Making Conditioning Fun – Using Puzzles!


Looking for a way to spice up your conditioning regime with a little fun?

Head to your nearest dollar store and pick up a simple puzzle. I prefer the kind with a built in frame so that storage is easier.  On the back side of each puzzle piece, write a conditioning exercise that is appropriate to skill level of your group.

Here is a picture:
Puzzle Game

There are so many variations on how to use the puzzles, but here is the classic favourite we use most often:

  1. With 2+ puzzle sets, split your group into smaller teams.
  2. Place all the puzzle pieces at one end of the floor and the back board with the kids at the other end.
  3. Each team will send one person at a time to run and retrieve a puzzle piece.
  4. When the return to the group, everyone must complete the conditioning exercise and find it’s place on the puzzle board.
  5. The next person runs to get the next piece and repeat!
  6. The team that finishes their puzzle first, wins!

Other ideas/variations:

  • Create an obstacle course to run through
  • Mix multiple puzzles in one hula hoop, everyone goes at the same time to retrieve one piece at a time to work collaboratively to finish all the puzzles.
  • Ignore the tasks on the back of each puzzle piece and the coach can hold challenges where teams can earn puzzle pieces. The first group to finish their puzzle wins!
  • Use the puzzle as a behaviour management tool — a challenging group of kids can earn a puzzle piece for good-listening or learning new skills or good sportsmanship, etc. If they fill the puzzle before the end of class time, they earn 5 minutes of play in the foam pit!