Saturday, January 21, 2012

Make shoveling your workout!

Winter is here and Philly has it's first snow of the year.  Even though we only has a few inches on the ground, as I was out shoveling I saw a lot of people hunched and bent over trying to lift the icy mix and fling it off to the side.  Also, don't think of it as work.  Turn it into a fun little workout by using the tools you are given... a shovel and white, icy resistance. 

So how can you turn shoveling into a workout?  First, use good form!  Snow, depending on density, can have a decent weight to it.  Couple that with the fact that the weight (snow) is roughly 4 feet away from your body, depending on the length of your shovel, so lifting with incorrect form could really be the straw that breaks the camels back - or yours.

Next, switch it up and make sure you are giving both sides of your body a turn - just like you would work both sides of your body at the gym.  Then, get creative with it.  Here are few ideas for you...

1.  You could do a deadlift pattern (again use good form and keep a straight back).

2.  Explosively throw the snow over your shoulder and behind you.

3.  And one that I did today, stand behind the shovel with both hands on the handle and vigorously start to plow the snow with quick bursts pushing.

4.  Don't start out with a shovel, but use a broom.  Take a good stable stance and start sweeping from side to side, working in the transverse plane, getting a good twisting workout. 

Doing these 4 movements for 30 minutes is perfect right before a nice lunch or dinner. 

Please comment and share some of your creative exercises that might like to do with the shovel and the snow...

Thanks for reading and stay healthy!