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When it comes to small group workouts, you will find routines ideal for friends working together or trainers and their clients. Working with bigger groups can lead to confusion and injuries if you’re limited on space.

For that reason, we’ve decided to do the research for you and have come up with a few different small group workout ideas that are both fun and challenging. Each of these routines is perfect for indoor or outdoor activities, which allows you to use them year-round.


At maximum, we recommend these group activities limit the class to at least 10 individuals at a time, mainly because doing so means you won’t take up that much space and so that you can focus on helping those in need.

Basic Warm-Up Routine

We have a few different types of workouts in mind, each that differ in equipment and intensity. Depending on what type you and your group prefer, you can easily change it up to suit your needs.

As with any mix of workout routine, you will want to ensure that everyone uses the first few minutes to warm up and stretch. It’s essential to get those muscles warmed up, after all. Otherwise, the intensive workout that follows may cause injuries.

We suggest starting with stretching, as this will get everyone’s body ready to be up and moving.

Step 1: First, stand up and put your hands above your head, bend your elbows, and interlock your fingers.

Step 2: Take a few deep breaths before twisting your body both left and right. Move your hands straight up in the air by keeping them interlocked and stretch upwards.

Step 3: After that, take each arm and spread your legs hip-width apart. Reach down and grab onto your toes without bending your knees. Hold the stretch for a few seconds at a time before releasing.

If you’re creating your own workout routine, consider adding in stretches for muscle groups you will be working out. If not, continue onto a quick cardio warmup to get your heart rate raised before moving onto the core workout.

Some good heart-raising activities can be a quick jog, although you may find yourself limited on space. Another excellent activity is running back and forth across the room in a quick dash or sprint. Lastly, jumping jacks are the easiest as they can get your heart rate pumping even when you’re limited on space.

Small Group Workout Ideas

Some small groups tend to prefer working with equipment, while others prefer HIIT or circuit training. Each workout option depends on what type of gear you have and where you’ll be working out.

For outdoor activities, you’ll have more space to move around, which is perfect for HIIT or full-body activities. However, if you and your group are working indoors or renting a small area, you may have access to weights and machinery.

Small-Group Gym Workout

A small group gym workout routine that utilizes weights can either use dumbbells or kettlebells. These types of workout sessions consist of push-ups, lunges, bicep curls, and squats. From there, you can incorporate planks, kettlebell swings, and figure-eight swings.

If you were given full access to a wide range of dumbells, your group could efficiently perform a few dumbbell exercises. This includes goblet squats, where the individual will hold the weight by one end and perform a squat. Other ideas include a farmers walk, where an individual will take two dumbbells in each hand and walk from point A to point B, repeated a few times.

Other dumbbell workouts include a bent-over row, where the individual stands with their back slightly bent, their legs hip-width apart, and with a dumbbell in each hand. They will then lower the dumbbells towards the floor before pulling them towards their chest. Other popular weight oriented exercises include deadlifts, one-armed swing, bench presses, and step-ups.

Circuit Training Workouts

When you don’t have access to a wide range of equipment, you can always rely on circuit-based exercises. This makes this routine more group-friendly than the other.

Each section of the room will have different stations set up so that one or two people can be at each station for a length of time before switching to the next. Not only does this allow everyone to use multiple types of equipment but also allow the trainer to oversee everyone at one time.

Circuits are mainly categorized into two different types of workouts: upper and lower body. The upper body mixes weights with strength resistance exercises. Some of these include deadlifts, bicep curls, or even full-body workouts such as planks, pull-ups, or push-ups. Lower body workouts are mixed with cardio such as jumping jacks or variations of high knees.

Sports-Related Small Group Workouts

Just because you’re working out doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to the traditional gym workouts. The benefits of working out in a small group enable you to easily break into teams and play specific sports with workout goals in mind.

Activities such as soccer, badminton, rollerblading, and even skiing allow for a mix of cardio and strength building while also having fun.

Small-Group Training via Common Goals

If you’re an instructor working with a broad range of clients, it may be beneficial to split into smaller groups with the same fitness goals.

Individuals looking to lose weight can easily motivate each other. This would allow you to focus more on building the correct habits and forms rather than focusing on each person. This will also enable you to split groups up from beginners, intermediate, and expert level classes.


Small group workout ideas don’t have to be limited to the same old boring exercises you’ve always done. There are a wide range of activities that can be done with fewer people but are generally more fun to do than if you were working out alone.

What’s more, instructors will find it easier to manage smaller groups, as they will be able to provide the individualized attention each client needs. Hopefully, we’ve helped you find some interesting and exciting small group workout ideas for this year.

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