8 Quick Improv Energy Games!

8 Quick Improv Energy Games!

Warm-up games are often brilliant in the middle of an improv rehearsal or workshop as a way of giving a quick burst of energy after a chat or if we’re feeling lethargic.  However, many games end up draining us even more if they have more than a couple of rules to explain or if we end up in a discussion of how to play the game ‘properly’ I’ve lost many years of my life listening to the PROPER way we should be playing Zip Zap Boing because God knows we NEED to make sure we’re playing it CORRECTLY.

I’ve been talking to Hoopla’s Steve Roe; an expert when it comes to silly and fun games, who has recommended 9 quick energy games that I can share to remedy improv inertia!


  1. Elephant

Everyone puts one hand behind their back. Everyone uses their other hand to try and tap as many people on the back hand as they can. When someone gets tapped on their back hand they say a swear word. If they don’t like swearing, a word that sounds like a swearing such as ‘shunt’ is also acceptable.


  1. Hide and Seek

One person leaves the room to be the seeker. The others quickly find a place to hide while the seeker counts to 10. This is best played in a room with no hiding places.


  1. Volleyball

Split the group in two, invisible net down the centre. Have a game of invisible volleyball! Also works for: tennis, squash, football, basketball and any sport that involves a ball. Steer clear of rugby though.


  1. Row row your boat rounds

Teach the group the lyrics to ‘Row Row Row your boat’ to the group if they haven’t got them seared into their memory from Primary School:

Row, row, row your boat

Gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but a dream

Split the group up and have them sing ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’ in a round, each sub-group starting at different times (after one group has finished the first line, have a second group start singing from the first line, when they’re done with the first line have a third group start singing from the first line) and continue looping the song.

After the round is up and running have people row around the room, mixing up the groups with people singing at different times.


  1. Race: slow motion

Get the group to stand along one side of the room. Tell them that they are going to race to the other end of the room, with the first person to touch the other wall being the winner. Countdown from three and just before they go, tell them that it is a slow motion race.

Feel free to lambast whoever decided that they were going to win in a slow motion race at the pub afterwards.


  1. Race: around the building

Tell the group that they are going to have a race, the first person to get outside, run all the way around the outside of the building and get back to the room is Grand Race Champion. This feels quite naughty and like they’re breaking the rules so people come back in a giggly mood.


  1. Shapes

Tell the group to walk around the room. Tell them that you are going to shout out a shape and they are going to form that shape with the other people in the room without talking. Start off simple with stuff like a circle, square or triangle, before moving on with other stuff like a circle in a triangle in a square or a shark.


  1. Quick Shit Impressions

Possibly my new favourite game. Pair the group up and tell them that they are going to do some quick shit impressions. The first person tells their partner an impression to do and the partner will do a couple of lines of a shit impression. This continues to swap back and forth.


A big thank you for Steve for letting me share these games and I hope you have fun playing them! If you have any simple and fun games you like to play, do let me know as I’m always keen to learn more. LiamBrennanImprov@gmail.com

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