It’s time to dust the cobwebs off those dumbells.
Are you prepared for Halloween? Like, ready to run if you have to?
For most of us, the reasons we work out are a little less dramatic than saving our lives: it makes us feel good, boosts energy, helps relieve stress… and, aesthetics (duh).
But, have you ever watched a chase or fight scene in a horror movie and thought: How would I fare? Could I outrun Jason? Duck from the shredding swipes of Freddy Kruger? Well, friends, we are here to help.
This special Halloween workout is designed to get you physically prepared for whatever you may encounter – be it a gruesome foe, or a new pair of jeans:
Why: When you have to get away, and get away fast.
Also because… As well as saving your skin, sprints are also a great full body workout. The explosive movement targets your butt, hips, hamstrings, quads, calves and abs. What’s more, short bursts of high-intensity sprinting also boosts your metabolic rate and helps burn fat.
- Warm up with a slow jog for five minutes, and some leg stretches.
- Decide on your sprint track – you’ll need about 100m
- Sprint the 100m, and walk back to the start of your track slowly (this is your rest)
- Repeat 6-10 times
Newbie tip: If you’re new to sprinting, start with running at about 50% max speed and gradually increase your speed each round. Aim for six repetitions. If you need to take a longer breather between sprints, that’s ok too.
Why: Ducking to avoid the fatal swings of a knife-wielding maniac.
Also because… Your whole body benefits from squats. Whether you’re doing bodyweight squats or adding extra weight, the movement builds strength in your legs, butt, back, and core. Squats also increase joint flexibility.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, tummy tight and your shoulders back and down.
- Keeping your head forward and chest raised, sit downwards as if you’re sitting on a chair. Continue to lower down so your thighs are parallel to the floor, with your knees over your ankles.
- Focus on keeping those glutes tight as you push your weight through your heels to raise back up into your standing position.
- Repeat 12 times
Newbie tip: Posture is key. To stop your back from rounding as you descend, let your lower back arch slightly. Once you’ve got the form nailed, try adding light weights with a shoulder bar or by holding a dumbbell to your chest.
Why: To get yourself up and over a cliff’s edge or side of a building, out of harm’s way.
Also because… Chin-ups are the original body weight exercise, and they are a great way to strengthen a number of different back muscles, as well as your arms, shoulders, and chest.
- Underhand grip on the bar, hands in line with shoulders
- Pull yourself up till your chin is level with the bar, and lower yourself slowly back down
- Aim for five or six, and then rest for a few minutes. Repeat three times.
Newbie Tip: OK OK , we know – chin ups are hard work, especially if you’re new to them. Most of us are lucky if we can get one or two out! To build up your strength, try starting with reduced resistance by using a stretch band, hooked around the bar and under one of your feet. The band gives buoyancy to the movement and gives you the extra lift you need to get up there. You can also try using negative resistance to build strength – start at the top of the movement (use a box or step to get up there) and lower yourself slowly down. A bit of practice with either of these beginner variations will have you well on your way towards proper chin-ups in no time.
Why: Scrambling your way under a bush or beneath a car to hide from a zombie
Also because… This is another great full body workout that engages a lot of muscles at once (read: more calorie burning bang-for-buck). Mountain climbers benefit muscular and cardiovascular fitness, while also improving flexibility, blood circulation, and overall strength.
- Get into a push-up position, with hands directly under your chest, shoulder-width apart.
- Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles
- Lift your right foot and bring your knee as close to your chest as you can
- Return your right leg to the starting position, and repeat with your left leg
- Three sets of ten moves (five each leg), with 30sec rest in between
Newbie tips: If you are new to mountain climbers, perform the knee to chest motion slow and steadily, aiming to build up to a faster pace with practice.