Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Discussion: The importance (or unimportance) of Warming up

So, this is me setting the precedence of a discussion, and if it ends up not working out so be it, but what are your thoughts on warm-ups?

There are those who believe they are not only necessary, but that certain warm-ups will key you in to the right mindset, others believe they're just there for energy, and still others don't think they're necessary at all.

Put your opinion in the comments, and feel free to write your own discussion prompt.


  1. I've got lots of thoughts on warmups. First off, I think it depends on the group and the situation.

    My duo with Bryan: we don't warm up. We do word association and headlines...if we do any warmups.

    The team I'm coaching: we do warmups. We do thirty minutes of warmups, mixing pattern games and high energy silly games. We do them because they are newbies, they are learning improv. I think the exercises and the games are tough; warmups give them small victories while still reinforcing the ideas of yes and and listening.

    Classes I've taught: under the direction of the great Zach Ward (, I ran about 15 minutes of warmups, and these were specifically addressing the same issues we were dealing with that day (characters, initiations, gibberish, etc).

    Teams I've been on: we've done warmups that we liked and never done ones we hated. Some teams I've been on hate warmups, some love 'em.

    Personally, I think most warmups are dumb, but feeling stupid and being silly are parts of being an improviser. That being said, I could do electric factory for hours. I think it depends on the director as much as it depends on the class/group/team.

  2. I'd say warm-ups are an integral part of new teams. Just getting on the same page with the people in the group. They can also teach basic improv concepts like pattern and yes and.

    And I definitely think groups can warm up too much. It's killer to warm up with three games for 30 minutes. The best times I ever had warming up where when we did 5 or 6 warmups each lasting just a minute or two.

  3. The Buckley's hit the nail on the head. The only thing I might add is that for me warm ups are for switching your brain from normal to improv.

    As the years have gone by, my desire, enjoyment, and probably need for warm up has decreased (though certainly not zero).

  4. Here's another reason, to feel like a kid:

  5. I like what Harrison said. Some days I come into practice and am just in an improv mood and don't need a warm-up, but some days I'm tired and I just got off a really bad day and I need a little transition from "normal to improv."

    I agree with Alyssa about the just doing something silly. Some days (and we all do it...if you say you don't you're doing it right now) we are just too cool for school. If I sense that the group is feeling that vibe I put on some really popy music and we JUST DANCE LIKE IDIOTS for a few. Or I make people strut around like a awkward goose trying to hug a giant. Just something to burst the cool bubble.