JACKED-o-lantern total body strength workout

Re-posting this workout today for Halloween! Hope you have a happy and safe holiday and I’ll be back in the morning with Friday Faves. Grab your gourds and work out with me. 🙂

Hey friends! How are ya? Thank you so much for your wonderful comments on the Family page yesterday. It was definitely an interesting day. The full moon was in full.swing around here, and I’m so looking forward to the weekend. We had a surprise roadtrip planned, but the potential hurricane may be crushing our plans so we shall see. I thought we were done with hurricane and tropical storm-type things…

Can we please talk about fall TV?? I used to not really be much of a TV fan, until my surgery. After watching hours upon hours of Netflix and trashy TV shows I was like, “Waaaaait. This is awesome.” I’ve gotten back into my productive ways, but I was stoked when The Voice and This Is Us came back. What are your fave fall shows that are back right now?

As the weather cools down and fall TV coerces us into parking on the couch each night, it can be really tempting to stay home instead of hitting the gym. This when we can get a little creative! Who has one of these things lying around? 🙂

Pumpkin workout

I like to say that you can use anything for resistance: wine bottles, gallons of water, cans, pumpkins. You do what you need to do.

Here’s a little festive workout I put together using a rather large pumpkin from a roadside stand. The hilarious part is that I was walking around picking up all of the pumpkins to see if I could easily press it overhead for this workout, and this was the smallest one they had.

Jacked-o-lantern total body strength pumpkin workout! fitnessista.com

Here’s what this Halloween workout looks like: (As always, talk with a doc before making any fitness changes. Honor your body and modify as needed.)

Jacked-o-Lantern total body strength workout using a pumpkin! fitnessista.com

Pumpkin Workout Form Cues

Lunge and curl: Take a big step back to come into a lunge position. Watch your alignment and make sure your front knee is stacked over your front ankle, and your chest is lifted with a tight core. As you rise from your lunge, complete a biceps curl using the pumpkin (squeeze your biceps and exhale as you curl. That’s one rep.

Pumpkin press: Exhale as you press the pumpkin up overhead, and inhale to lower it back down to your chest with control.

Lunge and overhead triceps extension: Take a big step back to come into a lunge position. Watch your alignment and make sure your front knee is stacked over your front ankle, and your chest is lifted with a tight core. As you rise from your lunge, complete a triceps extension using the pumpkin (use your triceps to straighten your arm as much as possible before bending and lowering back down). Make sure to keep your elbows framing your face, and arms close to your head.

Single-leg pumpkin row: Hold the pumpkin with both hands, and tap one leg behind you. You can keep it here, with the weight in your front foot as you tilt forward, bringing the pumpkin just below the knees. For more advanced variations, you can float this top foot off the floor. Make sure to keep hips parallel to the floor. Exhale as you squeeze between your shoulder blades, and bend your arms (elbows stay narrow) to bring the pumpkin back towards your belly. Straighten the arms with control. Complete all reps on one side before switching to the opposite side.

Woodchop: Be sure that you are rotating at your ankle to protect your knees as you twist. As the pumpkin comes up, exhale. Complete 10 on one side before switching to the opposite side.

Gourd curl: You’ll start on your back with your feet in on the pumpkin, toes pointing up. Exhale to lift your hips off the floor, keeping your shoulders grounded into the floor. Take an inhale, and then exhale to bring your heels towards your glutes, rolling the pumpkin towards your booty. Keeping the hips lifted, extend the legs back out. That’s one rep.

Weighted sit-up: Hold the pumpkin at your chest as you lie onto your back and bend both knees to place your feet flat on the floor. Exhale to sit up, keeping your back straight and your belly button pulled in. (Avoid letting the stomach muscles push out!) For a great modification, especially if you have Diastasis Recti, check out this post.

Plank: Make sure that your body is in one straight line from your head, all the way back through your knees or toes (depending on whether you’re modifying). If you’re on your toes, press back through your heels, and no matter what, keep your hips in line with your spine. Tilt your chin away from your chest so your neck stays long, and take some nice deep breaths. You can do this with your hands on the pumpkin, or your feet on the pumpkin. Modify by placing your knees on the floor, and keep your hips in line with your torso. 

Please let me know if you give it a try!

pumpkin workout

After we finish our workout, we can put our boots and sweaters back on (jk it’s like 80 degrees) and go out for pumpkin spice lattes. Maybe Target, if we have time.



Wearing: Zella Live-In leggings (<— the PERFECT leggings), Lorna Jane tank (on sale), Nikes

Photos and super cute fall plants courtesy of the lovely Lindsay Colson

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  1. Emily @ Pizza & Pull-Ups on October 5, 2017 at 7:33 am

    We are taking the babes to get pumpkins this weekend and I will totally have to do this now. This is too fun.

    • Fitnessista on October 5, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      perfect! hope you enjoy 🙂

  2. Juliette | Namastay Traveling on October 5, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Oh my gosh this is amazing. I didn’t think you’d be using an actual pumpkin! I love how the road shape adds an extra challenge…I hope my neighbors don’t ask too many questions when they see me doing this workout! hehe

    • Fitnessista on October 5, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      hahah i love it 🙂 please let me know how it goes!

  3. Karen on October 5, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Hi, I notice you’re doing a lot of ab-engaged moves! How are your muscles feeling now? And do you recommend the Zella leggings for post-op? I have a couple of pairs (the high waisted ones), trying to figure out if I need more leggings for my surgery. :))

    • Fitnessista on October 5, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      i faked the sit-up (we took a pic with me on the floor and then i carefully made my way up and then grabbed the pumpkin again). i planked for about 15 seconds and was sore for 3 days
      and YES. the leggings are amazing afterwards. i just recently started wearing jeans again. initially i wore pajama shorts, dresses, and joggers

  4. Kath on October 5, 2017 at 8:14 am

    This is so clever and cute!!!

  5. Kathleen on October 5, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Oh my gosh this is adorable!! We don’t have any pumpkins yet, but when we do I’ll give it a try! I like the single leg row exercise!

    • Fitnessista on October 5, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      yessss! hope you love it 🙂

  6. Kelly on October 5, 2017 at 10:12 am

    This is hilarious!!

    • Fitnessista on October 5, 2017 at 2:54 pm


  7. Jess on October 5, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Love this and I’m going to give this a try.

    • Fitnessista on October 5, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      please let me know what you think!

  8. Jennifer on October 5, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Hawaii five-0, blue bloods, letal weapon, blacklist- all good fall shows!

    • Fitnessista on October 5, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      ohhh i haven’t seen any of these!

  9. Tracy on October 5, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    That might make quite a mess if you accidentally dropped the pumpkin or let it go in a wood chop! lol

    Looove This is us (of course!) and also Scandal starts up again tonight (final season so I hope it will be good)! We also love Dancing With the Stars. Have you ever watched? I like it better than the Voice… it airs the same night but on ABC. It’s soooo fun to watch!

  10. LeeAnn Benesh on October 5, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    I am pretty sure that you are the most creative fitness person ever! hahaha.

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2017 at 9:31 pm

      haha thank you, friend!

  11. Christie Hawkes on October 11, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    I love this workout! I’ve been touting the benefits of pumpkin on my blog for the past month. Somehow I missed out on this great idea. Thanks for sharing! Happy fall y’all!


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