Straighten your elbows and return to starting position to complete one rep. Do 10 reps in a set.
This deep squat will target your thighs and hips. The added weight of the pumpkin is an extra challenge that will help you feel the burn.
- Start standing with your feet wider than shoulder width. With your back slightly arched, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your elbows touch your knees with the pumpkin in front of you.
- With your weight focused in your heels, push yourself up to the starting position and lift the pumpkin above your head.
- Do two sets of 15 reps.
The side lunge works the muscle on the side of the pelvis as well as the inner thighs. Use your pumpkin instead of a kettlebell or dumbbell.
- Holding your pumpkin in both hands, stand with your feet and knees together.
- Take a large step with your left foot to the left side, and lunge toward the floor. Lower your pumpkin to the ground in front of you.
- Make sure your left knee does not extend past your toes, and keep your right leg relatively straight.
- Push off through your left foot to return to the start to complete one side lunge.
- Do three sets of 10 on each side.
Tone your arms and legs together with this reverse lunge that puts your pumpkin to good use.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Grasp your pumpkin (or a five- to 10-pound medicine ball) between both hands, your arms outstretched in front.
- Keep your core stable and weight on your heels. Take a large step back with your right foot, planting it behind you and then lowering your body until both legs are bent in right angles.
- As you sink into the lunge, twist your torso to the left and over your left leg.
- Bring your torso back to center, and exhale as you extend your legs. Bring your feet back together, and then repeat with your left leg, this time twisting to the right.
- This completes one rep.
- Do two sets of 15 reps.
Overhead Triceps Extension
Target the back of your arms with this classic exercise with a Halloween-friendly update.
- Stand with your feet hip distance apart, placing one foot slightly behind the other.
- Hold the pumpkin with both hands, bending the elbows behind your head.
- Straighten your arms to lift the dumbbell into the air, then slowly bend the arms to lower. This counts as one rep.
- Complete two to three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
This classic kettlebell move will tone your back and shoulders while working your core — all while getting your heart rate up as well! Keep a full grip on the pumpkin to stay in control, since this move is all about the explosive swing you do as you come up from your squat.
- Stand with your feet wider than hips width apart, toes slightly pointing out. Squat down, and hold your pumpkin with both hands between your legs. Make sure your back is flat and your abs are engaged.
- As you inhale, press into your feet and explode up, straightening your legs and swinging the pumpkin in front so your hands are in line with your shoulders.
- Exhale, and with control, come back to the starting position, allowing the pumpkin to swing back between your legs.
- This counts as one rep. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps.
Work your shoulders and challenge your core with this move.
- Start standing on your left foot holding the pumpkin just above your left shoulder.
- Lift the pumpkin over your head, then lower it toward your right shoulder. Then reverse the action to bring the pumpkin back to the right side; this completes one rep. Do five reps, then stand on your right foot for five more reps to complete a set.
Seated Russian Twist
This classic move targets your obliques, and adding a heavy pumpkin increases the challenge.
- Holding your pumpkin in both hands, sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels about a foot from your butt.
- Lean slightly back without rounding your spine at all. It is really important, and difficult, to keep your back straight.
- Pull your navel to your spine, and twist slowly to the left, bringing the weight to your left side. The movement is not large and comes from the ribs rotating, not from your arms swinging. Inhale through center, and rotate to the right. This completes one rep.
- Do 16 full rotations.
You can also make the move more advanced by lifting your feet three or four inches off the floor, as pictured.
This classic ab move gets bumped up a notch by adding in the weight of the pumpkin.
- Start with your feet firmly planted on the ground and your pumpkin behind your head while lying down.
- Keeping your heels on the ground and your toes flat to the ground, engage your abdominal muscles, and gently lift your head first, followed by your shoulder blades, and finally your arms, coming into a full sit-up position.
- Hold the position for a second, and with control, come slowly back to lying on your back.
- This completes one full sit-up.
Work your middle, arms, and lower body at the same time with this trick-free sumo squat.
- Start standing with your feet apart so there's about 20 inches between your heels. Point your toes out slightly.
- When you're ready, bend your knees and elbows at the same time. Keep your shoulders over your hips, and lower down so your weight is back in your heels. Pick up the pumpkin in your hands with your arms straight. Then stand and straighten your legs, lifting the pumpkin. This is one repetition.
- Complete two to three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Sit-Up to Toes
The slow and controlled pulse of this exercise keeps the abs engaged throughout the set, and adding the weight of a pumpkin kicks your abs into high gear and increases the burn. Choose a pumpkin that weighs between five and eight pounds.
- Begin lying on your back with your legs in the air, toes toward the ceiling, holding the pumpkin over your chest with straight arms. Engage your abs to press your low back into the mat while lifting your head, neck, and upper back off the mat.
- Exhale and lift your upper body an inch higher off the mat. Aim the pumpkin toward your ankles as you perform this sit-up.
- Inhale, and lower your upper back an inch toward the floor. Continue this slow pulsing motion for a total of 20 to 25 reps. Do three sets.
This dynamic exercise works the obliques and upper abs while keeping your heart rate up. Although this is a full-body move, it doesn't require a lot of space, so you can do it almost anywhere.
- Squat, and twist left to hold the pumpkin on the outside of your left leg.
- Exhale, and lift the pumpkin diagonally across your body, ending twisted to the right with the pumpkin above your head. Pivot on your left foot as needed.
- The move is a bit percussive, so focus on the rotation initiating in your torso.
- Control the weight back up to the starting position to complete one rep.
- Remember you are moving with force but also control. Don't give into the momentum of swinging the weight around. Do three sets of 15 reps on each side.
Using the pumpkin to raise one hand will work different muscles in your chest.
- Start in a plank position with your right hand on your pumpkin.
- Keeping your torso square to the floor, perform a push-up by bending and straightening both arms. This completes one rep. Remember to duplicate this move with the pumpkin on your right side.
- If a traditional push-up is too challenging, then lower your knees to the floor.