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Halloween isn’t just about the cauldrons of candy, haunted houses and costume contests. It’s also about stretching out the cobwebs and pulling out a few surprises from your bag of tricks. And here at Daily Burn, that means trying a few new witchin’ good moves!
From the Grave Riser to the Monster Walk, these spellbinding exercises from DB365 trainer Erika Shannon will target and tone your arms, core, back, glutes and much more. Not to mention, this 15-minute workout can help you resist the urge to overindulge in Halloween treats and snacks during couch time. So grab a tricked out broom (or bat), jack up the Thriller music and give your muscles a real treat.
5 Strength Moves for a Killer Halloween Workout
Perform each exercise for one minute. (For the Ghostbuster, that’s 30 seconds per leg.) Rest for 30 seconds and repeat for three rounds.
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1. Dancing Skeleton
If you’re not a fan of floor crunches, we have good news. This standing variation will work its magic on your core in a whole new way. “With the dancing skeleton, you’re working your obliques, but also adding the element of balance, which improves everyday function and stability,” Shannon says. This ab-tightening move also adds range of motion, and you can get your heart rate up by working in some speed. To maintain wicked posture, keep a slight bend in your supporting leg as you lift the other leg towards your elbow. You’ll also want to stay upright in the side crunch instead of leaning forward, Shannon says.
[caption id="attachment_62721" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn 365[/caption]
2. Ghoul Mornings
This exercise is all about the unexpected slow burn, much like a ghoul eyeing its prey. Working your hips, trunk extensors, hamstrings, glutes, abs and back, the key to this lower-body blast is engaging your abdominals so your chest and back don’t drop. Shannon advises, “Transfer a little more weight into your heels, and imagine squeezing your shoulder blades together as you hinge forward.” But don’t mistake this move for a squat. “While it’s natural to transfer some weight into the heels as you descend, think more of keeping your abs engaged than sticking your butt out.”
Don’t be afraid to go at a slower pace in order to keep your back flat and chest lifted. Shannon says that pressing your shoulders helps you avoid hunching and rounding, which could eventually cause bigger posture issues.
[caption id="attachment_62722" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn 365[/caption]
Give your glutes, abductors, adductors and quads a clean sweep with this challenging lateral lunge that tests your balance and hip mobility. Remember to make sure your knee doesn’t move past your toes and to sit your hips back into the stretch once you lunge sideways. Shannon’s pro tip: “Step out wide into the lunge, toes pointing forward and keep that back straight! Enjoy the feeling of swinging down to up — it’s fun!” Just don’t cheat yourself by using momentum. You’ll want to use your core and glutes on that upswing, so move with control.
[caption id="attachment_62723" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn 365[/caption]
4. Monster Walk
Much like an overhead squat, the monster walk works every major muscle group, including the deltoids, triceps, core, glutes and quads. If you find yourself struggling with the broomstick overhead, Shannon says to try taking a wider arm position, especially if you have limited mobility in your shoulders. For your lower body, Shannon recommends, “Keep your weight in your heels, and let your butt stick out a bit (without losing stability in your lower back). Think of your body moving all in one solid unit.”
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5. Grave Riser
Who knew getting out of bed could turn into a workout? In this grave riser exercise, start by laying flat on your back with your hands on both ends of the broomstick in front of you and feet flexed. As you slowly raise your upper body off the ground, keep your legs straight and pinned to the floor. “Send energy through your heels to keep your feet actively flexed and tuck your chin to your chest as you come up,” Shannon says.
While your back doesn’t need to be perfectly straight in this exercise, especially on the way up and down, Shannon says you’ll need to engage your abdominals and back muscles to lift yourself from the floor and safely peel back down. “Try to feel your sit bones pressing down on the floor as you stretch your spine as tall as you can. No need to keep them there long, though, just enough to stretch tall, then repeat back down to your descent.”
For more moves from Shannon, head to DailyBurn.com/365 to get new workouts every day (free for 30 days!).
Originally published October 2016. Updated October 2017.