A Halloween workout? Well, it doesn’t take a mad scientist (or a person dressed as one) to realize that a pumpkin can be used as a weight. The pumpkins grown for carving typically range from two pounds to 25 pounds… though the biggest pumpkin ever weighed in at a monstrous 2,323 pounds.
But enough pumpkin trivia. We are here to sweat.
We consulted with pumpkin lover Mario Godiva, a holistic health coach and certified Equinox fitness trainer. For these festive pumpkin exercises, he recommends two pumpkins. For the push-up, use a flatter, heavier pumpkin so you don’t lose your balance and take a nosedive into the squash. “You’re going to have to be a little careful,” Godiva advises, “which actually makes you work a bit harder for balance and stability.” For the other exercises, choose a second, lighter pumpkin.
Here are weighted pumpkin exercises to ensure that you’re a fit gypsy, a limber ghost, or just a downward-dogging little devil in the pumpkin patch this year. Aim for 15–20 reps per move.
Pumpkin Staggered-Hand Offset Push-Up
Target Muscles: Chest
Assume a push-up position (feet together, body straight from head to heels, arms straight, hands in line with and slightly wider than your shoulders) with a pumpkin three inches in front of your right hand. Place your right hand on the middle of the pumpkin, squeezing your glutes and bracing your core to keep your body rigid (and your hips from sagging). This is the starting position. Keeping your elbows tucked, lower your chest until it almost touches the floor. Pause, then push yourself back up to the starting position. Switch sides for each set.
Pumpkin Pick Up and Press
Target Muscles: Glutes, quads, shoulders
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and turned out 15-degrees with the smaller pumpkin between them. Keeping your back flat, straight, and core braced, lower your body and grab the pumpkin with both hands. This is the starting position. Straighten your legs as you lift the pumpkin to chest level. Now press it overhead until your arms are straight. Pause, and then reverse the movement, lowering the pumpkin to the floor. That’s one rep.
Pumpkin Loaded Lunge
Target Muscles: Quads, glutes, shoulders, core
Stand tall holding the smaller pumpkin straight overhead with both hands. Keeping your back flat, straight, and core braced, take a large step forward with your right leg, lowering your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor (don’t let your left knee touch the ground). Pause, and then push back up to the starting position. Do equal reps with both legs.
Seated Pumpkin Twist
Target Muscles: Core
Sit on the floor with your knees bent, holding the smaller pumpkin in front of your chest with both hands. Lean back slightly. Keeping your back straight and core braced, rotate your torso as far to the right as you can, and then as far to the left as you can. That’s one rep. Not challenging enough? Hold the pumpkin farther away from your chest.