Let’s be honest – not everyone enjoys working out as much as informercials and Instagram influencers would like you to believe. Exercise can be difficult: it can make you sweat, and sometimes it can be boring! We often depend on our favorite playlist or TV show to get us through the workout session. If you’re reading this article, you might be looking for additional ways to stay engaged by adding some creativity and fun to your workout routine. With summer right around the corner, there’s no better time to get outside and try workout games with friends or family! I have mentioned nine different workout games and variations below – there are options for just one person or groups AND with some equipment or without any equipment. So let the fun begin!

1. Balloony Tunes

  • Indoor
  • Number of Participants: 3+
  • Equipment Needed: 1 Balloon


Watch Balloony Tunes again at timecode 0:09

How to play:

Each person is designated a number from 1 to however many participants. One person will be standing with the balloon in hand in the middle of a square boundary, while the other participants will be outside of the boundary. The participants outside of the boundary can be in a plank position, holding a squat position or standing in a normal stance. The idea is to wait for the participant holding the balloon to hit the balloon into the air and yell out the number of one of the other participants outside of the boundaries. Once another participant’s number is called, they are to run into the boundary and hit the balloon into the air before the balloon contacts the floor.

When the participant hits the balloon in the air, they must yell out the number of another participant (can be the number of the participant who called your number previously, it does not matter) and run back into the position they were in outside of the boundary. If the person outside of the boundary whose number is called does not stop the balloon from hitting the floor, then that person gets a point. That person will then be the next person to call out a number and continue the game. The participant with the LEAST number of points after three minutes of playing is the winner.

2. Plank Races

  • Outdoor or Indoor
  • Number of Participants: 4+
  • No Equipment Needed


Watch Plank Races again at timecode 0:31

How to play:

You must first start by creating two or more teams of even numbers. Designate a start and finish line about 50 feet apart. Depending on the number of participants, you may need to increase the distance of the finish line. Each person on your team will create a line facing the finish line while holding a plank position. The head of each person in the plank position should be no greater than a one-foot distance behind the feet of the person holding the plank position in front of them (the exception is the person in the front of the line, as they will not have anyone in front of them).

Once the “Go” command is given by the designated participant, the person at the back of the line of planks will stand up from the plank position and run to the front of their line and get into a plank position. Once the person who has just run from the back of the line to the front of the line places their hands on the ground to initiate a plank, they will yell “Go!”, which will signal the person who is now in the back of the line to run to the front of the line and repeat the process just explained. A winner is determined once any body part (most likely a participant’s head) in front of a team’s line crosses the finish line.

3. Phone Number EMOM

  • Outdoor or Indoor
  • Number of participants: 1+
  • No Equipment Needed


Watch Phone Number EMOM again at timecode 0:41

How to Play:

EMOM = Acronym for “Every Minute on the Minute”. At the beginning of each minute, perform a specific exercise for a designated number of sets/reps. Once those are completed, you can rest the remainder of the time during that minute and repeat at the beginning of the next minute.

Think of 3-10 of your favorite exercises using just your body weight. Write each one down on a separate piece of paper and mix the pieces of paper together in a bowl. At the beginning of each minute, reach your hand in and pull out one of the pieces of paper with the exercise on it. Perform that exercise for a number that is equal to the first number of your phone number. For example, if your phone number is 954 – XXX – XXXX and the first exercise that you drew from your bowl was lunges, you would perform 9 lunges. Any exercise that corresponds to a 0 digit can be done any number of times of your choosing.

Once you complete an exercise and are resting, use the remainder of the minute to pull another piece of paper. Then perform that exercise for the number of reps that equals the second digit of your phone number.Ideally, you will play for 10 minutes, since there are 10 digits in your phone number. You can also make this more difficult by adding exercises to the top of every minute. To continue with our example above, you would do 9 lunges at the beginning of the first minute. After the beginning of the second minute, if you drew the push ups exercise, then you would perform 9 lunges followed by 5 push ups and rest for the remainder of the minutes. Therefore, the exercises would compound each minute to increase the level of difficulty.

4. Cone Wars

  • Outdoor or Indoor
  • Number of Participants 2+
  • Equipment: 10+ small cones (used for soccer/football drills)


Watch Cone Wars again at timecode 1:09

How to Play:

Set up teams evenly or one-on-one. Place half of the cones upright with the other half lying on their side. One person or team should set those cones lying on their side upright, while another person or team should knock the upright cones down onto their side. Then set a timer for two minutes. Once the “Go” command is given, each person/team will begin knocking over or standing the cones upright. The key with this game is bend at the knees and the hips. In order to practice good core control, maintain a straight back while bending over. It is also important to note that you may only use your hands to move the cones. After the two minutes, whoever has the most cones in the position they were assigned to place them in is the winner.

