Most things are better with friends, and exercise is no exception. In fact, there are many benefits to group exercises:
they can be more motivating,
they can provide instruction and structure,
and they can also just be more fun than working out on your own.
With that in mind, you might wonder what are some fun group workout ideas you can incorporate into your fitness routine? Well, when it comes to fun group workouts, the list is only limited by your creativity. Whether it’s a team building exercise, a fitness class, or just a group fitness effort, there’s always a group workout to get everyone involved.
From yoga to weightlifting to Tabata workouts for beginners, your options are endless. To help you get an idea of your options, let’s take a look at 9 fun group exercise workouts to help you find something that fits your preferences and needs.
#1 Walking with Friends
Let’s start with something that everyone should be doing for themselves, even though it often gets overlooked. In today’s society, where many of us have sedentary jobs and drive wherever we need to go, it’s easy to overlook walking as the essential exercise it is.
Just some of the benefits of a brisk walk include:1
Weight loss – Walking has been shown to help people regulate their cravings for sugary sweets. Going for a walk also burns calories. Burning calories and avoiding those sweet snacks will promote a better overall diet and lead many people to lose excess fat.
Improved overall health – A meta-analysis in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that group walking led to myriad health benefits in participants, including:2
Lower blood pressure
Lower resting heart rate
Lower body fat and BMI
Lower total cholesterol
Lower incidents of depression
Better joint function – Walking has been shown to ease pain from arthritis and even lower the likelihood of arthritis occurring.
In short, walking is a simple physical activity that everyone from beginners to advanced fitness enthusiasts should be doing regularly. Walking with a friend or a group of friends can help you stick to your walks and make them feel less like exercise and more like fun.
#2 Group Cycling
If you want to challenge yourself while still pursuing a low-impact form of cardio, cycling may be just what you’re looking for. Although cycling in a group won’t afford the same social options as walking with a group (at least not until you grab brunch after your ride), there are benefits to biking with others.
While biking with friends can help with motivation and pace, it’s also a good idea for safety because of a couple of factors:
Visibility – Most cycling takes place on roads that you have to share with cars. That means there’s always the possibility of a collision, and if you’re on a bike, you don’t want to be colliding with a car. By being in a group, you’re much more visible to motorists, which will allow them to give you your necessary space.
Emergency response – In the unfortunate event something does happen, you may need help. Whether that means first aid, calling authorities, or just helping you get back on your bike and making sure the gears are all working, it’s good to have a group of friends with you.
#3 Group Running
Running can be a great cardiovascular workout, but it’s often hard for people to stick to a running routine. Why?
Well, running can get monotonous (especially when the weather is less than ideal) and it can be easy to skip a session. Having a group will help with motivation, but it can also add some variety to your runs. Some ideas you can try include:3
Team races – Break your group up into two teams and pit yourselves against each other. Competition can be a great way to push yourselves. Plus, putting yourselves into groups allows runners of different skills to join forces, minimizing anyone’s feelings of self-consciousness.
HIIT competitions – High-intensity interval training is a popular form of cardio where you go hard for brief periods, then rest. Sprint races and wind sprints are good options for this, but you can also get creative. This style of work may be especially useful on those rough weather days where you want to limit your time outside.
Nighttime or sunrise runs – Running at novel times of the day is another way to add variety to your group runs. Not only will the scenery look different, but the way your body feels may also be different, potentially making your run more challenging and fun. By planning this sort of run with a group, you’ll be less tempted to either sleep in during a sunrise run or skip out on a nighttime run.
Charity runs – Many different causes sponsor charity runs where you can raise money through your effort. It’s a great way to improve your health while also making a difference.4
#4 Water Aerobics
Do you consider yourself more of a seafarer than a land-lubber? Why not work out in a pool?
Water aerobics classes offer the benefit of essentially zero-impact exercises on your joints because of the natural buoyancy of the water. That makes water aerobics a perfect option for anyone rehabbing an injury, new moms (or moms-to-be), elderly people, or anyone who prefers to spend time in the water.5sup>
A workout game in the water or a lap challenge are two fun ways to get a great workout going while having fun and not pushing too hard.
