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Color Guard Routines: A Guide on Athleticism

Posted in Blogging

When people think of Color Guard routines, they don’t often associate it with rigorous athletics. However, the truth is it’s just as demanding as a sports event

For a high school student, athleticism is a great way to meet friends and stay in shape.

But when you hear the term ‘athleticism’ you think classic sports such as football and baseball. But several high school activities require a lot of physical stamina, such as color guard.

Color guard involves rigorous physical activity such as marching and dancing.

Color guard members are required to rehearse after school and throughout the summer. Training becomes more intense when the team is expected to perform with the marching band.

If you’re interested in joining the color guard, read on and find out the athleticism of color guard routines.

Warming Up



All workouts start with a warm-up. You stretch, do some cardio, or other movements such as jumping jacks. Well, the same goes for color guard routines.

A typical color guard practice starts with a stretch routine and covering basics of color guard dances, spins, and marches.

color guard routines

These include drop spins, pull-hits on the flag, hand spins, and rifle tosses. These movements seem basic, but they contribute to developing flexibility and strength. Daily use helps prepare your body for the more complex movements.

When you’re new to fitness, you usually spend longer on these movements to prevent injury. This is the same for sports players. You stretch, run laps around the field, and practice drills to warm up.

But as you become used to the warm-up routine, you start to use them less and focus on the main movements.

The same goes for color guard. They train basic warm-ups such as stretches and basic spins. But as they get closer to the big game, they start to work their routine more and their warm-up less.

Flag Spinning

There’s an art to flag spinning that most spectators overlook. This act involves a lot of focus and movement.

The purpose of flag spinning is to represent the school’s colors.

But there are aspects of flag spinning you may not immediately notice. The most important one is flag spinners are moving their flags in choreographed movements to the rhythm of the band.

The choreography involves sharp movements, and even complex movements to spin the flag in unique ways. The flag is also specific to the placement, such as front, back, and against your right or left shoulder.

Flag spinning is harder than it looks. Lots of arm work is involved with spins, so most color guard members report having stronger arms. The flag itself weights about five pounds, and the extra weight helps tone muscles.

Rifle Spinning

Rifles are a unique visionary for the color guard show. And the rifle has an interesting history: the first color guard team performed alongside the military, where they waved the American flag.

This team also had rifles to support the military.

But like the flags, rifles have specific techniques for color guard routines. However, they’re slightly different.

This involves relaxing the shoulders but using the forearms and hands to spin the rifle. As a color guard member becomes more experienced, they can spin the rifle faster.

All of these correlate to developing muscle. You’re not only challenging your arms to support the rifle and spin it after. You’re doing so with muscle isolation from the shoulders.

Tossing the rifle is also a powerful move that uses body strength.

The rifle is exerted through the force form the member’s body. When the rifle comes back down, it does so aggressively. It takes a lot of strength to catch the rifle and do so gracefully, usually while in the middle of a dance routine.

Marching Routine

Color guard members usually use roll step, which is the same marching technique of the drum corps.

This march helps tone leg muscles and uses movement to increase leg strength. The secret to this strengthening comes from the precise movements. They use specific muscles, helping build strength.

When color guard members practice marching routines, they usually take specific practices for this. Their movements aren’t only focused, but so are their feet positioning.

This careful training is why all color guard members march in line and to the same rhythm.

What length is this drill being performed? Think of a football field — yes, across the whole field. Especially when the team is scheduled to practice every day, this movement is a lot on their legs.

Dance Routine

Color guard deals with more than spinning flags and marching. Color guard members are dancing in graceful movements. But dance also builds strength and helps with cardio.

The dance color guard routines use a lot of technique. This technique specifically requires strong rhythm to keep up with the band. To perfect their skill, some color guard teams even work with a professional dance instructor.

Dance also integrates with all of the other routines in color guard. Feet positions matter in dancing like they do with marching and dance routines often involve cross-movements with spinning flags or rifles.

Working on Difficult Skills

No color guard member is perfect, just like how no athlete is perfect.

So what happens when an athlete can’t figure out a certain move? The coach will tell him to continue training. They will either train with him personally or he will train at home.

What if a color guard member struggles with a dance move or a spin? The color guard director will instruct home practice or personal training. The color guard member will either train at home, with the director, or with a team member.

Directors also persuade all members to stretch and practice basic spins at home. Just like how a sports coach advises the team to exercise, run, and practice throws while they’re at home.

Practice Color Guard Routines

The color guard is a popular high school hobby where performers march alongside the band at high school football shows.

But the color guard is more intensive than most people would consider. It’s important for color guard to be considered athleticism with many other high school sports.

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