A day of football doesn’t mean you have to be a couch potato

As I racked my brain for a fitness column topic this week that might appeal to a readership that has nothing but Seahawks on their minds, I wondered if it was possible to weave a real workout into an NFC Championship party.

There’s plenty of time, after all. The average football game has 60 minutes of game time stretched over more than three hours. And actual game action accounts for only about 11 minutes, according to several studies.

Even if you factor in five minutes for bathroom breaks, 40 minutes for eating chips and guacamole, 15 minutes for complaining about the broadcasters and an hour for distracting your wife from Russell Wilson’s dreamy eyes, that still leaves an hour to work out.

I know. I can hear you now. “That idea is cheesier than a Packer fan’s headpiece.”

You’re probably right. That’s why I asked one of the South Sound’s most accomplished personal trainers to help out.

Jesse Ewell was an all-state linebacker at Spokane’s East Valley High and played junior college ball in California. He opened Innovative Fitness, a personal training studio, in Fircrest in 2006, and it quickly grew. He opened a second location in Gig Harbor in 2013 and the Fircrest location will be expanding soon.

So I posed the question to him: What would an in-game workout tied into the action (and lack of action) look like?

The first thing that popped into my head is the famous pushup-per-point workout the Oregon Ducks mascot has made famous. Every time Oregon scores, he does pushups to match Oregon’s point total.

I was looking for something better than this. For one, that Duck isn’t doing real pushups. Second, Oregon clearly does a ton of things right, but if Monday’s national championship beating at the hands of Ohio State is any indication, it obviously could do some things a little better.

(Note to Ducks fans: If this offends you, please send your hate mail to Ohio State grad Jeffrey P. Mayor, the editor who dots the i’s on this fitness column.)

Ewell replied to my request with a workout that’ll help you burn off some of the calories you pack on during the game, and help combat the stress you feel whenever the Seahawks have to put in cornerback Tharold Simon.


Instead of just watching the FOX studio analysts’ pregame banter, it’s time to limber up for the game. Here’s what Ewell recommends to do about 15 minutes before kickoff:

• Foam rolling: Focus on the calves, quads, hip flexors and lats and upper back. Don’t have a foam roller? Skip right to stretching.

• Static stretching: Work on your calves, quads, hip flexors and lats.

• Glute bridge: Start by laying on your back with your knees bent. Lift your toes, hips and bellybutton upward and squeeze your glutes. Keep your back straight and hold this for 10 seconds. Do this five times.

• Marching glute bridge: For 20 seconds, hold the glute bridge, lifting your right leg than switching to your left.

• Toe touches: Standing with your feet together and legs straight, overlap your hands and bend down as far as you can. Then return to the starting position. Do this five times.

• Planks: Hold for 20 seconds on each side then hold a 20-second front plank.

• Pushups: Do five-10.

• Lunges: Do five alternating reverse lunges.

• Mountain climbers: In a pushup position, bring one knee to your elbow, then the other. Do this 10 times.


By now you should be nice and warmed up, and the game should be ready for kickoff. And now, what happens on the field will determine what you do next. Here’s what Ewell recommends:

• When the Seahawks kick off, do 20 jumping jacks.

• Every time the Seahawks get a first down, drop and crank out 10 pushups.

• Whenever the Hawks sack the already gimpy Green Bay quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, hold a front plank for 20 seconds.

• When the Seahawks defense recovers a fumble, celebrate with 20 mountain climbers.

• When the Legion of Boom picks off a pass, you do alternating lunges. Ten per leg.

• If the defense scores on one of those turnovers, tack on 10 burpees. (What’s a burpee? From a standing position squat down and place your hands on the floor then thrust your feet out behind you so you’re in a pushup position. Do a pushup, then jump your feet forward back into a crouching position. Next, leap upward and land back in the starting position.)

• If the Seahawks fumble, hold a wall squat for 30 seconds.

• When the Seahawks score a touchdown, do 10 squats.

• When Steven Hauschka makes a field goal, celebrate by doing high knees in place for 20 seconds.

• And when Fox cuts away for commercials that will be your cue to get up and walk at least 100 steps before the game is back on.

You better wear good shoes for that last one. As many commercials as FOX shows, by the time the game is over you’ll have probably covered enough ground to walk all the way to Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX.