Pumpkin Pump-up

Before you grab that handful of gummy treats move more with these five pumpkin themed exercises to get you pumped up! Tune into CH Morning Live Tuesday October 28th at 9:45am to catch these moves during my regular sweat session segment. (UPDATE: Watch it here). And sorry, but I won’t be wearing my Purple People Eater costume on air. That was for a special free 3km children’s run that Tribe and I were extremely excited to support with our friends from Ivivva Yorkdale.

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These five moves require a pumpkin that you can safely lift which is also sturdy enough to hold your body weight. If it’s not Halloween, consider giving these five moves a try using a medicine ball, or without any equipment at all.

Program:
Total Reps: Perform as many reps as you can of each move in one minute, moving from one exercise to the next without stopping. Rest one minute, then repeat the sequence two more times through. Consider keeping track of your total rep count and try to beat your total next time. Be sure to keep safety in mind even when focusing on time.

1. Mountain Climber

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Starting on all fours in a table top position, place both hands on top of the pumpkin. Engage your core and lift your knees off the floor. Alternating one leg at a time, bring your knees in towards your wrists. Repeat for one minute.

2. Pumpkin Push Up

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Starting in a table top position, place both hands on top of the pumpkin. Engage your core and lift your knees off the floor. Slowly lower your chest towards the pumpkin and extending the elbow pushing yourself away, returning to the starting position. Repeat as many reps as possible in one minute.

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Modification: a. Consider remaining on your knees for the duration of the push-ups. b. Place one hand on the pumpkin and one hand on the floor, with legs on either the knees or toes. Be sure to repeat each set using each arm on the pumpkin.

3. Lunge with Twist

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Hold the pumpkin in front of the body with two hands while standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward in to a standing split position and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Pause and then engaging your core twist the pumpkin towards your bent leg. Untwist returning the pumpkin to center and press back up into a standing position. Repeat, alternating front legs and twists with each repetition.

4. Squat With Shoulder Press

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Hold the pumpkin in front of the body with two hands while standing with feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Extend arms below the body and use bend your legs moving into a squat position. Be sure to keep your knees behind your toes and press you seat back far. Bend your elbows curling the pumpkin up towards your shoulders as you return to stand, and finally press the pumpkin above your head as you return into a full standing position. Repeat.

5. Training Camp

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Sit on the ground with your knees bent to 90 degrees, holding the pumpkin with two hands. Lock your elbows into your ribs and lower your torso back until you sit at 45 degrees. Engage your core, and hold and twist your torso, and the pumpkin, to the right and then the left. Repeat.

Looking for ways to keep your kids healthy and active this Halloween? Check out last weeks post here.

How do you stay active and healthy when it’s holiday season? Share your tricks or healthy treats in the comments!

February Fit From Home Challenge: Tea Towel Tune Up

This month the focus is on legs, core, cardio, and of course a whole lot of fun with my “Tea Towel Tune Up”.  All you need is a slippery floor and two tea towels (or wash clothes, paper plates, or even fuzzy socks).

Try to complete two to three sessions a week sneaking in the five move sequence whenever you can for a total of three times a day (that’s only 15min!). Keep the pace fast and the effort hard.

Program:

Total Reps: Perform as many reps as you can of each move in one minute each, moving from one exercise to the next without stopping. Rest one minute, then repeat the sequence two more times. Consider keeping track of your total rep count and try to beat your total next time. Be sure to keep safety in mind even when focusing on time.

Exercises:

1. Lunge

IMG_2306 IMG_2307Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, and a tea towel under your right foot. Slide your right foot backwards and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent at least 90 degrees.

Pause, then slide yourself to the starting position as quickly as you can. Complete for 30 seconds with your left foot forward, then do the same duration of time with your right foot in front.

2. Skater Lunge

IMG_2308 IMG_2309Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, and a tea towel under your right foot. Slide your right foot sideways and slowly lower your body into a squat until your left knee is bent to at least 90 degrees.Be sure to keep your body weight over your left leg.

