Turn participants into athletes with sports conditioning drills.
Do you want to transform your group fitness studio into a training ground for speed, agility and power? Get your participants into the game with nine stations equally focused on key athletic principles. Sports conditioning enthusiasts and students looking for a new challenge will be drawn naturally to this format.
Format: Athletic circuit for 36–54 participants (in a medium- to large-sized studio or outdoors)
Total Time: 45 minutes
Stations: 9 total (3 speed, 3 agility, 3 power)
Equipment Needed: 24 agility cones; four 55 cm stability balls; 10 steps and 20 risers; masking tape
Music: This is a nonchoreographed, athletic-based workout—music is used only for motivational purposes. Choose high-energy songs with a strong, driving beat (135–40 beats per minute) that will keep the class motivated and moving. Tell participants to work at their own pace and not to follow the beat.
Walk around the room in single file for 2 minutes. Power-walk at a quicker pace for the next 2 minutes, and spend the final 2 minutes jogging or running lightly.
- Divide participants into teams of four or six before class and assign each team a captain. The captain is responsible for making sure all team members follow directions and work as a unit.
- Preview and label each station and demonstrate the correct way to perform the drills.
- Accommodate a variety of fitness levels by showing modifications.
- Rotate teams to the next station every 3 minutes.
- Direct traffic flow in order, by station number.
Cone-to-Cone Run (timed). Place two cones at opposite sides of room. Pick longest straight-line distance possible. Stand at farthest cone with stopwatch. Cue participants to run as fast as possible from cone A to cone B when you signal “go.” Record times, and relay the information to the runners.
Square Cone Run & Shuffle. Place four cones in shape of large square, which can vary depending on size of room. Cue participants to run to first cone, plant feet; shuffle laterally to second cone, plant feet; backpedal to third cone, plant feet; and shuffle laterally with hips squared to fourth cone.
Standing Long Jump. Place four masking-tape markers on floor at varying distances from designated starting point. Students place feet shoulder distance apart, swing arms back and squat, then leap forward as far as possible. Keep knees soft when landing.
Bounding. Place two cones at opposite sides of room. Pick longest distance possible. Cue participants to run from starting cone toward far cone and then transition to bounding motion. The goal is to move as quickly as possible between the two cones. Knees are held high (in high-knee skip) while bounding.
Figure-Eight Run. Place two step risers 12 feet apart with a stability ball resting on each one. Participants work in groups of two. Cue them to line up directly behind each other. The lead student runs a figure-eight pattern, weaving in, out and around risers with second student directly behind. Second runner’s job is to push lead runner’s pace. Both participants maneuver around risers with quick, choppy steps, hugging barriers as tightly as possible without knocking balls over.
Wall Jump. Using masking tape, mark a target on wall at jumping height. Participants stand approximately 1 foot away from target, feet shoulder distance apart, knees slightly bent in squat, hands in ready position at chest. Cue three jumps in a row. Participants try to touch target on wall. Knees remain soft on landing. Rotate to next participant after three jumps.
Lateral Step Up & Over. Set up 10 steps and 20 risers in a row, approximately 1 foot apart, side by side in a long row. Participants stand with hips and shoulders squared beside first step. Cue participants to go up and over steps and risers, working entire line as quickly and precisely as possible. Hips stay squared throughout entire drill.
Diagonal Cone Run. Place 6–8 pairs of cones 8 feet apart in diagonal direction. Each pair has approximately 4 feet of space between them, depending on room size. Start at first cone. Cue participants to start at first cone, run to second cone, backpedal to start and shuffle over to next set of cones. Repeat with each set.
Marked Lateral Jump. Tape off sections approximately 3 feet apart on floor. Cue students to stand beside first marker, swing their arms back and squat as they leap laterally to next marker. Feet are closer than hip distance as they leap. Goal is to clear next marker. Participants stop and reset their positions—hips squared and body facing forward—before continuing to next marker.
Walk briskly around room in single file for 2–3 minutes. Gradually bring pace down to normal stroll. Continue to walk around room for additional 2–3 minutes, allowing heart rate to decrease. Lead class in full-body stretch, emphasizing hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, gluteals and gastrocnemius–soleus muscles.