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Clothespin Workout

Source Institutions

    The Exploratorium

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Clothespin Workout

This is a great activity about human energy production. Learners will work out with a clothespin to investigate why hockey players jump on a stationary bike after an intense game. Compared to a minute of ice time in an NHL game, this clothespin activity may seem like a "wimpy" workout—but it does a great job of demonstrating aerobic and anaerobic exercise and explaining the production of lactic acid, the cause of sore muscles after a workout.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 14 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • watch with a second hand or timer
  • spring loaded clothespin


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Chemistry of Life
    • Human Body
      • Muscles and Skin
      • Circulation
      • Respiration

Informal Categories

  • Sports and Exercise


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Exploratorium,


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