Stephanie Thielen by Stephanie Thielen

If you teach boot-camp classes, you have a great opportunity to facilitate a sense of camaraderie among your participants though team-building activities. These activities can be conducted through partner drills, small teams or as a single, large team. Whether you take a break from the exercises to conduct these activities or incorporate team-building skills into the exercises themselves, your participants will experience many positive benefits. Through team-building, participants can work on problem-solving, developing relationships and honoring everyone’s unique qualities and perspectives, all while working toward a common goal or completing a task.

Here are four team-building activities that can help unite any group to exercise and work together. These activities are easy to set up and incorporate into your classes, and they are sure to create a fun and motivating atmosphere that will help increase the level of bonding within the group.

Circle Jumping

Goal: Listening and comprehension skills (and a lot of laughing)

Set-up: Form one large circle with everyone holding hands

Execution: Perform each of the following three drills three to four times. Issue one of four commands and instruct the group to follow, either by repeating the command and performing either exactly what you say, or by repeating the command and/or performing the opposite of what you say. Here are the commands: “Jump in;” “Jump out;” Jump right;” “Jump left.”

  • Drill #1: Say What I Say, Do What I Say
    • Say “Jump in” and the group says “Jump in” and performs the move.
  • Drill #2: Say What I Say, Do the Opposite
    • Say “Jump in” and the group says “Jump in” but they jump out.
  • Drill #3: Say the Opposite, Do What I Say
    • Say “Jump right” and the group says “Jump left” but they jump right.


Goal: Creative thinking and cohesion

Set-up: Small teams of three or four.

Execution: Each team recreates a letter of the alphabet that you call out. At first, let the team members create the letter as they wish. To add challenge to this activity, give specific directions, such as lowercase, uppercase, or if the letter is positioned standing up or on the floor.

100-rep Workout

Goal: Strategy and balancing of team-member contributions

Set-up: Create teams of four and set up four to six stations, with each station consisting of four exercises. Stations could focus on upper body, lower body, core, cardio, jumping, etc. Here are examples of upper- and lower-body stations:

Station 1: Upper Body

Station 2: Lower Body


Sumo Squat

DB Bent Over Row

Side Lunges

DB Triceps Kickback

Squat + Front Kick

DB Biceps Curl

Hip Bridge

Execution: Each team member must perform 20 repetitions of each exercise (for a total of 80 repetitions of each exercise). This leaves 20 reps of each exercise remaining. Team members must decide how the remaining repetitions will be distributed and completed. Exercises do not need to be distributed equally.

Here is an example of how a cardio-focused workout might work:
Exercises: Jumping Jacks, High Knees, Speed Skaters, Butt Kickers

Team member 1:  Completes 20 reps of each of the above exercises 
Team member 2:  Same
Team member 3:  Same
Team member 4:  Same

This leaves 20 reps of each of the four exercises, which could be distributed among the four team members as follows (this is just one of many possibilities):
Team member 1:  Completes the last 20 jumping jacks
Team member 2:  Completes the last 20 high knees
Team member 3:  Completes the last 20 speed skaters
Team member 4:  Completes the last 20 butt kickers

If there are only three team members, the total reps for each exercise would be 80.

Workout Finisher: The Finale

Goal: Effort and coordination
Set-up: Partners facing each other on opposite sides of the room.

Execution: Call out a series of partner activities, adding another movement each time the partners complete the activity. Partners run to the middle of the room, perform the activity, then run back to the start. For example, you say, Shake shake,” so partners run to the middle of the room, shake right hands, shake left hands and then run back to the start. Do this several times before adding on another activity. Here is a sample series:

  • High Five: partners jump up and give a high five
  • Shoulder Shoulder: partners bump right shoulders and then left shoulders
  • Under: partner A goes under partner B’s legs, and then partner B goes under partner A’s legs
  • Push-ups: partners face each other and perform and count five push-ups
  • “You’re the best”: partners face each other, run in place and say to each other “You’re the best partner ever!”


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