5. Thunderstruck

  • Outdoor or Indoor
  • Number of Participants 1+
  • No Equipment Needed


Watch Thunderstruck again at timecode 1:18

How to Play:

Find an open area to jog laps in or simply jog in place at a moderate pace. Find the song “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC on YouTube and play it.  During the song, you should listen closely for the words “Thunder” or “Thunderstruck”. Every time these words are said, perform a burpee. This will go on for the entirety of the song! Then comment below on the number of burpees you complete 😊!

6. Towel Chase

  • Outdoor or Indoor
  • Number of Participants 4+
  • Equipment: Clean Beach Towel


Watch Towel Chase again at timecode 1:39

How to Play:

All participants except for one will form a circle by locking arms. Place the towel over the shoulder of one of the participants who is in the circle and make sure that half of the towel is hanging down the back of the participant. The participant who is not in the circle will start by standing opposite to the participant with the towel. Set the clock for two minutes. On the “Go” command, the participant outside of the circle will run in either direction around the circle attempting to pull the towel off the shoulder of the participant in the circle.

The participants in the circle must maintain the locked arm position while shuffling in different directions to prevent the participant outside the circle from grabbing the towel. If the participant outside the circle does not grab the towel before the two minutes is up, then they will be instructed by the group to perform 10 reps of an exercise of the group’s choice. However, if the participant grabs the towel before the two minutes are up, they will instruct the group to perform 10 reps of any exercise of their choosing.

7. Red Light/Green Light

  • Outdoor or Indoor
  • Number of Participants 3+
  • No Equipment Needed


Watch Red Light/Green Light again at timecode 1:55

How to Play:

First, you must decide on who will be the “crossing guard” and who will be the “vehicles”. The crossing guard gives commands and the vehicles will follow the commands. Designate a start and finish line about 50 feet apart (depending on the number of participants, you may need to increase the distance to the finish line). The crossing guard will stand at the finish line, and the vehicles will begin at the starting line. The crossing guard will either shout “green light”, which will allow the vehicles to move toward the finish line, or “red light”, which will force the vehicles to stop.

The first vehicle to reach the finish line wins. If any vehicle takes a step forward on a “red light” command, then that person must return to the starting line and restart. Be creative – the vehicles can move by not just running or walking but also by doing broad jumps, lunges, bear crawls, frog jumps, crab walks etc. This is a lot of fun with large groups!

8. Plank Musical Chairs

  • Outdoor or Indoor
  • Number of Participants 3+
  • Equipment Needed: Yoga Mats (total number of people MINUS two = number of mats needed).


Watch Plank Musical Chairs again at timecode 2:02

How to Play:

First, you will need to decide who is going to be the DJ and who will be the participants. Next, create a circle with the yoga mats that face inward and are evenly spaced about 2-3 feet apart from each other (depending on the number of participants). After the circle is made, create a square with surrounding boundaries that is about 25 feet from the center of the circle. The DJ will begin the music, and the participants will begin jogging around the outside of the square. Once the music is stopped, each participant will run to an open mat and get into a plank position as fast as possible before.

Since you have two less mats than the total number of participants and one of the participants is a DJ, that means that one person will be left without a mat to plank on. When this happens, the person left without a mat is considered out of the game and will remove one mat from the center circle. Repeat this process until there is only one mat left in the middle, and the last person with a mat is considered the winner.

9. Cha Cha Slide

  • Outdoor or Indoor
  • Number of Participants 1+
  • No Equipment Needed


Watch Cha Cha Slide again at timecode 2:26

How to Play:

Find the song “Cha Cha Slide” by DJ Casper. Play the song and assume the plank position. He will give you several commands during the song which you should follow all while maintaining a plank position. The commands and actions will go as follows:

  • “Cha Cha” = Mountain Climbers
  • “Clap Your Hands” = Shoulder Taps. Reach your hand to your opposite shoulder and vice versa.
  • “Hand on Your Knees” = Reach your hand to your opposite knee and vice versa.
  • “Slide to the Left/Right” = Take a step and reach to your left/right (the spoken direction) by moving your body to that new position.
  • “Right/Left Foot Stomp” = Lift the designated leg and tap your toe about six inches laterally from its current position.
  • “Hop” = Modified Pike Exercise. Keeping your knees straight, lift your hips and hop both feet about 6-12 inches forward. Then return to the starting position (he may say 1, 2 or 3 hops).
  • “Criss Cross” = Lift one leg over the other.
  • “Bring it Back” = Walk your hands backward 2-3 places and, while keeping your knees straight, lift your hips. Then return to the starting position

As you can see, there are many great options for exercise that can involve just one person or a group of people. You can perform almost all of the options above inside or outside AND with or without equipment – making all of these exercises low cost as well as convenient. The next time you’re looking to add fun, competition and creativity to your workout, give some of these a try!

Watch the full video on our group workout games below.

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