The Pumpkin Workout

pumpkin_runAfter Halloween, the number one request I receive from my personal training clients is “how can I get rid of my Jack-o’-lantern belly?” First, throw away any candy that is easily accessible and will be hard to resist, especially when you are feeling hungry and vulnerable. Second, burn those unwanted calories with cardiovascular exercise, for at least 20 minutes, three times per week. Lastly, add strength training to your workout, which will tighten up and tone your muscles. 

If you do not have weights or a medicine ball, don’t despair. Grab a pumpkin (or any type of canned food, water bottle, or even a watermelon) and use it as a weight.  If you are just beginning, look for a pumpkin that is approximately five pounds. As you progress, use a heavier pumpkin to make the exercises more challenging. Pumpkins don’t last forever, but they sure are a fun tool to use for exercising around Halloween time. After your workout, eat your pumpkin as part of your healthy meal (see the Tuesday, Oct. 25 Mind & Body post for recipe ideas).

Perform one set of 12-15 repetitions of each exercise. Rest for 60 seconds and then repeat two more times.

Pumpkin Twist (for abdominals)

Sit on the ground holding the pumpkin in both hands. Raise your feet off the ground and with your arms extended, rotate your arms and upper body to either side touching the pumpkin to the ground. One repetition is equal to one twist on both sides.

Wide Squat With A Pumpkin Curl (for inner thighs, abdominals, and biceps)

Standing with feet wide and toes pointed out, hold the pumpkin with both hands, keeping your elbows straight and close to your torso. As you lower down into a plié squat, curl the pumpkin towards your chest. Do not extend your knees past your toes. Your feet should remain firmly planted into the ground. Slowly rise back to starting position and repeat.

Pumpkin Crunches (for abdominals)

Lay down on your back with your knees bent and pumpkin in both of your hands. Crunch up and push the pumpkin up into the air. Keep your chin lifted and raise your chest toward the ceiling. Slowly, lower back down, keeping tension in your abs. To make the exercise harder, do not lower your shoulders to the ground.

Jennifer Adams is a nationally certified personal trainer and exercise instructor who has been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years.  She is the owner of Sand N Sea Fitness in Santa Cruz and is a practicing attorney. Contact her at [email protected]


To Top