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Fun group exercise workouts

Getting up and active with others isn’t just a great way to burn those extra calories, it can make working out more fun and motivational. If you’re getting tired of the same old routine and personal training, ask a friend or family member to try out some new activities with you, or why not try to find a group of people who share similar interests and are keen to make exercise more interactive? There’s many types of group exercise routines out there to explore, so you’re bound to find something you’ll love!

In this article, we’ll share some fun group exercise workouts that you can try.

11 fun group workout ideas

1. Spinning 

Spinning is an intense cycling exercise which is done on stationary bikes, making it the perfect challenging cardio exercise which can help you to lose weight, improve your endurance and tone your muscles. Spinning is a very popular form of group cycling which offers high energy and instructors of these types of classes are there to keep you motivated; they’ll also often play music that has a rhythm which encourages you to push yourself as you pedal. So that you’re aware, there will likely be times where the instructor will ask you to pedal whilst standing but you can learn to do this at your own pace. Whilst this can be a more intense group workout, you will be the one behind the handlebars so you can work as hard as you feel comfortable to.

2. Frisbee

Workout games such as frisbee are a great way to get outdoors with family and friends. This is the type of group exercise that won’t even really feel like exercise as you’ll be having so much fun and all you’ll need is a frisbee to throw! There’s all sorts of games you can play too, including ‘Frisbee Tag’, where the group passes the frisbee to each other, keeping it away from a person who has been tagged ‘It’ and ‘Ultimate Frisbee’ - a competitive game where there’s two teams passing the frisbee to each other in order to score a goal (similar to football!). The possibilities are endless with this humble flying disc and it’ll be a lot of fun for all of the family.

3. Circuit training

Group circuit training is a form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) as it involves completing several exercises (usually around five to ten workouts) that target different areas of the body in a cycle. Typically circuit training workouts include push-ups, squats and lunges but you can get creative with what you include in your routine. Whilst circuit training may seem daunting at first, you can start off at your own pace and build up your confidence as you become stronger. The fast-paced nature of this exercise means that you and your friends won’t have time to get bored and if you’re looking for support, most gyms will offer these types of group classes to introduce you to the different exercises.

4. Orienteering 

person holding map

Orienteering is an incredible way to be active whilst enjoying an adventure with others! It involves navigating from one point to another using a map and compass and it’s perfect for all age groups and fitness abilities.Often, there is a race to get to each checkpoint before others so it’s both an exercise for the mind and body with a competitive twist! If you’re looking to get out into nature, orienteering as part of a group will be the workout for you! 

5. Yoga

Yoga can be as light or intense as you want it to be and there are lots of group classes out there for you to join. Whilst you can enjoy yoga solo, it works great as a group workout as you can become part of a community, learn new positions from each other, increase your confidence with the practice and are likely to be more motivated to be consistent with your efforts.

In terms of what you’ll need, you’ll simply want some comfortable clothing and yoga mats. Some people may also find that a yoga block helps to support them but if you’re joining a class, they should have everything you need to practise yoga safely and comfortably. 

6. Pilates

Pilates is similar to yoga in the sense that it gets you to focus on your balance and posture whilst helping to improve your flexibility. To put it simply, it’s a type of exercise that encourages you to strengthen your body and specifically targets your core strength. If you’re looking to lose weight, pilates is a real ab burner and is perfect for toning your legs, stomach, glutes and thighs.

You won’t need any equipment as a beginner but the more advanced you become, you can look to use specialised Pilates equipment which many gyms will have to offer.

7. Zumba

Zumba is a great calorie-burning workout, especially if it’s high-intensity. If you’re unfamiliar with Zumba, it’s essentially a combination of Latin and International music which you perform aerobic exercises to. The combination of lively music and dance rhythms make this group exercise feel like a party so you’re sure to have a great time being active in a Zumba session! As this is an aerobic exercise that’s become widely popular in recent years, you’ll have no trouble finding a local Zumba class to join, but equally, you and your friends can workout to a Zumba class online from the comfort of your own home. 

8. Boxercise 

two men wearing boxing gloves

Boxercise is the perfect cardio exercise for two people to battle it out. Not only will you and your boxing partner be able to vent out any frustrations, you’ll be able to build up your strength, agility and balance.

9. Walking meetings

Now, this isn’t necessarily a fun group workout, but it is a much more fun spin on a typical work meeting. Sitting down at a desk all day can take its toll on your physical health, but by inviting your colleagues to join you for a walk to catch up on work, you can share your ideas whilst getting some fresh air. In fact, exercise has been shown to help reduce stress, increase alertness and improve performance, so splitting your day up with a walk could actually help you to think more clearly and stay motivated throughout the day.

