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Hunger Games fitness challenge: Agility and speed

Laura Williams, M.S.Ed. is a personal trainer, freelance writer and entrepreneur who works with a wide variety of fitness clients. She's the founder of the popular website, - Girls Gone Sporty, and she's the host of the High Impact Blogg...

Quick moves for quick escapes

Try jogging in a straight line through the Hunger Games arena and see how far that takes you. If that's your strategy, you might as well lie down in front of the competition and hand over your bow and arrows.

Agility training

An agile contender is able to jump, slide and change direction with confidence and speed. The Hunger Games tributes who eventually become victors are those who can dodge weapons and run from unpredictable rolling flames — all while avoiding tree roots and branches. Here is a workout sequence that will improve your agility.

  • 20 yards of high knees, down and back, repeat once
  • 20 yards of butt kicks, down and back, repeat once
  • 20 yards of slides, down and back, repeat once
  • 20 yards of grapevine, down and back, repeat once
  • 20 lateral hops, rest 30 seconds, repeat twice
  • T-drill, rest 10 seconds, repeat four times
  • Shuttle drill, rest one minute, repeat two times
  • 100-foot horse drill, rest one minute, repeat three times
1

High knees

high knees

Jog at a moderate pace, concentrating on loosening your hip flexors and improving your range of motion by bringing your knees as high as you can in front of your body on each step you take.

2

Butt kicks

butt kicks

Jog at a moderate pace, loosening your hip flexors and improving your range of motion by bringing your knees forward while pulling your feet as high as you can, attempting to kick your own butt as you jog.

3

Slides

slides

Improve lateral movement and stretch your abductors and adductors by performing lateral slides. To slide sideways as fast as you can without crossing your feet, step your right foot out to the side and then step your left foot in to meet it. As you become accustomed to the movement, pick up the pace by adding a hop and stepping the right foot out again before your left foot actually touches down.

4

Grapevine

grape vine

Another drill to improve lateral speed and hip flexibility, the grapevine exercise involves crossing your feet back and forth as you move sideways across a distance. If you're moving to the left, step out to the left with your left foot and then step your right foot behind you. Step out again with your left foot, this time crossing your right foot in front of you. Continue this step-out, step-behind, step-out and step-in-front movement.

5

Lateral hops

lateral hops

Using a line on the ground as a guide (a drawn line, a rope or a piece of tape works fine), start on one side and hop both feet sideways over the line. As soon as you land on the opposite side, hop back up again, returning to the starting point. Continue hopping back and forth across the line as fast as you can.

6

T-drill

t-drill

The T-drill is used to practice directional and movement changes with a focus on quickness. Use four cones or markers to mark out a capital "T" shape. The vertical component of the "T" should be 15 yards long, while the horizontal component should be 10 yards across. Starting at the bottom of the "T," sprint forward to the center point of the horizontal bar and then change movements, sliding to the right as fast as you can. When you reach the right end of the horizontal bar, touch the cone and switch directions, sliding to the left as fast as you can. When you hit the left end of the horizontal bar, touch the cone and switch directions again, sliding back to the center point. Immediately change movements and backpedal as fast as you can to the starting position at the bottom of the "T."

7

Shuttle drill

shuttle drill

The shuttle drill is used to practice lateral speed and direction change. Place two cones or markers on the ground about 10 feet apart. Set five small objects (blocks, pens, sidewalk chalk etc.) just outside the right-hand cone. Start by standing between the two cones, and when you're ready, slide to the right as fast as you can, pick up one of the objects and slide to the left as fast as you can, depositing the object on the left side of the left-hand cone. Slide back to the right, picking up the next object and again transferring it to the left side. Continue until you've transferred all five objects from the right side to the left, then finish the drill by returning all the objects from the left side to the right, one by one. When you've deposited the last object back on the right side, slide to the center and stop.

8

Horse drill

Horse drill

The horse drill is used to improve direction-change speed while running. Use five cones or markers to mark out a 100-foot space, placing a marker every 25 feet. Start on one side and sprint to the first cone, touch the ground and immediately sprint back to the starting point. Touch the ground again and immediately sprint to the second cone and back again. Continue this down-and-back sprint until you've touched the ground at every cone.

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