In exercise we are always trying to go up — sit ups, push ups, pull ups, etc. However this seems to go against the natural human condition of wanting to go down — sit down, lie down, calm down, etc.

Perhaps this is why so many people are so opposed to exercise. It’s a mere issue of lexicon.

I hereby suggest that we change the lingo. CrossFit seems to have done a great job of that, however it’s all really intense and acronymy and quite frankly it scares people.


  • Power snatch
  • Pistol
  • Push jerk
  • Sumo Deadlift High Pull

I propose something less awesome: the jargon equivalent of the doctor asking you a question then giving you a shot before you realize whats happening. It’s sneaky, but it’s for your health so it’s okay.

downton abby maggie smith reassuring

Thus, in the name of health, I’ve taken the liberty of thinking up a few name changes:

1. Sit Ups are now: Lie Back Downs.
Sure, there’s the part you have to sit up, but let’s focus on the part you get to go with gravity.

2. Push Ups are now: Where’s That Smell Coming Froms.
As in, where is that smell coming from? Is it the carpet? Lower yourself down… gross, now come back up. Wait, is it the carpet? Double check. Repeat 10 times.

3. Burpees are now: Air Raid! Just Kidding We’re All Going to Live Hoorays!

4. Pull Ups are now: Peekaboos.
Or, if you’re like me, Hang Theres.

5. High Knees are now: OMG a Mouses.
And if you were in my apartment six months ago, it would not have been a drill.

6. Medicine Balls are now: Gum Balls.
Nobody likes medicine. Almost everybody loves gum!

7. Dumbbells are now: Smartbells.

8. Deadlifts are now: Grateful Deadlifts.
“More fun than a frog in a glass of milk!” 

9. Suicides are now:  Be Right Backs.
Because you will indeed be right back, over, and over, and over again.

10. Planks are now: Original Hardwood Floorings.
Because the point of the exercise is to be stiff like wood… and this is a classy blog. 

So that’s what I think we should do.


Can you think of any other horribly named exercises that should be renamed?

What’s your favorite workout move? Least favorite?

Favorite part of the body to work out? Least favorite?


33 Thoughts on “The Problem with Exercise Lingo

  1. I really think you’ve got something here!!! I love it. I think I’ll try some of these out with my classes and hope the mood improves. I think my favorite is Air raid! Just kidding we’re all going to live Hooray! hahahaha
    Allie recently posted…Help With Hating on ParentsMy Profile

  2. Yippee! Can’t wait to start my “Have to get to the shoe store before I miss-out on fabulous shoes” RUNNING!
    Love this…It’s all about what’s between your ears!
    carlotta recently posted…Finding Happiness In The Naked Truth!My Profile

  3. I am going to undergo a ‘smartbell’ experiment this week and let you know if they make any difference. Otherwise, you are going to do air raids till the cows come home.

    Favourite body part- chest. (my worst)
    Least favourite body part- legs. (my best).

    Why, world. Why.
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Easy Pesto and Cheddar Brioche (GF)My Profile

  4. Haha this is perfect! I can’t wait to do some lie back downs tomorrow. I especially love the peekabos/hang theres.
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food recently posted…Hilarious Target fails, plus I got Instagram!My Profile

  5. Lie back downs!! That’s funny! We do cleans in CrossFit, should we call them dirties? Bc cleaning the house is no fun. We do jerks. That’s kind of a mean thing to say. Great post!
    Chris recently posted…Why You Shouldn’t Set Your Rower To 10My Profile

  6. hahaha I love the new name for burpees. I’m going to think about that the next time I have to do them…it really does sound so much more fun.
    favourite part of the body to work out – legs. least favourite – shoulders.
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…Ask Me Anything: Part 1.My Profile

  7. haha…love it! My favorite is #4! Pull-ups are definitely hang theres for me too! For my entire life, I haven’t even been able to do one. They’re SO hard!
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted…Weeks 31-32 – A Few Bumps in the RoadMy Profile

  8. I love this!!! See – it’s not the exercise itself, it’s the name!!!
    Now burpees are going to be a piece of cake. Oh, maybe one move should be called cake!!!
    Kim recently posted…45…My Profile

  9. I power snatch food at a buffet. LOL! I don’t want anyone taking the piece that looks fantastic to me! 😉
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Gobble Up These Turbutkles!My Profile

  10. Hahaha – #2 – OMGEE I have done that – but the carpet really did stink!!!
    Charlotte I luv how your brain works! This up/down concept never occurred to me before – but now that you mentioned it…I gotta keep it in mind when I am doing nahsty burpees! Even though I love doing legs – burpees work so much more and I wanna slap them silly!

  11. Air Raid Bitches! Please tell me you know what movie that’s from.

    This was great. You had me cracking up because you’re classy like that.

  12. You should write a book of anecdotes. Whenever I read your blog I always, always smile. You’re so creative haha. I love the “High Knees are now: OMG a Mouses” haha and the Suicides – “Be right back!” It’s true though – they are so much less intimidating
    Lauren @ ihadabiglunch recently posted…Alive in the Age of WorryMy Profile

  13. Hhahaha OMG I feel like my workouts have suddenly got a whole lot funner thanks to you…let’s just say I’ve never been more excited to drop and do a burpee- HOORAY! Lately I’ve been really into working out with my legs. Least enjoyable is probably chest!
    Khusboo recently posted…Socca FlatbreadMy Profile

  14. Gum Balls! You know what’s sad… I can’t even remember the last time I -had- a gum ball. Now it’s all sticks and pill pippin’ But I digress. Favourite body part to train – legs. Least favourite – arms!
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. WIAW… when i’m tired .My Profile

    • Lol! Same here! My legs I could work out all day (well, not really but you know) meanwhile my arms start shaking after like 3 mins. And i work them out all the time, they have no excuse :)

  15. every time i hear about the (kettlebell) snatch, i can’t help but giggle.
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  16. Haha! Hilarious! I love it. I never really considered how negative fitness moves sound!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Pregnancy SuperfoodsMy Profile

  17. “Suicides are now Be Right Backs” hehehe love it… I like working out my legs the most, and probably my triceps the least…which is why my legs are much stronger than my triceps, because I choose to just not focus on them as much. Whoopsies!
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness recently posted…IIN Chat: Health & Wellness Quotes I LoveMy Profile

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