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A Hunger Games-Inspired Workout


If you're like the millions who have read The Hunger Games books, you're probably psyched to see the movie when it comes out on the 23rd. But instead of just hitting the movie theater to get your Hunger Games fix, why not work out like a character from the popular trilogy, too?

Using The Hunger Games as inspiration for a workout is a perfect fit, says Lisa Wheeler, fitness program director for DailyBurn. The mega bestsellers by Suzanne Collins feature a futuristic world where children are pitted against one another in a battle for survival. And the story is filled with scenes of run-for-your-life athletic strength and agility moves.

"The Hunger Games is a life-or-death competition, and participants must be in the best shape possible," Wheeler says. "There is running, jumping, archery, and hand-to-hand combat."

With that in mind, Wheeler created a full workout based on the training principles from the story for Using equipment like resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells and your own bodyweight, the exercises mimic much of the action from the books, she says.

The moves may seem advanced, but they're really good for anyone wanting to get in great shape in a fun and unique way. Besides burning calories and gain strength, this workout also trains you to move more efficiently with greater ease, speed and power, Wheeler says.

"Focus on your form and technique and performing the exercise correctly," she says. "Once you have mastered a move, you can increase the intensity by increasing the resistance, speed or time. But these are also skill-based moves, so take the time to develop the skills."

Before trying the below workout, be sure to do a full warm-up where you work the joints of the neck, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles. And after, be sure to cool down and stretch to release the tension placed on the body during the workout so that the body can repair and to be ready for your next training session. Now let's get to working out like a The Hunger Games player!

The Hunger Games-Inspired Workout
After warming up, perform Circuit A (four exercises) three times with no rest between exercises. Rest/recover for one minute and then perform Circuit B (four exercises) three times with no rest between exercises. Follow up and recover with a cool down/stretch.
Circuit A
Single Arm Row
Curtsy Squat Lunge
Bear Squat
Quick Feet Drill
Circuit B
Spiderman Push Up/Dip
Goblet Squat Catch
Spinal Rock
Single Leg Runner Jump
Exercise A - Single Arm Row with Rotation
Equipment – Resistance band
Works – Arms/Chest/Back
Description – A single arm row simulates the upper-body action in archery by drawing one elbow back (engaging the deep muscles of the back) and slightly rotating the torso. Hook tubing around a stable pole or door jam and place both handles in your right hand. Step back until the tubing has some tension. Pick up your right foot and balance on your left, and then begin to pull the tubing back, right hand moving towards right hip. Add a slight rotation to the right, opening up the shoulder. Perform 12 to 15 reps and switch sides. 
Exercise A – Curtsy Squat Side Lunge
Equipment - Dumbbells
Works – Legs
Description – To truly develop strong legs that are functional for running, jumping, leaping and carrying heavy loads, you must train them in all directions. Holding heavy dumbbells in each hand, begin with feet together. Step out to the side with your right leg, keeping your left leg straight. Hinge forward slightly but keep chest lifted with the dumbbells on either side of your right leg. Push off your right foot and immediately step back and cross behind the left leg, bending both knees into a curtsy squat. Perform 12 to 15 reps and switch sides.
Exercise A – Bear Squat
Equipment – None, just your body weight
Works – Abs and core
Description – The bear squat combines a full plank, which is fantastic for the core, and an explosive leg press. Begin in plank, then bend your knees and send your hips back over your heels, keeping the knees off the floor (spine is flexed and arms are extended). With a powerful push from your legs, extend back out to plank and hold. Perform 15 to 20 reps.
Exercise A – Quick Feet Drill
Equipment – none, just your body weight
Works – Agility and core
Description – To be quick on your feet and have the agility to change direction quickly, you must train the muscles to fire rapidly. This drill is about quickness and endurance and really elevates your heart rate. Begin in the athletic ready stance (feet a little wider than shoulder width with knees slightly bent and a slight hinge forward from the hips) with arms out the side, palms forward. Start moving your feet as fast as you can as if running, keeping the feet close to the ground. Keeping your shoulders and torso stable, randomly twist your hips (knees and feet as well!) to the right and quickly back to the center. Repeat to the left continuing to keep you feet moving as quickly as possible. Repeat for 1 minute.
Exercise B – Alternating Spiderman Push Up and Dip
Equipment – none, just your body weight
Works – Arms/Chest/Back
Description – Whether pushing boulders or being able to crawl on all fours, push-ups and dips are essential The Hunger Game exercises. Start in a push-up position on knees or toes. As you lower down into the push-up, bring the right knee to the right elbow. Push back up and return the leg to the start position. Repeat on the other side. Alternate legs for 30 seconds. Quickly flip over to a seated position with the knees bent, feet flat on the floor and the hands placed a few inches behind your hips with fingers facing forward. Lift your hips off the floor a few inches. Bend your elbows and then press back up, pressing your shoulders away from your ears. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Exercise B – Goblet Squat Catch
Equipment – Heavy kettlebell or dumbbell
Works – Legs
Description – Most lifting, catching, throwing, pushing and pulling doesn’t start with the arms. It starts with the legs, working from the ground up. Begin standing with feet a little wider than hip width with a kettlebell on the floor between your legs. Squat down, grabbing the kettlebell by the horns. With a powerful hips drive and knee extension, press to standing and pull the kettlebell up to chest, bringing elbows tight by your side. Holding kettlebell, squat down as low as possible, maintaining control. Stand back up then squat to lower kettlebell to floor. Perform 15 to 20 reps.
Exercise B – Spinal Rock
Equipment – None, just your body weight
Works – Abs and core
Description – Core conditioning is not just about a six-pack and basic crunches. Mobility and full range of motion gives your functional, usable strength. Start seated, spine neutral, with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms reaching forward (if you have issues sitting up straight, hold onto your shins to extend your spine). Tuck your chin, curl your pelvis under and roll back, placing hands on the floor and bringing your knees to your shoulders, or for more advanced, reach knees up to the ceiling. Begin to roll back up, returning to a seated position and reaching forward. Repeat for 1 minute.
Exercise B – Single Leg Runner Jumps
Equipment – none, just your body weight
Works – Abs and core
Description – Explosive power can make or break any competition and being able to burst out of the gate is essential. Begin in a low lunge with your left leg forward, right leg back and your right hand on the floor. Drive your right knee forward and up, jumping off your left foot, at the same time reaching your left arm up to the ceiling. Return to the starting position and repeat for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. 
How many The Hunger Games fans do we have out there? Are you psyced to see the movie? Do this workout? Tell us!


Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites and A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.


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