Warm-up Exercises

At the beginning of every workshop sessions, games and exercises were completed to warm-up the body and the mind before starting with theatrical activities and to prepare participants to enter into the “theatre mood”.

These exercises with variable duration and number of participants requires no specific materials but a room big enough to allow participants to move freely without any risks.

Description of the activities

Stretching exercices

In front of the trainer, feet parallel to the pelvis, the knees a bit bent, stretch the column:

1.     Move slowly the neck from left to right then up and down then in rotation.

2.     Shoulders up and down while breathing, make circles with shoulders: first in same direction then in the opposite direction.

3.     Move the shoulders front and rear, then right to left.
4.     Chest front/rear, left/right, rotation.
5.     Pelvis front/rear, left/right, rotation.
6.     One leg up rotations of the knee, then the other. Both knees together.
7.     Ankle up & down, in rotation.

The bear and the tree

Participants are divided in couples. One will be the tree, the other will be the bear. The tree will stay frozen, like a tree, the bear will start scratching his/her body with the tree. After a while change the roles.
©Image BBC News

Follow the hand

Participants are divided in couples. 

One will lead the other putting his/her hand in front of the face; the other has to follow the hand and keep the same distance from his/her face to the hand. The purpose is to help the “led participant” to use the body in a different way, discovering muscles that were still sleeping. Then change the roles.

Variation: both participants put the hand in from of the face of the other, they will lead and be led at the same time.
©Image INCA Catalunya

Reflection & Evaluation

These exercises are just an example of how to prepare a good warm-up for participants involved in theatrical activities. It is very important to prepare the body and the mind to theatrical activities, if we want to offer to participants a confortable space where to challenge themselves.


For some warm-up exercises, it is important that as well the trainer leading the session is involved directly in the activity, doing the exercises. In some other occasions, it is better that the trainer just leads the session, observing the participants.

Expected outcomes

  • Participants become more aware of their body.
  • Body and mind are ready for the following step, more theatrical activities.

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