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Festival Fitness: Prevent Aches & Pains With These Pre Festival Workout Plans

Festival Workout Blog

Tips For Festival Goers | When To Start | Helping Hangovers | Stretches | Workouts

Whether you're a Glastonbury goer or Leeds Festival lover, music festivals are a rite of passage for many Brits.

While dancing and drinking in the sun (and rain!) is a great way to spend a weekend, it's taxing on the body -- we previously found that music concerts can be extremely physically demanding, with more upbeat artists like Taylor swift scoring a 91/100 on an exhaustion scale. Days spent standing paired with nights spent sleeping on a hard ground can come with aches, pains and even injuries.

However, it doesn't have to be this way. Training in the weeks and months leading up to a festival can help to prepare your body for a heavy weekend, while stretches and exercises during a festival can ease short term aches.

Here, PureGym Personal Trainer Denzil Bentley and PureGym London Beckton PT and Assistant General Manager at Ray Marshall share the best exercises and workouts to get you festival fit, so you can enjoy your weekend away without repercussions.

Jump straight to the workout festival plans here.

Festival Fitness For Each Type Of Festival Goer

No two people experience the same festival the same. For some, the day might be spent lounging in a sunny field chatting with friends, while others might spend the day and night on their feet dancing.

In addition to the festival workout Denzil has provided below, here are some tips for every type of festival goer to prepare for your own perfect weekend.

  • The Music Maven

    If your idea of the perfect festival is dancing from dawn to dusk to your favourite artists, adding some heart pumping cardio sessions to your weekly routine will help to maximise your endurance and keep you on your feet all weekend long. Make playlists with bands you want to see and match your training intensity to the beat so that when the time comes, you can keep up without fatiguing.

    Get cardio workout plans to try here.

  • The Social Butterfly

    If you enjoy meeting like minded festival goers and floating from group to group at a festival, give interval workouts a try. Interval training is great for boosting energy and improving stamina, ensuring you can socialise from sunrise to sunset and keep up with new friends.

  • The Chill Seeker

    For some, festivals are about finding the perfect spot to sit down and relax with friends while your favourite band plays in the background. Practicing yoga will help to prepare yourself for a weekend of zen -- from making it easier to sit on the ground with improved mobility, to being able to tune out rowdy crowds with enhanced mindfulness.

  • The Adventure Junkie

    From zip lines to crowd surfing, there's plenty of adrenaline-filled activities to try at festivals. Prepare your body to thrive under stress and become an adventure-ready machine with HIIT (high intensity interval training) circuit training.

When To Start Your Festival Workout Plan?

The best time to start exercising before your festival is right now -- the longer you are working out, the better your fitness will be. You'll start to see noticeable improvements in as little as 6 -- 12 weeks, so we'd recommend starting at least three months before where possible. However, if your festival is sooner than that don't worry, even training for a couple of weeks can help with stamina and endurance.

Meditation Exercise To Help With A Hangover

One downside many festival goers will experience is the dreaded hangover. Staying hydrated over the weekend will help to stave off dehydration symptoms, but if you need extra help recovering from a heavy night of alcohol, Denzil suggests giving this meditation exercise a try.

  • Sit or lie down, making sure you are in a comfortable position.

  • Gently close your eyes and focus on taking long, deep breaths.

  • As your attention draws towards your breath rather than what’s happening around you, picture someone you love and visualise them in your heart.

  • As you breathe in, see their face light up with a huge, warm smile and send that joy from your heart around your body.

  • As you exhale, send a silent thank you to them and release them with gratitude.

  • Continue this process with every loved one, sending the joy to areas of your body that feels tired or dull.

This meditative exercise will leave you feeling happy and peaceful, helping to override a negative mental and physical state a hangover might have left you in.

Stretches To Help During A Festival

Waking up with aching knees, sore feet, or back pain at a festival is common place. While working out in the lead up to the event can help, gentle stretching during the weekend may help to relieve tight sore muscles.

