September 2021

The Great Pumpkin Workout

Want to add some fun, fall flavor to your exercise routine? Instead of pumping iron to build muscle strength, try hefting a pumpkin.

  • If you’re a beginner, buy a small pumpkin (about 5 pounds). For a lighter workout, grab a mini-pumpkin (1 to 4 pounds).

  • If you’re an experienced exerciser who is comfortable lifting weights, you may want to try a 10- to 15-pounder.

Get your favorite fall or Halloween playlist on and get moving!

Person holding a large pumpkin in the palm of their hand blocking the view of the person's head

Crop circles

Stand and hold the pumpkin overhead with both hands. Keeping both arms straight, move the pumpkin in a big circle—out to your right side, down in front, out to your left side, and back overhead. Let your torso move, but keep your hips facing forward. Continue for 15 seconds. Repeat in the other direction.

Squash squats

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold the pumpkin (which is actually a type of winter squash) near your chest with both hands. With your back straight, bend your knees and hips as if you’re going to sit. Stand up again. Continue for 30 seconds.

Pumpkin pushes

Kneel on your left knee with your right foot on the floor. Hold the pumpkin with both hands near your left hip. With both arms straight, turn your shoulders and trunk to lift the pumpkin across your body and up to the right. Return to the starting position. Continue for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Ready to turn your new exercise toy into tasty muffins or a jack-o’-lantern? Do these moves with a medicine ball. Or simply use a small, loaded pack or bag of flour that’s the right weight for you.



Online Medical Reviewer: Brian McDonough, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ray Turley, MSN, BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2021
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