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Hunger Games fitness challenge: Strength and conditioning

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...

Muscle through the competition

You can't survive the Quarter Quell without the strength and stamina to navigate the Hunger Games' many challenges. Developing upper-body strength like Peeta did and conditioning yourself for one-on-one combat are two of the skills necessary for a tribute to become a victor.

Get in fighting shape

One-on-one combat is unlike any other workout, especially when you're fighting for your life. While adrenaline will push you through the initial confrontation, it takes true conditioning to grapple with a competitor and come out on top.

Perform nine rounds of exercises, with each round lasting a total of three minutes and with 30 seconds of rest between rounds.

  • Round 1: 30 seconds right-arm jabs, 30 seconds jump rope, 30 seconds left-arm jabs, repeat
  • Round 2: 30 seconds lunge to high kick with right leg, 30 seconds lunge to high kick with left leg, repeat two more times
  • Round 3: 60 seconds knee thrust with right leg, 30 seconds broad jump, 60 seconds knee thrust with left leg, 30 seconds broad jump
  • Round 4: 60 seconds curtsy lunge to side kick with right leg, 60 seconds curtsy lunge to side kick with left leg, 60 seconds Roman twists
  • Round 5: 45 seconds plank, 15 seconds rest, repeat two more times
  • Rounds 6 through 9: Repeat rounds 1 through 4.
1

Jabs

jabs

Using a heavy bag or a willing volunteer with a punching target, perform alternating forward jabs with each hand, doing them as fast as you can.

2

Jump rope

jump rope

Using a 2-foot hop, skip rope as fast as you can, performing a single hop for each rotation of the jump rope.

3

Lunge to high kick

lunge high kick

  1. Stand with your feet hip distance apart, your hands in fists at chest height and your arms protecting your torso. Lunge backward with one leg, placing your toes on the ground behind you.
  2. Bend both knees and drop your back knee toward the ground.
  3. When your front leg forms a 90-degree angle, powerfully press yourself back to standing position while simultaneously kicking your back leg in front of you in a high kick. Kick only as high as you comfortably can.
  4. Immediately lunge backward again with the same leg.
4

Knee thrust

Knee thrust

  1. Stand with your feet hip distance apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold a weighted bar in both hands over your head with your arms straight. Extend one leg behind you, touching your toe to the ground with your knee straight.
  2. Pull the bar directly down to your chest as you drive your knee forward as if you were kneeing an assailant.
  3. Reverse the movement, pressing the bar back over your head as you extend your leg back behind you.
5

Broad jump

Broad Jump

  1. Stand with your feet hip distance apart, your knees slightly bent and your arms hanging comfortably at your sides.
  2. Tip your hips back and squat slightly, swinging your arms backward.
  3. In a single movement, powerfully explode forward through your legs, swinging your arms forward as you jump as far forward as you can, aiming to land on both feet.
  4. Turn around and immediately perform another broad jump.
6

Curtsy lunge to side kick

Curtsy lunge to side kick

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart, your knees slightly bent, your hands in fists at your chest and your arms protecting your torso.
  2. Step backward with one foot, crossing it behind your other legs as though you were performing a curtsy.
  3. Bend both knees and lower your back knee toward the floor, being sure to keep your knees aligned with your toes throughout the movement.
  4. When your front leg forms a 90-degree angle, reverse the movement, and as you return to standing position, kick your back leg out to the side, aiming to kick to at least hip height.
  5. Immediately move back into another curtsy lunge.
7

Roman twists

roman twists

  1. Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels in contact with the floor. Hold a medicine ball in both hands, directly in front of your stomach.
  2. Lean back slightly, forming a V-shape with your torso and thighs.
  3. Keeping your torso straight and your arms in place, twist as far as you can to one side, then reverse the movement and twist as far as you can to the opposite side.
8

Plank

plank

  1. Situate yourself on the ground so that you're supporting your body weight with your forearms and toes. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders so your body forms a straight line from heels to head.
  2. Hold that position steadily for a designated period of time.

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