Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Scarecrow

Please note that this is an OFF-SKATES exercise and it is definitely NOT recommended that you do it on skates! 

Alternative names: --
Objective: To get a good and interesting muscle workout while getting up-close and personal with some of your teammates; to practice balance
Typical length of drill: 2-10 minutes depending entirely on how capable your skaters are and for how long you want them to keep trying
Materials needed: None
Skill level required: None, though it does help to be nimble and strong
Description: To begin, all the skaters should pair up with someone of their own size and weight.  All the pairs should make sure that they have plenty of space around them when doing this exercise.  Partner #1's job is to be "the scarecrow" while partner #2 acts as "the climber."  The scarecrow starts by putting their hands behind their head and taking a wide, somewhat low stance.  The scarecrow's job is to stand still during this whole exercise and act as a climbing pole.  Once the scarecrow is in place the climber begins.  The climber's job is to get up on the scarecrow and try make their way all the way around the scarecrow without touching the ground.  The climber should try to do as many revolutions around the scarecrow as possible and once s/he feels that s/he can't do any more (or once s/he touches the ground), the partners switch tasks.

Alternatively, you can pair up your smallest skaters with the largest skaters and have the large skaters act solely as the scarecrows while the smaller skaters act as the climbers.  No matter which position you hold during this exercise you will still get a workout.

Video: The Ultimate Fighter Championship Scarecrow Challenge

Additional notes: This is something that I learned in my muay thai course a little while ago and it's pretty awesome.  The exercise can be made to look so simple when done by some (i.e. the UFC competitors in the video or my muay thai instructors), but it's actually a really tough workout and it isn't easy to complete even one revolution.  Why should you do this? Because it's fun and it brings teammates closer to each other as they struggle to climb all over each other's bodies.  You shouldn't be surprised though if you have many who are unable to complete even one revolution.  If you run this drill at every practice for an extended period of time those people will have the chance to practice it over and over again and they will finally get to the point where they are able to complete at least one full revolution, and that will definitely make them feel good about themselves.  So I guess you can also file this under self-esteem boosters :)


  1. The video is...!!! ...204????????

  2. Yea, those UFC guys make it look sooo easy! I can't believe that they can complete 204 revolutions without a break! If your skaters are able to do that many I suggest you put a time-limit or revolution-limit on the drill, heh :)

  3. We tried one. With me as the heavy weight and a small (weight-wise) jammer. We only did one to demonstrate it post scrimmage, but I think we may get to try it out at a practice soon!