For Ray, the number one stretch to remember at a festival is the supine twist, a lower back exercise that will relieve tension from being on your feet all day.

How to do supine twist:

  • Lie down on your back with both legs extended straight and arms in a T shape

  • Breathe in and bring your right knee to your chest and place your left hand on the knee

  • As you breathe out, gently bring your knee across your body towards the floor, keeping your right arm and shoulder on the floor

  • Hold this for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side

  • You might hear a click – this is normal and unless there is pain, there’s no need to stop the stretch

Ray also recommends foam rolling the feet (a golf ball will work) during and after the festival to reduce soreness. Roll until you find a tight spot and then keep the ball there until the tension goes.

Find more of our favourite dynamic and static stretching here -- start with the dynamic stretches and then finish with the static stretches, making sure to pay attention to how your body feels and not push it too far. Do this in the morning when you get up and just before bed, as well as throughout the day if needed.

Ray's Pre-Festival Workout Exercises

Having a good fitness level will help you to be on your feet all day queuing and dancing, without waking up sore the next day. Ray recommends adding the following exercises into your existing workouts to build the full body strength needed to get you through a heavy weekend.

You can also combine these exercises into a single workout and repeat throughout the week.

  1. Deadlift, row, shrug combo -- 3 sets, 16 reps

    This three part exercise will keep your back and core strong and is a great way to build endurance. Start with the barbell on the floor, then deadlift it up to standing. From here, bend over and perform a barbell row before returning back to standing and finishing with a barbell shrug -- this is one rep. Keep your core engaged throughout and maintain a neutral spine to protect the lower back.

  2. Squat and shoulder press behind the head -- 3 sets, 16 reps

    Love to have friends on your shoulders during a festival? This exercise will help you to build the strength needed to pick up and carry your friends! Set up in a squat rack and perform a barbell squat. As you reach standing, press the barbell off your shoulders and towards the ceiling. Return it back to your upper back and repeat for reps.

  3. Bosu squat pulses -- 3 sets until failure

    This exercise will build the stability and endurance needed if you come across a dodgy festival toilet! Stand on a bosu ball and squat down halfway. Hold for 5 seconds and then pulse between this position and full squat with thighs parallel to the floor.

  4. Press ups -- 3 sets until failure

    Press ups are great for building upper body strength and size, and you can knock a few out in the morning if you want a chest pump at your festival. Start in a high plank position and bend the elbows to slowly lower your chest to the floor, keeping your body in a straight line through out. Stop before your chest touches the floor and push back up.

  5. Swiss ball plank circles -- 3 sets, 1 minute

    Swiss ball plank circles will ensure your core is strong enough to handle people falling into you during a rowdy crowd. Get into a forearm plank position with arms on a Swiss ball, core engaged and body in a straight line from head to heels. Keeping your body as still as possible, use your elbows to roll the ball in circles. After 30 seconds, change direction.

  6. Skipping rope -- 15-20 minutes

    Skipping is a fantastic way to build cardio fitness as well as condition your calves and feet for all the walking and dancing you'll be doing at a festival. Start by skipping for as long as you can, building your way up to 20 minutes.

Denzil's Pre-Festival Workout Plan

Conquer festival fatigue with this accumulator workout that Denzil and his clients swear by. This killer workout builds full body strength, stamina, and endurance so you can navigate the long walks, endless queues, full days spent dancing, and British weather, with ease.

The exercises Denzil picked can be done without equipment, but if you have access to weights you can add dumbbells or barbells to increase the intensity even further.

Make sure to start with a warm up and finish with a cooldown. You can do this workout multiple times a week or pair with a full body weight training workout to further improve strength.

Workout format:

This is an accumulator workout that ramps up intensity with each round, helping to mimic the endurance you'll need at a festival by adding an additional exercise each round, so by the last round you're doing all exercises together.

For each set, do 10-20 reps of each exercise. After you've done all the exercises in that set, take a 15 second break.

