Are You Fit Enough To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse?
This super fun workout might help you fight off the living dead someday—and it will make your entire life easier now. Here’s why!
Creepy monsters lumbering down Main Street, groaning, “Braaaaains.” No matter what the zombie apocalypse might look like in your nightmares (or in your favorite zombie movies or video games), you’ve no doubt, at some point, wondered: Could I survive the end of days?
You can! If you put a little work in, that is—and no, training for a zombie attack isn’t crazy. First, it’s super-motivating to turn your workout into a game. And the cool thing about shaping up for impending doom is that it’ll also make the kajillion movements you make in a typical day easier.
That’s because this workout centers on functional fitness, a kind of exercise that trains your muscles to work together in the real-life situations you find yourself in at home, at school, or in sports. So you’ll be better able to climb a tree, get through a grueling gym class, zoom up a flight of stairs at school, or, you know . . . outrun hordes of zombies without breaking a sweat or hurting yourself!
“When you work on functional fitness, everyday life stuff feels easier,” says Melanie Tannenbaum, the certified fitness instructor who created this 20-minute anti-zombie training session. To do it: Start with a 3-minute warm-up (dancing like crazy to Spotify counts!), then complete the whole circuit of 5 moves 3 times in a row. Finish with a 3-minute cool-down, stretching the muscles you just worked, drinking lots of water, and repeating to yourself: Just try to catch me, you crazy, creepy zombies!
KICK DOWN DOORS
This strengthens your legs, so you can kick harder, run farther, and crawl faster along your escape route. And for now? You’ll bike or climb stairs without tiring.
A. Stand with your back against a wall and your feet about 2 feet from the wall, shoulder-width apart, toes and knees turned slightly out.
B. Slowly slide down the wall until your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then push your heels into the ground to help you rise back up.
FEND OFF FLESH EATERS
You need to strengthen your chest (aka pectoral muscles) so you’re better able to throw a punch or push zombies away. Powerful pecs will also help you with chores and sports, from pushing a lawn mower to hitting a tennis ball harder.
PUSH-UPS (8-10 reps)
A. Start with your body in a straight line: knees on the floor, arms straight, and palms a little wider than your shoulders.
B. Lower yourself until your chest is at elbow height. Your elbows should go out to the sides, away from your body. Then press back up to the starting position.
TIP: Too easy? Start the push-up on your hands and toes, instead of your knees.
PREPARE FOR COMBAT
Your back is a major stabilizer muscle that protects your spine and keeps you from hurting your neck, shoulders, or torso while you kick and fight those zombies off. (And for now, you’ll be better equipped to lug around your insanely heavy backpack! )
SUPERMANS (8-10 reps)
A. Lie on your stomach on the floor and reach your arms out in front of you (like Superman!).
B. Exhale and raise your arms, legs, and chest off the floor at the same time, thinking about making yourself super-long and tall. Squeeze your lower back and butt muscles for two seconds, then inhale and slowly return to the starting position.
PUSH YOUR WAY TO SAFETY
Your tricep muscles—on the back of your upper arms—work with the chest to make thrusting open a heavy door or lifting a hulking tree branch a breeze. (They’ll also help with your basketball shot! )
TRICEP DIPS (8-10 reps)
A. Sit on a chair, holding the edge with hands pointing forward. Slide butt off, keeping arms straight.
B. Slowly lower down until elbows are bent to 90 degrees, pointing back. Then push back up to starting position.
MAKE A CLEAN BREAK
This works the legs and upper back, so you’re ready to scale walls. Plus it will be much easier to lift your books onto your locker’s top shelf!
SQUAT-AND-PRESS (8-10 reps)
A. Stand with feet slightly wider than hips, toes pointed out. Hold a full water jug in front of your chest, with elbows bent to the sides.
B. Squat by pushing your butt back and down, until your knees are at 90 degrees.
C. Press heels into the ground to straighten back up. As you do, push the jug up and slightly forward until your arms are straight overhead. Return to starting position.