No one likes Tax Day. Even your accountant hates it (the 16th of April, on the other hand, is awesome for them). Exercise is palliative care for those days when your mind is being pummeled and your spirit is taking a hit. Unless you expect a big refund. Which is kind of unfair to the rest of us, but hey, have a spa day. The rest of us have to find ways to get our minds off of the war of attrition we have been raging with the IRS and accept our losses. We may not fully recover mentally, and financially, but at least these exercises will give us some relief.
1. Kettlebell Swing
If your body could use only one exercise, it would be the kettlebell swing. It fixes your sagging posture as you recover from the endless hours you spent poring over your receipts looking for deductions. It will strengthen that posterior chain to overcome all the negative effects of sitting in front of your screen trying to figure out if you got you filled out your tax form right and why does it feel like you are poor.
2. Squat Snatch Press
If you feel overconfident about your accounting skills, you can always revert to the squat snatch press. Some people may think of it as remedial or even a warm up exercise, but the truth is that it’s challenging for almost everyone, and maybe today isn’t a bad day to get humbled at the gym. If nothing else, the amount of focus and tension that goes into getting this exercise right will take your mind off everything else that has happened today.
If doing your taxes has=ve totally floored you, draining you of all your strength then you might want to consider this set of movements. You can regain and build your original strength through crawling. It takes you back to some sort of primal child-like point in the universe, resets your neuromuscular connections and, yeah, you really do want to crawl before you walk before you run.
In bro science terms, crawling integrates your vestibular system (your balance system), your proprioceptive system (your sense of self in space, or your self-awareness system), and your visual system (your visual system). It can even improve your hand-eye coordination. Bet you didn’t think about a single line of your tax return just reading that last sentence.
4. Crossover Squats
Gymnastic strength has had its fair share of trendy love in the last decade. But, truth be known, be flexible and strong is about as simply great as you need to be to experience well-being in movement.
The crossover squat is deceptively simple, but it hits the mark on both counts. It’s a great test of flexibility and strength. If you can do them relatively easily, they’re soothing, and if you can’t, they might just inspire you to push forward on new directions in your training and to heck with the IRS! You’ve got better things to do.
5. Jumping Back Squat
You may not have that deep commitment or sense of focus to do heavy squats today, but jumping back squats can be a nice alternative. Don’t go heavy. Maintain good form. It feels pretty good to make even the smallest jumps with weight on your back. It really does. And when you’re out of the tax day funk, you can attack a heavy squat session like your smashing through an audit.
6. Chain Drag
You could drag anything, but a chain is cool. It seems kind of apt considering how you’ve been dragging the whole country’s economy with your taxes. In your gym, you’re probably better off doing sled drags and pulls. It’s great general conditioning and, yeah, it’s fun. You could use some fun right about now.
7. Sit-Up to Straddle
From the pelvis to the hamstring you can always use all the help you can get. Again, we want you to have some fun today so, sit-ups to straddle seem like the perfect exercise. Yeah, it is kind of a warm-up, but it’s also nice finisher for workouts, too. Wherever you put this exercise in your workout today, it will open you up and maybe help release that tightness that you feel. From all that tension. That knotted anger.
8. Typewriter Push-Up
If you’re stuck on your taxes all day and are not going to make it to a gym or a full workout, and it happens, then the typewriter push-up could be your savior. Opens up that chest and torso, gives you a fresh feeling of power, and you can just drop and do a few in between looking for that W2 that you could have sworn you put in that stack of papers somewhere. If only you knew where.
9. Burpee Pull-Up
Pull-ups are always good. Never a bad thing about pull-ups. Burpee pull-ups just take it up a notch because maybe, just maybe, today is the day to knock it out of the park, leave it all at the gym, and get home free of all stress. Nothing like a challenging exercise that wears you out in all the good ways.
10. Barbell Lunge Deadlift
Really, you’re not in a good place for a deadlift. You need to be energized and you’re probably not because your mind is a little frazzled. So, do a deadlift, concentrate the mind, but try this variation that keeps your posture alignment intact. If you maintain form.
Finally, remember this is only once a year. It’s over in a few hours. And no matter how much you promise yourself to be better organized next year, you won’t be. So, make sure you mark this page because you’ll need it again.