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Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Pumpkin exercises put that gourd to work

  • Elizabeth Kovar demonstrates a Poison Toad Crunch, one of a selection of exercises she'll be teaching at the Lynnwood Recreation Center that utilize a...

    Mark Mulligan / The Herald

    Elizabeth Kovar demonstrates a Poison Toad Crunch, one of a selection of exercises she'll be teaching at the Lynnwood Recreation Center that utilize a pumpkin.

LYNNWOOD -- Don't carve that pumpkin yet.
First, consider taking your little orange gourd along on a little calorie-burning trip to Elizabeth Kovar's Pump-O-Matic workout class in the fitness studio at the Lynnwood Recreation Center.
Get up close and personal with your pumpkin as you learn how to do the Dracula Side Plank, Jack The Ripper, Zombie Glute Lift and the Thriller Moon Walk.
Kovar, a fitness instructor, was considering holding a special class for Halloween and drinking a cup of coffee at a supermarket when inspiration struck.
"I turned around and saw this big bin of pumpkins and said, 'Oh my God, that's just like a medicine ball!'" She grabbed a pumpkin and started coming up with the movements right there.
The idea, she said, is to use the pumpkin's weight, about 6-8 pounds, for resistance, while focusing on movements that activate various muscle groups.
She started thinking about Halloween icons -- vampires, scarecrows, werewolves, witches -- and how to build a whole pumpkin workout around the theme.
Click here to see a gallery of Kovar's pumpkin exercises, including Fall Trees, Gravedigger Plies, Poisoned Toad Crunches and Howl at the Moon Squats.
"I integrated the concepts with how the characters would move as exercise movements," she said. So the Dracula side planks involve a common exercise, the side plank, but instead of holding the free hand toward the ceiling, one wraps that arm back down toward the floor, as if closing a cape.
The class is set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, and Kovar is encouraging everyone to wear a Halloween costume, or, in lieu, dress up in their best 1980s aerobics outfit.
There's a small fee for the class, $8, but it's free to anyone who holds an annual pass to the recreation center. Sign up by calling Kovar at 425-670-5518 or by email at ekovar@ci.lynnwood.wa.us.
Oh, and it's a BYOP event.
Pump-O-Matic
Cost for the class, to be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, is $8; it's free for annual pass holders.
RSVP to Kovar at 425-670-5518 or at ekovar@ci.lynnwood.wa.us. Lynnwood Recreation Center is at 18900 44th Ave W., Lynnwood.
Everyone is encouraged to dress in their favorite costume, or, perhaps scarier, in their best 1980s aerobics-inspired gear.
And don't forget to bring a non-carved pumpkin about the size of a volleyball.
Story tags » HealthHalloween

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