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Pegboards: The Next Big/Old Thing In Fitness

Behold a once-great workout from the days when shorts were actually short and dodgeball was still allowed in public schools.



Pegboards (i.e., the wooden climbing contraptions that used to be a P.E. perennial) are hard to find these days. Mostly because any physical activity that doesn’t occur above, or around, enough protective padding to make your own Michelin Man costume is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

“If your gym still carries one of these gems, then consider yourself lucky,” admits Angeles Burke, pro body builder and Celsius's Director of Fitness. “Many probably wouldn’t use it because…it requires a tremendous amount of core strength.”

All of which is good news for gangly grade-schoolers, but not so much for anyone looking for a quick, albeit arduous, way to get that upper body to go from eh to excellent, ASAP.

The routine was always pretty simple: Use two cylinders to ascend and descend what appears to be a birdhouse condominium. It’s basically a more forearm-focused version of pull-ups, that also requires a good amount of hand/eye coordination. But just because the instructions are easy, doesn’t mean the workout is!

(Sorry. We didn’t mean to yell at you, like that.)

Part 1: The Pick Up
Most of your install-at-home boards range from the affordable to the ornate. But six of one, half a dozen of the other will still get you to where you need to go. (Namely, up! And then down! Also? Side-to-side!) And, of course, you could always be like this guy and just make your own for just $29 worth of raw materials, but, let’s face it…you’re not going to do that.

Part 2: The Pull Up
For vertical ascents, it’s best to keep both arms at a constant 90 degree angle, with your head mostly parallel with the pegs. Actual dangling, as you map out your attack, is only encouraged if you’re moving horizontally, and the motion can also be useful for a brief breather OR to bellow out a Tarzan yell to amuse friends and family.

“Simply move up two pegs on each side and then move back down, advises Burke. “Complete this as many times as possible, and in the next round try moving from the right side of the board to the left side while staying on the same plane. Work on reaching as far as possible.”

Part 3: Pose Up
All that takes is a full-length mirror and the ability to flex, Stallion. We’d give you a high-five but, frankly, we’re afraid you’ll hurt our hand. 


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Maxim Fitness Episode 9: Surfset
Is This The Best Full-Body Workout?

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