We like this: Shovelgloving

cute cats shamelessly stolen from Shovelglove homepage

Mrs. Homegrown here:

Just a note to point you to a site rec’d by one of our commenters in our last post. It’s for a DIY exercise system based on swinging a sledgehammer around: http://www.shovelglove.com.

Swinging around a padded sledgehammer, that is, like the one the cats are inspecting above. (Though frankly I’m not too convinced that a sweater will do much to protect anything from a sledgehammer. Okay, maybe it will protect the floor from accidental scratches, but I think those cats better not be lulled into complacency by its fuzzy, friendly appearance.)

Generally I don’t like “exercise” as a concept. I avoid gyms the way others might avoid leper colonies or malls during the holiday season, because it seems inherently ridiculous to travel to a climate-controleld machine-space and pay to expend energy toward no particular purpose. Yeah, I know, the idea is that exercise makes you healthy, but isn’t life supposed to be full of free exercise? When did it become an isolated activity?

Anyhoo, this shovelgloving business (shugging, I think they call it) is, admittedly, still a bit on the abstract side for me, meaning the labor doesn’t produce anything, but heck, I’m an urbanite. My entire life is rather abstract.  I lack wood to chop, butter to churn, rails to drive &etc. — at least on a day to day basis.

On the good side, it’s free (as long as you have a sledgehammer–and if you don’t, you should–very handy things, sledgehammers), you can do it at home, it at least references useful body motions, and it looks like lots of goofy fun. It will make more sense when you go see it.

That one shovelglove page, minimal at first glance, leads to a whole world of videos and other time sucks, so be careful if you’re trying to get anything done. But speaking of procrastination, check out the author’s main page, Everyday Systems. The shovelglove is not his only idea. He also has a fiendishly simple diet plan and lots of other funny and commonsensical ideas to explore.

And yes, before any of you say it, it is potentially quite dangerous to swing a sledgehammer around. So if you try it, be sure not to knock yourself or your loved ones in the head. And start slow and move thoughtfully and with good posture to protect your back from injury.

I’m going to try it, and I’ll let you know how it goes. Unless I brain myself.

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  1. I sent the link to my husband, because I thought it was a good idea. He splits wood and I shovel dirt (I’m the gardener at our house) and it occurred to me that this type of exercise would at least develop muscles that we actually use. It would also develop muscles that I’d like to use but can’t, because they’re, um, not developed.

    If I do this, I’ll start with my husband’s eight pound splitting maul, but at a quarter after nine at night, just thinking about it makes me tired….

  2. Paula: Yes, I hefted Erik’s 8lb sledgehammer and couldn’t imagine doing more than say…um…1 rep of each exercise without injuring myself. My upper body strength is pathetic. It’s something I’ve wanted to improve, but haven’t been inspired by push ups or traditional weights.

    Anyway, I’m going to start with a heavy mallet and work up to the big boy.

  3. Between the sledge and the kayak balance bench, all you need to add is a sandbag and you’ll have a great home gym setup! The sandbag is simply for lifting, progressing to carrying, say on a balance board or other skinny surface.

    BTW, thanks for the balance bench idea, I’m going to make one for myself this weekend!

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