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by Alexandra Williams, MA of FunandFit

classic cartoon depicting the plumbers crack image via Alexandra Williams source: Remodel Crazy

JB asked me to write a post to help carpenters get into shape. I think his exact words were, “Why are you following me? Please go away.” But because I find carpenter-types so entrancing, I decided instead to write some exercise tips for home improvement.  They are for you who are bent forward for hours on end, leading to sore backs, weak abs (known as Budweiser tumors), over-stretched upper backs, over-tight chest & shoulder muscles and major butt crackage!

Okay, the butt crack problem is more of an aesthetic, “who lets you out of the house dressed like that” thing than a fitness issue, but still…..In any case, I feel qualified to comment due to my many years’ experience staring at averting my eyes from carpenters whose pants never quite cover their full assets!

First of all, that bending forward thing you all do is technically known as lookee here babes forward flexion. Have you noticed how much your lower back hurts after a while? The solution is to get a girlfriend do some back extension moves.

Forward Flexion

And here are some for your enjoyment:

Cobra

yoga pose the cobra image via Alexandra Williams

Upward Facing Dog

upward facing dog

yoga pose upward facing dog image via Alexandra Williams

Back & Ball Work

And here are some to strengthen the back so you won’t look all Hunchback of Baltimore after a few months (editor’s note: who me?! and I don’t really see tough guys like me using a ball. Ha!):

Stability Ball Shoulder Stabilization

Stability Ball Shoulder Stablization

exercise Stability Ball Shoulder Stabilization image via Alexandra Fun Fit

Stability Ball Reverse Extensions

stability ball reverse extension

exercise Stability Ball Reverse Extensions - image via Alexandra Williams

For these exercises, you only need a stability ball, gravity, a clean floor or mat, determination and someone to taunt you mercilessly until you do them encourage you. If you happen to own a home gym, I’ll be happy to give you more exercises that will have you tangled up in cable wires for weeks! In a good way, naturally!

For those abs I can just guess you’ve done crunches upon crunches. So many crunches that you own stock in Crunch Berries.(<< our first cereal plug.)  Hasn’t helped much, has it? You might look super hot, but when it comes to holding that poor old spine in place, pfffftttt. Because Crunch Berries involve a captain with an eye patch, I am now thinking of pirates. And if you don’t do what I say, I’ll make you walk the plank! Actually, if you do what I say, you should just lie in the prone position and wait for me with your eyes closed do the plank. For extra fun, do the plank with one leg up. Or both. . . You first.

Now that I’ve given you some hot tips to be all fit and comfortable, let’s return to the crackage package you’ve been sporting. It is not attractive. I’ve yet to meet a woman or man who finds that to be a “look” that should catch on. That doesn’t stop us from staring, but that’s because we are drawn in by your voodoo love beam optimistic! And if you cannot find work pants that cover your Continental Divide, can you at least get a razor that goes over hill and dale?

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Note from the Hosts

Ahhhhh! “voodoo love beam” @AlexandraFunFit. First — I feel I need to say: Some of you know us . . . and especially over the last few weeks —  you could hop on twitter and find AFF & I (in the stream) flirting so hard it would make a Hell’s Angel blush. 

But . . . really on the side, we were working out (<< I can be witty too) what would become this post. In fact, I have been bugging my brother-in-law, who owns a gym, to write something like this for more than a year. I think you’ll agree, glad he didn’t.

You see . . . we were doing something all professional-like and AFF is a real pro (she even teaches at a real university and stuff).  You can find her blogging (with her twin sister — Kymberly) at http://www.funandfit.org.  Thanks again A!  A practical and fun post. ~ jb bartkowiak

Images via the American Council of Exercise (Click through the links to see the exercises in action.)