Thinking of joining a yoga class with your friends? A yoga class is perfect for any group looking to get an exercise in and connect with their bodies.
Perhaps there are some people who are still skeptical of whether yoga can be classified as “exercise.” True, yoga won’t increase your physical fitness in the same way something like running will. However, in numerous studies, yoga has been shown to be equal to or better than more traditional forms of exercise when it comes to physical and mental health outcomes.6
And why wouldn’t it? Yoga invites you to connect with your body and your breath while also challenging your core strength and flexibility. Plus, it can be a lot of fun.
So, maybe it’s time you pick up a yoga mat, grab a group of friends, and give it a shot. Namaste.
Do you prefer dancing to traditional exercise? Luckily, dancing is exercise, and one of the most popular forms of dancing as exercise is Zumba.
Getting started with Zumba is easy. All it requires is:
A studio to do it in
Some music to get you moving
For groups who want to feel like they’re enjoying a night out while also taking care of their health, Zumba is a perfect choice.
#7 Lifting with a Partner
Weight lifting is often associated with brawny types loudly grunting in the corner of the gym while they try to get bigger and bigger. If your goal is to get big, that type of heavy lifting can certainly help you reach your bodybuilding goal. But what about people who just want to get healthy and work on a lean physique? Should they lift weights?
The answer is yes—strength training has been shown to have several benefits including:7
Improving your overall musculoskeletal health.
Improving your normal daily function (from lifting a heavy grocery bag to simply climbing a flight of stairs).
Reducing joint pain and lower back pain.
Reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis and sarcopenia.
Plus, weight lifting can also help lower body fat and blood pressure.
So, whether you want to be jacked or not, strength training is a useful form of exercise anyone can benefit from. By lifting with a partner, you increase your safety by:
Having someone to spot you while you lift
Having someone who can watch your form and help you avoid injury
#8 Team Training
If lifting with a partner is good, why not expand it and lift with a whole team? Some of the added benefits of team training include:
Supervision from an expert instructor
Motivation from numerous team members
Structured workout plans to track your progression
A variety of exercises to keep things interesting
The ability to do exercises that require more than one participant
There’s nothing wrong with solitary weight training if that’s your preference, but people often make the assumption that you either have the option to go it alone or hire a trainer. With team training, you get the benefits of a trainer while also reaping the social benefits of being part of a group.
#9 Boot Camp
Now that it’s been established that everyone can benefit from both conditioning work and strength work, how can we combine the two?
Here’s where a boot camp can come into play.
By joining a boot camp group, you’ll be challenged on both fronts and also motivated to push yourself to the limit of your capabilities. It can be a great time to make use of AMRAP workout benefits and create a friendly fitness challenge for everyone.
That’s a great way to get your sweat on!
Find Fun Group Workouts at Chuze Fitness
Creating a group fitness challenge or joining a class together can be a great way of not only getting exercise but also building team and group trust and having fun together. The benefits of group exercise are plenty to get everyone working out, and Ultimately, your choices for fun group exercise workouts are endless. These are just nine ideas, and there are plenty we haven’t even mentioned. No matter what level of gym participant you are, there are countless options when it comes to group exercises. The best choice for you will be the one you find the most fun and will stick with.
To help you sift through your options, check out the extensive list of group classes we offer at Chuze Fitness. No matter what you’re looking for or what your fitness goals are, we’re here to help you on every step of that journey. Find your nearest Chuze Fitness today.
Harvard Health Publishing. 5 surprising benefits of walking. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/5-surprising-benefits-of-walking
British Journal of Sports Medicine. Is there evidence that walking groups have health benefits? A systematic review and meta-analysis. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/49/11/710.short
Runners World. Fun, Creative Group Workouts. https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a20800314/fun-creative-group-workouts/
Health.com. 24 Awesome Group Workouts That Don’t Feel Like Exercise. https://www.health.com/fitness/fun-group-workouts
Chuze Fitness. Aqua Fit. https://chuzefitness.com/fitness-class/aqua-fit/
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The Health Benefits of Yoga and Exercise: A Review of Comparison Studies. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/acm.2009.0044
Science Direct. Potential Health-Related Benefits of Resistance Training. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0091743501909090