Sample Class: Playing the Field

by Jennifer Renfroe on Sep 27, 2012

Class Take-Out

Let the games begin with this fast-paced, full-throttle workout.

If you want to offer a class that helps participants break out of a rut, leave the group fitness studio behind and head outside to a playing field. Scout out a local football, baseball or soccer field and transform it into a training ground. Use the existing field design and the premarked lines (hash marks, yard line markers and goal lines) to create an exciting and dynamic class. Combine speed, agility, power and body weight strength drills to tap into the inner athlete in everyone.

Be creative! The following drills are for a football field, but they can easily be adapted for any type of field if you use agility cones.

Playing the Field Details

Goal/Emphasis: cardio and strength conditioning

Equipment Needed: stopwatch/timer, whistle, cones (optional)

Total Time: 60 minutes

Music: not applicable

Additional Notes: In drills 1–8, length of work effort varies. Create your own drill sequences, alternating shorter and longer efforts. Repeat any drill (except 9) once or more throughout class. Build in rest periods between drills; use this time to set up next drill and to give instructions. Perform drill 9 only once, as class finale.

Warm-Up (5–7 minutes)

Using goal line as starting point, participants jog width of field, power-walk 10 yards down field (use yard line markers) and then jog width of field in other direction. They repeat jog/power-walk sequence down entire field.

Players return to opposite end of field using similar sequence: still jogging width of field but replacing power walk with 10-yard lateral shuffle.

Drill 1: The Mix-Up

Players stand on goal line facing opposite end of field. Activity changes every 10 yards until participants reach opposite end. (Before each change, name drill, and blow whistle to start sequence.) Players wait at yard line marker in squat position for next drill.

Sample Sequence

  • jog (goal line to 10-yard line)

  • high-knee run (10- to 20-yard line)

  • right-lead lateral shuffle (20- to 30-yard line)

  • left-lead lateral shuffle (30- to 40-yard line)

  • sprint (40- to 50-yard line)

Repeat to opposite end of field.

Drill 2: Hash Mark Hustle Up

Players form teams of four to five. Each team gets 10 hash marks, which are placed at 1-yard intervals to simulate agility ladder. Teams run agility-based drills using hash marks. Every time whistle blows, activity changes.

Sample Drills

  • high-knee tire run

  • quick triple-step moving forward

  • jumping jacks moving forward

  • alternating right- and left-side pedal

Drill 3: Walking the Zone

Participants line up in plank position at back of end zone, which is 10 yards deep. They perform plank walk with alternating push-ups until they reach goal line. From there, they jog back to start position and repeat.

Drill 4: The Big X

Participants run “X” pattern using length and width of field. They form single-file line at back right corner of end zone and run length of field diagonally to far corner of opposite end zone. Then they jog width of end zone and again run length of field diagonally. They finish by jogging width of end zone. Pattern forms large “X.”

Drill 5: The Fan Leap

Players perform series of plyometric drills in end zone. To simulate celebratory leap into stands, they run from goal line to back of end zone and then perform set of creative plyometric leaps and bounds (cued by you).

Drill 6: Fast Feet

Participants line up on goal line, facing you, and execute fast “football-feet” run on yard line marker. When whistle blows, they run 20 yards and resume fast football-feet run. Drill repeats 5x as they move down entire length of field.

Drill 7: Power Play

Participants line up on 50-yard line in “set” position. When whistle blows, they sprint to 40-yard line, turn around, jog back to 45-yard line and resume “set” position. When whistle blows again, they sprint 10 yards to 35-yard line and jog back to 40-yard line. They repeat 10-yard sprint and 5-yard jog back until they reach goal line. (Vary the amount of rest time between sprints.)

Drill 8: The Shadow

Participants pair up and choose section of field approximately 5 yards long. Partners alternate work efforts: one person leads and other person follows, mimicking leader’s movements for set amount of time (then they switch). Examples of movements include shuffles, quick-run patterns and leaps.

Drill 9: Overtime

This last drill requires all-out effort on field. It’s overtime, and class is going for final pass to win the game. Players start deep in their own territory on 5-yard line. When whistle blows, everyone runs as fast as possible down field. When whistle blows again, participants must stop and make one final leap upward to simulate catching ball. This drill is great for bringing out a little friendly competition.

Cool-Down (5 minutes)

Participants walk slowly back down length of field from their stopping places in drill 9. In end zone, they perform series of stretches that target all muscle groups worked.

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 9, Issue 10

© 2012 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Jennifer Renfroe

Jennifer Renfroe IDEA Author/Presenter

Jennifer Renfroe is the regional director of group fitness for Crunch Fitness® in Atlanta. She is also a master trainer for the Nautilus Institute™/Schwinn Cycling®. Certifications: ACE, AFAA


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