As a Texas girl living in Maryland, I am not used to snow. Sure, it’ll snow in Dallas, but for most of my life, snow would fall for half a day, a few inches at most, and then turn to ice if it would stick at all. Most of the time we would be so excited that there was actually something white falling from the sky that I never realized that there is so much nuance to a snowy day. My favorite is the lightly falling, big flaked, pretty snow that looks like something out of a movie and is pleasant to walk in. The few times it snowed like that growing up are vivid memories. After moving further north I have now had several experiences with the phenomenon know as: the blizzard.
This last blizzard I saw more snow in one weekend than I ever have before. Lookup #snowzilla and #snowpocalypse if you weren’t in the area to see the kind of reactions the east coast had to that storm. Since we didn’t lose power (though were prepared if we did) I was very excited for the storm. The whole family was cuddled up at home, playing games and watching movies, and I kept making calls to my family back home to give them updates on HOW MUCH SNOW COULD FALL FROM THE SKY! (Yes, I’m sure on the phone I was speaking in all caps.)
On Saturday morning there was a small break in the otherwise constant barrage of snow, so I decided to shovel our driveway before another foot or more of snow were to pile on top of the first. So, I wrapped myself up in layers, took my shovel, and prepared for a couple hours of physical activity. Luckily, weeks of strength training and 21 Day Fix workouts prepared me for this shoveling. Though I was tired at the end, it felt like a good workout and not the terrible ache of someone whose muscles were screaming at their unpreparedness. Here are a few moves to train you for the next snowstorm.
#1) Lunges & Squats
Yep. Good old fashioned lunges were key to helping protect my lower back as I bent to put snow on my shovel. I used a wide lunge or squat, making sure my knees were at right angles in my bent legs, to give me a firm foundation. Having tucked in abs and strong legs by practicing forward lunges and side lunges helped me shift the balance of snow and move it more efficiently.
#2) Wood chopper
In the 21 Day Fix program, there is a weight exercise called the “squat to wood chop” we practice with weights. Starting with feet hip width apart, squat with the weight over the right foot, then push up, twisting the body until the weight is up in the air facing the left side. This translated perfectly to the twist needed to fling the snow over my shoulder to make sure it got over the banks of snow already piled on either side.
#3) Ab and oblique exercises
A tight core is important for lower back health in general. A combo of crunches, bicycle twists, oblique stretches, and scissor twists (crunches with the legs alternating up and down) are good ab exercises to add to your routine. The upside is that all those ab exercises preparing me for snow shoveling will pay off for bikini wearing in the summer.