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Core work(out)

by Kira Pollack, Youth Outdoors AmeriCorps Member

Two women walking a dog passed me while I balanced atop a pile of buckthorn and honeysuckle.

“You’re doing core work!” one called up.

I laughed in response because my brain immediately translated “Corps work”, and both were true. The work we do requires both physical and mental strength, flexibility, and perseverance. My coworker Katie calls our job his free gym membership. While I love going to my gym, I’ll admit the cold days make it far less likely I’m going to leave my house after I get home. Or ever. So here’s an inspired Corps “gym” routine that you can do at work.

Do each set three times through, 8-12 reps of each exercise.

Tri-set 1:

  • Chainsaw pull-cord rows (lats)
  • Chainsaw curls (biceps)
  • Low-stump surrenders or herbicide dauber lunges (quads/glutes)

Tri-set 2:

  • Brush haul/farmer’s carry (shoulders/upper back)
  • Log yeets/side throws (obliques)
  • Brush pile scramble and trample (core and lower body) (one rep per set)

Vanity set:

  • Hand pruner flex (forearm)
  • Trash bag extensions (triceps)

Remember that walking in your steel toes adds resistance to every step (hamstring) and you can reduce weight or speed on hills to maintain proper and safe form.

I recommend fueling up with a PBJ on whole wheat for some plant-based protein, complex carbs, and simple sugars, an apple for fiber, and whatever the heck else you want. You’re working hard.