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7 Best Strength Exercises for Gardeners

Strength exercise tips for gardenersGardening Can Be Remarkably Physical!

Over President's Day Weekend, I converted some lawn area into a wide swath of planting beds. In the process I shoveled, raked, pushed 200-pound-filled wheelbarrows around the yard, bent over to grab building materials, squatted down to grab rocks, swung a mattock, split logs, flung weeds, lifted and carried three-cubic-foot bags of compost (about 100 dense pounds each) from the front yard to the back, and generally made myself sore for three days straight.

On weekends like this, I don't go to the gym. Actually, who am I kidding? Since the second baby, I've barely gone to the gym at all.

There are plenty of websites out there that will tell you why yard work is a great workout while you're doing it, but if you don't want that first big project of the season to kick your butt (and your lower back, and your shoulders, and...), it helps to be in garden-ready physical condition right from the get-go. Even if the extent of your gardening is a little weed pulling and some tomato and basil plucking for a summer caprese salad, good all-around physical condition will make the trot from the kitchen to the herb bed that much easier.

Here are the seven best exercises to do before gardening season gets going -- so you'll be ready when it does. You can perform these motions at a gym or at home -- all you need are a pair of appropriately heavy weights or kettlebells and a little floor or garden space.

Erica Strauss, Northwest Edible LifeAbout Erica Strauss:
Professional chef-turned-garden writer Erica Strauss raises kids, chickens, and vegetables on one-third of an acre in suburban Seattle. She writes about edible gardening, seasonal eating, urban homesteading, and keeping a productive home at Northwest Edible Life. Join the NW Edible conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Check out the rest of our Family Guide to Urban Farming

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