Halloween Routine #1: Pump-kin Power Challenge

How to Carve Out A Stronger You
Maria Sollon, MS, CSCS, PES

Fall is upon us, and what better way to enjoy the season than with a pumpkin-themed workout that will leave your muscles feeling carved and spook-tacularly strong! Whether you're an aspiring fitness wizard or a seasoned workout witch, this workout challenge is designed to pump-kin-up your muscles with a motion potion that fuels your soul!

Be Pumpkin “Med-Ball” Ready
Did you know that the average un-carved pumpkin weighs in at a solid 12 to 15 pounds?! That's the same weight as a medicine ball or a kettlebell!

The best part is that you don't even need to venture to the gym for an intense pump-kin workout. This interval-based, full-body routine can be easily completed anywhere, with a pumpkin or a weighted object! So pick out your favorite pumpkin and enjoy spicing up your workouts.


There are no tricks about this challenge - just a Halloween themed work-out that will treat your entire body with strengthening and conditioning moves! Make your workout extra spook-tacular by blasting your favorite Halloween tunes. So, let’s creep it real and move to the rhythm of the season to carve out a stronger you!

• Props: Use a pumpkin as your resistance and a hand towel for stretches.
• Choose a pumpkin size / weight that’s easy to grip and will challenge your strength.
• For an extra challenge, I dare you to increase the pumpkin weight!
• If you're not feeling the pumpkin prop, no problem! Opt for a dumbbell, med ball, kettlebell… but trust me, a pumpkin is quite challenging!
• Reps: Perform each exercise for 10-15 reps with little to no rest between
• Sets: Complete as many rounds as your time and energy allows
• Workout Time: The duration of the circuit will vary depending on your tempo and range of motion. So, take your time and focus on proper form for a ghoulishly effective workout.

WARM-UP: Pumpkin Spiced & Ready
These pumpkin inspired movements will spice up your muscles and them ready for the workout challenge.

• Squat & Pumpkin Press: Stand with feet hip distance apart holding the pumpkin in front of your chest. Press your hips back into a squat and aim the pumpkin to touch the floor while maintaining a flat back and chest upright. Stand and simultaneously press the pumpkin overhead.
• Side-Side Squat Push: Stand with legs together holding the pumpkin in hands. Step out to one side and squat aiming the pumpkin towards the floor, then stand and press the pumpkin overhead. Repeat by alternating sides.
• Plank Toe Taps: Place the pumpkin on the floor and position your hands on the top of the pumpkin with fingers facing down to carefully assume a plank position. Stay in the plank balancing with hands on the pumpkin. Alternate toe taps from side to side.


1. Witchy Long-Legs & Lifts
• Hocus Pocus Focused (Targeted Muscle Groups): thighs, hamstrings, glutes, core balance, shoulders
• Ghoul (Goal): Sculpt your legs lean with these daddy-long-leg spider lunges.
• Boo! (How to Perform): Begin holding the pumpkin in front of your chest.
• Perform alternating reverse lunges while simultaneously pressing the pumpkin out from the chest and then over head.
• Focus on maintaining balance, stability, and core control.

2. Cardio BOO-st || Pumpkin Climbers
• Hocus Pocus Focused (Targeted Muscle Groups): shoulder strength and stability, core control
• Ghoul (Goal): Add a cardio boost to elevate your heart rate.
• Boo! (How to Perform): Place the pumpkin on the floor and assume a plank position with your hands on the pumpkin.
• Maintain the plank while alternating knees towards your chest. Pick up your speed for enhanced cardio power.

3. Lunge Fang Taps
• Hocus Pocus Focused (Targeted Muscle Groups): Shoulders, biceps, triceps, inner-outer thighs, core
• Ghoul (Goal): This exercises vamps up your heart rate by combining upper and lower strength together. The added resistance of the pumpkin will have your shoulders screaming!
• Boo! (How to Perform): Begin holding the pumpkin in front of chest.
• Step out to one side to perform a lateral lunge while simultaneously reaching the pumpkin to the outside of the lunging knee.
• Return back to the starting position and simultaneously chop the pumpkin over the opposite shoulder and rotate through the torso.
• Repeat this motion with control on both sides.

4. Cardio BOO-st || Pumpkin Skaters
• Hocus Pocus Focused (Targeted Muscle Groups): Shoulder strength and stability, core
• Ghoul (Goal): This exercises vamps up your heart rate by combining upper and lower strength together. The added resistance of the pumpkin will have your shoulders screaming!
• Boo! (How to Perform): Begin holding your pumpkin in front of your chest.
• Begin to leap from side to side in a skating type of motion.
• Rotate the torso toward the skating side. (This movement will naturally occur.)

5. Torso || Pumpkin Twists
• Hocus Pocus Focused(Targeted Muscle Groups): obliques, coordination of upper/ lower body
• Ghoul (Goal): Carve your core with torso twists using additional resistance of your pumpkin!
• Boo! (How to Perform): Stand in a plié stance with the knees slightly bent and hold the pumpkin in front of the chest.
• Begin to rotate your torso from side to side, aiming the pumpkin towards your hips.
• Be sure to utilize your breath to fully get the most out of the movement.

COOL DOWN: Ghostly Stretches
Conclude your workout with stretches that will help your muscles recover, prevent injury, and prepare them for your next workout! Use a hand towel to assist your flexibility.

Post workout stretches are just as important as the workout itself - so don't be scared to stretch, scream, and spook your muscles into recovery mode!

Check out the video to learn how to perform these pumpkin power exercises.

Grab your pumpkin, put on your favorite witch hat, and get moving with this heart pump-kin challenge! It’s just what your muscles need to Pump-kin spice them up! For more Halloween inspired workouts, check out the Wicked Workout Challenge!

Train hard and have a boo-tiful day!


Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. http://www.groovysweat.com http://www.groovysweatstore.com (purchasable workout videos) http://www.youtube.com/groovysweat (workout clips)

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