  1. Squats

  2. Squats, push ups

  3. Squats, push ups, crunches

  4. Squats, push ups, crunches, lunges

  5. Squats, push ups, crunches, lunges, push up jacks

  6. Squats, push ups, crunches, lunges, push up jacks, leg darts

  7. Squats, push ups, crunches, lunges, push up jacks, leg darts, step ups

  8. Squats, push ups, crunches, lunges, push up jacks, leg darts, step ups, tricep dips

  9. Squats, push ups, crunches, lunges, push up jacks, leg darts, step ups, tricep dips, circular mountain climbers

  10. Squats, push ups, crunches, lunges, push up jacks, leg darts, step ups, tricep dips, circular mountain climbers


  1. Squats

    Start with feet around shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointed out. Engage your core and keep your chest up. Bend your knees and sink your hips back as if sitting in a chair, aiming to get your thighs parallel to the ground or slightly below while keeping your knees inline with your toes. Push through your heels to rise back up to standing.

  2. Push ups

    Start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, wrists in line with shoulders. Engage your core and glutes so your body is in a straight line from head to heels -- maintain this throughout the exercise. Lower your chest towards the ground by bending your elbows, making sure to keep them close to your sides. Stop when your chest is just above the ground and push through your palms to straighten your arms until you are back in a plank position.

  3. Crunches

    Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground, hip-width apart. Place your hands on the back of your head with your elbows out to the sides. Engage your core by drawing your belly button towards your spine, flattening the lower back to the floor. Keeping this engagement, slowly curl your head, neck, and shoulders off the ground. Pause at the top of the movement, then slowly lower back down, inhaling as you descend.

  4. Lunges

    Start by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart and engage your core. Keeping your torso upright, take a step forward with your right foot and bend both knees to lower your body down, stopping when both knees are at a 90 degree angle. To return to standing, press through your right heel to straighten the leg while simultaneously stepping your left foot forward. Complete all reps on one side and repeat on the other leg.

  5. Push up jacks

    Start in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders, arms straight, and body forming a straight line from head to heels with both feet together. Engage your core then lower your body towards the ground by bending your elbows. At the same time, jump both feet out wide to the sides like you would in a jumping jack. As you push back up to a plank position, jump both feet back together. This is one rep.

  6. Superman

    Lie face down on a mat with legs together and arms overhead. Exhale and engage your core, then inhale while lifting your legs, arms, and chest off the ground. Hold at the top, squeezing your glutes and lower back muscles, before slowly lowering back down as you exhale.

  7. Step ups

    Stand facing a bench or step. Place your right foot on the step, ensuring your heel is planted flat to the surface. Engage your core and push through the right heel to straighten the leg and lift your body up. At the same time, bring your left knee towards your chest and lightly tap the step. Begin to bend your right knee and hip to lower back down, and then return your left foot to the floor. Repeat for total reps and perform on the other side.

  8. Tricep dips

    Start by sitting on the edge of a sturdy chair or bench with your hands positioned next to your hips, fingers facing forward. Lift your hips off the chair and step your feet forward so that your hips are in front of the chair, knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Engage your core then bend your elbows to lower your body down. Keep both elbows close to your sides and stop when they're bent at a 90 degree angle. Press through your palms to straight your arms and return to the starting position.

  9. Semicircular mountain climbers

    Semicircular mountain climbers are a mountain climber variation. Start in a high plank position with your hands stacked under your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from head to heels -- avoid the hips sinking or being too high. Engage your core and push through both hands then lift one foot off the floor. Bring the knee towards the same elbow, then towards your chest, then towards the opposite elbow, before returning back to a high plank. As your foot reaches the floor, immediately switch to the other leg and continue to alternate.

Working out regularly in the run up to your festival will help to prevent any niggles and aches dampening your weekend. Give these a try -- you can also pair them with other full body workouts if you enjoy variety in your routine.

Find your nearest gym to get started here.

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