Leaping lightsabers! Sweat to the Force with a Jedi workout

Ready for Help Me Obi-wan Kenobi You're My Only Hope Squats? Downsize Fitness develops a Jedi workout to get "Star Wars" fans fit for May the 4th.

Downsize Fitness Jedi workout
A Downsize Fitness member engages in a lightsaber workout. Downsize Fitness

It's not easy being a Jedi. You have to be in peak physical form to take on your opponents and swing your lightsaber with deadly accuracy. Even Luke Skywalker had a personal trainer, who just happened to be a little green guy with big ears.

Downsize Fitness, a gym chain specializing in working with people who have more that 50 pounds of weight to lose, has developed a whole suite of "Star Wars"-themed exercises to turn fans into Jedi-in-training. If you happen to be in Dallas on May 3, the local Downsize Fitness is hosting a free Saturday morning Sith workout ahead of May the 4th. Yoda Yoga and Jedi Meditation are also on the menu.

Costumes and props like lightsabers will be available for workout participants. Here's a preview: the Sith Circuit workout consists of one minute each of Bantha Crawl, Help Me Obi-wan Kenobi You're My Only Hope Squats, Sandpeople Yell Overhead Press, Yoda Carry Sandbag run, and Kessel Run Sprints.

Luke Skywalker carries Yoda
The Yoda Carry is inspired by Luke's movie workout. Lucasfilm

Downsize sent me a handy sheet of Jedi workout exercises to try at home. I would have loved to take them on while wearing a Stormtrooper costume, but I regrettably don't have a Stormtrooper costume. I considered wearing my short-skirt Uhura costume instead, but that might cause a cross-fanbase implosion.

As per usual, Downsize recommends checking with a physician before starting a new exercise program and suggests having plenty of water on hand. Otherwise, all you need to get started with your Jedi training are weights (even gallon jugs of water will work), something heavy like a sandbag or bag of laundry, and a towel. Granted, the awesomeness factor is upped considerably if you have a Jedi robe and a lightsaber handy.

I started with Lightsaber Leaps, which are a combination of a squat and a jump while you imagine Darth Vader taking a swipe at your legs with his lightsaber while you jump to avoid it. I then swung a duffel bag full of martial arts uniforms over my shoulders and completed some Yoda Carry laps around the living room, imagining the green Jedi master telling me, "Yes, run! Jedi strength flows from the Force."

My personal favorite is the Help Me Obi-wan Kenobi You're My Only Hope Squats, inspired by Princess Leia squatting down to send a message to Obi-Wan Kenobi through R2-D2. Suddenly, squats became so much more fun than they ever were before. It didn't take long to build up a good sweat. I can even see adapting these exercises to match the action in the films so you end up with a long workout session/"Star Wars" movie marathon.

Other exercises on the list involve swinging a kettleball with one hand while practicing your best Darth Vader touchless choke with the other, and a Bantha Crawl that lets you pretend to be one of the shaggy beasts of burden. The perfect way to end it is with a Jedi meditation session that starts with reciting the Jedi code as you relax your body and mind.

The "Star Wars" workout could be a great companion piece to your other "Star Wars" Day celebrations. Once you've had your fill of Force push-ups and Chewbacca-inspired sandbag slams, you can fix up some delectable "Star Wars" snacks and cheer on the minor-league Durham Bulls with their special R2-D2 jerseys. Whether you're breaking out in exercise-induced space sweats or just binge-watching all the movies, may the Force be with you on May the 4th.

 

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