10. Football

man with a football

Football is a classic game for groups of people to get involved with. You may have been a football player yourself in the past and fancy getting back into it. Well, the good news is there’s football groups out there to suit all abilities and ages. In fact, there’s even groups that are designed for people over a certain BMI. For example, Man Vs Fat Football is designed for men who have BMIs of 27.50 or over, so you can play a sport you love whilst losing weight - win win!

11. Walking netball

Walking netball is like the traditional game of netball you’re probably already familiar with, but it’s played at a walking pace which makes it suitable for people of all ages to participate in. Julia was looking to be more active and lose weight and tried her hand at walking netball, see how she found joining a group sport in the video above.

Of course there will be many more types of group exercise activities out there which will appeal to your own interests. Check out our Activity Finder where you can discover what’s going on in your local area and join a group such as cycling, walking or football…whatever interests you!

How to make workouts fun

Group exercise can be more beneficial than individual exercise in a number of ways (such as keeping you more motivated, introducing you to new friends and helping you to learn new skills), but there are a few small things you can do to ensure working out with others goes to plan and is enjoyable. Here are a few of our tips:

1. Plan your workouts out

Sure, planning itself might not be the most thrilling activity, but by taking the time to plan out your group exercise, the day of the activity will run much smoother. If you don’t establish what you’ll be doing or when you’ll be doing it, there’s a risk that the workout might not go ahead, or you’ll awkwardly be wondering what’s next if you finish a fitness routine.

If you’re not joining a group fitness class that has pre-planned sessions, why not start a conversation with your workout buddies? You could create a group on social media where you can all get involved with suggestions for your group fitness workouts, making a plan for the coming weeks. This way, everyone will know what to expect and can plan in your workout time into their personal schedules. 

2. Include warmups and cool downs

Warming up and cooling down isn’t just important for reducing the risk of injury and preventing sore muscles, they too can be fun ways to spice up your group workout. 

Some warmups you could consider include:

  • Relay races - make it competitive by splitting the group up into teams and getting each person in the team to run a leg of a relay against members of the other teams (a field is the best place for this warm up). This is a very easy warm up to set up and challenges everyone to run as fast as they can, you’ll just want to try and split the teams up evenly so that it’s fair. If you’re not interested in running, that’s okay too! You can do other types of relay races, including skipping, dribbling footballs…anything involving high energy!
  • Dynamic warm-ups - warm-ups are all about getting your blood pumping and preparing your body for the upcoming exercise. Some ideas for you and your workout buddies include:
    • High Kicks (kicking one leg out in front of you as high as you can and alternating with the other leg until you complete a set).
    • Jumping Jacks (a two-jump move where you jump off of the ground, spreading your legs so your feet land wider than shoulder-width apart whilst spreading your hands above your head and returning to your starting position).
    • Jogging (on the spot or around a field/outdoor area).
    • Butt kicks (this looks like jogging but you’re aiming to kick your heels back to your glutes).
  • Cooldown exercises - these are much lighter exercises than warm-ups and usually involve lots of stretching. Make sure you stretch out all body parts which you’ve used to help cool off, get oxygen to your muscles and release any tension so you can start to relax. Another easy way to cool down is to do some light jogging or walking.

By ensuring that your body has warmed-up and cooled-down properly, you can keep your group exercises fun and safe, preventing injuries. 

3. Add some music

Music can really get your body moving and if you’re not an avid music listener, you may have wondered why so many people workout with earphones in. Well, combining exercise with music can actually help to change your body and mind. Research has indicated that listening to fast-paced music can increase your own pace and make you feel less exhausted (National Center for Health Research). Moreover, the lyrics in a song may also motivate you to push yourself and others to persevere with the workout.

4. Exercise in new places

Sometimes your surroundings can have an impact on how motivated you are. Whilst working out in front of your TV at home might be comfortable, performing the same old fitness routine in the same place can become demotivating over time. For example, why not run a new route or play frisbee on the beach rather than in your local park? We encourage you to get outside with friends and family members or to find group sessions where there’s people with shared interests that you can join. 

Looking to get active and lose weight? We’re here for you!

Here at LivewellDorset, we offer free coaching and advice to Dorset residents who are looking to make healthier lifestyle choices. Whether you want to lose weight or simply be more active, you don’t have to go through this journey alone and we can be there to support you. If you’re interested in buddying up with someone such as an accountability partner or finding a group to workout with, we can help signpost you to some great activities. 

 Contact us today to find out more about how we can help or register to our services here.


"In January 2019, I was five stone heavier. Now, with the weight loss, parkrun and netball, my anxiety has improved tenfold."

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How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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