Coaching Association of Canada

Rainbow Warm-Up

Stage of Activity 



Variable (depends on exercises chosen)


10 - 15 minutes

Number of People


How it Works

The coach chooses 10 warm-up activities, paired by theme (e.g. aerobic endurance, activation, dynamic flexibility, core stability, etc.).
Each pair is written in the same coloured font, background, or stickered with a coloured number.
Athletes choose ONE exercise from each pair to complete for warm-up.
If they complete all 5 in the designated time, they start over and choose another set until the time is up.

E.g. Choose one exercise of each colour to complete for warm-up.
• 3 minutes walk with hip rotations and leg swings
• 3 x 30 leg swings and hip open-ers (each leg)

• 1 lap jog around field
• Jog and tag 10 different trees
• Run 3 x 50 metres backwards; side step back to start
• Grapevine 3x down track; backwards skips to return

• 3 x 10 plank stars (in plank, reach one arm to sky, then the other)
• 30 swimmers (in push-up position, alternate 360 rotation with each arm)

• 2 laps of track “rhythm run” – moderate speed
• 5 minutes partner run to a beat (3 steps per sec. beep count)


Warm-up, skill development, cool-down; multiple uses



Easy to adapt to any sport or activity; gives choices and allows for variations in abilities and level of performance.
Can be used to teach parts of warm-up (e.g. each colour represents an activation progression)
Colours can be varied to match team logos, favorite colours of the team, or different athletic abilities.