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Engaging Warm Up Activities for PE Class

PE Warm Up Activities

Every PE class should begin with warm up activities; they prepare the body for activity and are an excellent opportunity to improve your students’ speed and agility. Focusing on them increases success in sports and reduces likeliness of injury, regardless of your students’ skill levels. The following warm up activities are designed to enhance your students’ speed and agility while having fun.

Dance Crew 

Courtesy of the PE Shed |A variation on tag

Grade range: K-5


  • Audio equipment
  • Upbeat music
  • Colored pinnies or jerseys (optional)


  1. Select between one and three “taggers” and, if desired, have them put on the pinnies or jerseys.
  2. Set up the audio equipment to play upbeat music in the background.
  3. The goal for the taggers is to tag all the students.
  4. Students who are caught must start dancing, repeating the same dance move until they are saved.
  5. To save a student, a “dance crew” of three students must mimic the tagged student’s dance move for a count of five. The dance crew cannot be tagged while they’re freeing a student, and taggers are not allowed to hover nearby.
  6. Dance moves should not be repeated throughout the game.
  7. If all students are tagged or there are not enough students to form a dance group, the round ends. To continue the game, select new taggers and start a new round.

Exercise Circle

A variation on Follow the Leader

Grade range: 3-7


  • Audio equipment
  • Upbeat music


  1. Set up the audio equipment to play upbeat music in the background.
  2. Have students stand in a circle at least one arm’s length apart from their neighbors.
  3. Choose a leader to go to the middle and perform an exercise or a dance move, which the other students will copy.
  4. After 30 seconds, choose a new leader to move to the center.
  5. The new leader must choose an original exercise or dance move for students to copy.


Courtesy of Prime Coaching | A variation on musical chairs

Grade range: K-5


  • 5 yoga or gym mats
  • Audio equipment
  • Upbeat music


  1. Spread the mats haphazardly around the room to create the “icebergs.”
  2. Set up the audio equipment to play upbeat music in the background.
  3. While the music is playing, students run around the icebergs but should not hover too close.
  4. After 30 seconds, switch off the music and call out a number between one and five.
  5. Students must immediately sit on the mats in groups of the number called. For example, if you call out the number four, then students must sit in groups of four, one group per iceberg. Students may not actively prevent others from joining an iceberg.
  6. Those who are not on an iceberg must perform a challenge, such as 15 jumping jacks or five pushups.

Rob the Cookie Jar

A variation on a relay race

Grade range: 3-7

Supplies for one relay:

Directions for one relay:

* Depending on the size of your class, you may want to run more than one relay at a time.

  1. Place the Hula-Hoop along the far side of the room, creating the cookie jar.
  2. In the center of hoop, scatter the beanbag “cookies.”
  3. Divide your students into two teams.
  4. One student at a time from each team races against the other to the cookie jar and takes one cookie. Once he or she returns to the team, the next student in line races for the jar.
  5. The first team to collect five cookies wins the relay.
Classroom ActivitiesPrintable
Lesson Plan: Ready to Hit the Target

Lesson Plan: Ready to Hit the Target

Personal goals are essential in nearly every aspect of life. Help your students in grades K-8 understand that value as they apply it to PE. This lesson plan includes specific… Read more »

Read More about Lesson Plan: Ready to Hit the Target

More than Just a Warm up

With the right programs in place, you can help your student athletes enhance their innate speed and agility. With the techniques learned in the Athletic Speed and Agility course from Advancement Courses, you’ll learn how to incorporate both speed and agility exercises into a regular routine, and we’ll give you tools for creating your own dedicated program.

Interested in taking a deeper dive into PE instruction? Advancement Courses also offers Shaping Authentic PE Instruction in the 21st Century and Sports and Games: Using Instructional Models in PE, courses that will help you build a curriculum that meets standards and engages students. You’ll learn best practices for creating effective PE instruction and how to encourage students from all backgrounds and ability levels. 

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