Pause, then slide yourself to the starting position as quickly as you can. Complete for 30 seconds with your left foot grounded, then do the same duration of time with your right foot grounded.

3.Hamstring Slide

IMG_2312 IMG_2313Lie face-up on the floor with your knees bent and each of your feet on their own tea towel. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Slide both feet away from the body extending as far as possible without dropping your hips.

Pause, then slide yourself to the starting position as quickly as you can. Complete for 60 seconds.

4. Mountain Climbers

IMG_2310 IMG_2311Starting on all fours place your hands on the floor slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders. Both feet are positioned on their own tea towel extended straight behind the body (in high plank). As quickly as possible alternate sliding your knees towards your chest. Complete for 60 seconds moving as quickly as possible.

5. Tuck

IMG_2316IMG_2315 Starting on all fours place your hands on the floor slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders. Both feet are positioned on their own tea towel extended straight behind the body (in high plank). Engage your core and slide both knees in towards your chest keeping your seat in line with your shoulders.

Pause, then slide yourself out to the starting position. Complete for 60 seconds.

Bump It Up! Consider adding a push-up when your body is extended in the starting (high plank) position.IMG_2317

How do you keep fitness fun? Share it in the comments and let’s inspire each other!

Watch this sequence in action on my monthly segment on CHCH Morning Live! Click HERE!

5 Moves, 4 Workouts

No time, no equipment, no problem! These 5 moves will give you a total body workout in your own house, no equipment needed! Pick one of the four programs from below, they all use the same 5 exercises,  and sneak your workouts in whenever you can.

Do two to three sessions a week. Pick a workout program that interests you; keep the pace fast and the effort hard.

Programs:

  1. Total Time: Do 10 reps of each exercise, moving from one to the next without resting. Complete as many rounds as possible in 15minutes
  2. Countdown: Complete 60 reps of the first move, 50 reps of the second, 40 reps of the third, 30 seconds of the fourth, and 20 reps of the fifth.
  3. Total Rounds: Do 12 reps of each exercise, moving from one to the next without rest. Complete five rounds and note how long it takes you to finish. Aim to do the workout faster next time.
  4. Total Reps: Perform as many reps as you can of each move in one minute each, moving from one exercise to the next without stopping. Rest one minute, then repeat the sequence two more times. Keep track of your total rep count and try to beat your grand total next time.

Exercises:

photo(17)photo(16)Jump Squat: Stand with feet shoulder distance apart. Keeping your chest upright and core           tight, bend your knees and sit your hips back into a squat. Press through your heels to jump as high as you can off the ground, swinging your arms forward and above your head. Land softly and immediately lower into your next squat.

photo(14)photo(15)Forward Lunge: Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Step forward with your left leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent at 90 degrees. Pause, and then push yourself to the starting position as quickly as you can. Repeat on right like and continue alternating.

photo(9)photo(8)Tricep Dip: Sit on the edge of a bench, chair, or stair and place your palms face down next to your thighs, fingers gripping the edge. Place your feet in front of you, knees bent, keeping your arms straight. Bend your elbows and lower your hips until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Push back up to straight and repeat.

photo(11)photo(13)Plank: Start in a high push up position. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs. As a modification, place knees on the floor, creating a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. If you have sore wrists, consider bending your elbows and resting your weight on your forearms instead of your hands.

Push Up: Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and extend your legs behind you. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Lower the body until your chest touches the floor, keeping your elbows close to your sides. Push back to start, fully extending your arms. As a modification, place knees on the floor, creating a straight line from shoulders to knees and complete the push up as previously identified.photo(11)photo(10)photo(12)

Video:

On January 2nd, I was honoured to share these moves and this program on CH Morning Live. Check out the 6 minute video to see this workout in action here!

http://www.chch.com/morning-live-blog/item/11034-gardner-fitness-resolution