The Game Plan

The Perfect Snowy Spring Break Workout Guide

Posted by Carten Cordell / Monday, March 25th, 2013

Everyone knows NoVA is a haven for runners, rowers and lacrosse enthusiasts. But what’s a fit, athletic individual like yourself going to do when snow comes to squash your outdoor workout plans? Lord knows those skinny street tires on your bike are going to turn your Trek into a rolling coffin. And those new running shoes you bought to work off that winter weight? Better trade them in for a nice pair of galoshes unless you want to give yourself trench foot from running in the wet snow.

So spring refuses to show its face, Bike D.C. is cancelled due to a permit snafu and your workout plan is in shambles. But don’t worry! Inclement weather presents plenty of opportunities for you to get your heart rate up and break a sweat.

Check out these snowy weather workouts so you’re not playing catch-up this week with your workout schedule.


Rotating Trunk Snow Shovel Twist

Firmly grip your snow shovel and take a wide stance with your legs slightly outside your shoulders. Keep your back straight, bend at the waist and scoop a shovel load of snow. Lift shovel, rotate your core and pitch the snow safely to the side. Workout focuses on the lower back and deltoids. If parent–perform three reps before making your freeloading kids earn their spring break by finishing shoveling the driveway. If kid–perform two reps before demanding payment and threatening to unionize. Finish last eight reps once parents quell your labor uprising.

Throwing snow like a pro! Andre Blais /


40 Meter Slush-Mush Hurtles

After arriving at work and parking in an ambiguous, “am I between the lines?” parking spot, dash towards your building while remaining steady and minimizing water damage to your work clothes and hairdo. Be sure to keep your knees high to avoid drifts and slush piles. Repeat when you realize you left your phone charger in the car. Works quads, glutes and cardio. Try increasing the difficult by wearing your nicest pair of shoes!


Overhead Icicle Knock-and-Dash

Hold shovel overhead beneath snow-covered awning. Knock icicles with said shovel. Quickly dash out of the way of the oncoming avalanche. Works lats, lower body and mental psyche. Warning: The Overhead Icicle Knock-and-Dash qualifies as an extreme sport and is only slightly less dangerous than Shark Wrestling or the Greater Bangladesh Tiger Riding League. Protective gear is required, along with supervision by a certified Knock-and-Dash trainer. Consult your Knock-and-Dash trainer before beginning this activity. 


The Northern Virginia Snowplow Grand Prix

This activity is an exercise in mental awareness and fortitude. The Grand Prix consists of traveling along your intended commute while juggling the mental burden of avoiding contact with other drivers and poorly maintained wiper blades. Advanced racers will know to avoid being cut in half by a snowplow piloted by an overworked, underpaid city worker who has been working for 18 hours and running off nothing but coffee, cigarettes and amphetamines. Two races held daily. Score and placing is determined by distance, difficulty of commute, time traveled and near-misses.


500 Meter Snow Angel Relay

Intended for the child at heart, this relay is a full-body workout. Lie flat on your back in the snow, sweeping your arms and legs in a “flying” motion. Full extension is required to maximize the workout. A full rep counts as one “meter.” At least two teams of four are required for this activity. Athletes switch once they reach 125 “meters.” Last place team has to dry everyone else’s clothes.


These activities should be more than enough to tide you over until spring finally breaks and outdoor workouts open up in NoVA. In the meantime, you can keep you workouts indoors on home equipment or even go Spartan with your workout–push-ups, chin-ups, sit-ups, up-downs, down-ups, down-downs and up-ups. But as soon as spring gets here, be on the look out for healthy outdoor events, like the Girls on the Run Spring 5K intended to promote a healthy lifestyle of exercise among girls. You can also follow the D.C. Capital Striders Running Group, who frequently organize fun-runs like the one tomorrow in Reston.

So pick up that shovel and pull on that stocking cap. That snow isn’t going to shovel itself!

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