It’s important to have a wide variety of cardio warm-up options to develop different body movements, but also to keep things interesting for your students. Our traditional warm-up choices have always been skipping, stair climbing, running, and even the occasional game of freeze tag. Recently, I introduced a new game, dojo hockey, as a choice for warming up. It was something that I once did in a Taekwondo class a while back. I remembered it and thought it would be a nice change. It is now our most requested option for warm-up.
Here’s what you need to play:
- 4 Body shields (for goal posts)
- Kicking paddles (one for each player)
- foam brick (or other light object for a puck)
We usually play two 2-minute halves with students switching sides at half-time. We don’t have dedicated goalies to ensure that everyone gets warmed up rather than having one person camped in one place. We have a few rules to keep things orderly:
- No contact (i.e. body checking, holding, striking, etc.)
- No dragging paddles across the mats (to prevent them from getting all marked up).
- If you fall, you have to get right back up to your feet (so as to not put yourself at risk of being hit or kicked and to keep from interrupting play).
If anyone is caught breaking the above rules, they get a penalty and have to do jumping jacks off to the side for a set amount of time (depends on the seriousness of the infraction). As you can see in the video, the students really get into the spirit of the game and this is an adult class. I imagine that kids would enjoy this just as much if not more.
Do you have any interesting alternative warm-up games that you play? Please feel free to share them in the comments. 🙂