Trainers who know how to make group fitness classes fun will increase their customer base, and improve member retention.

To help you develop in these areas, we will look at fun group fitness class ideas, and why you should incorporate them into your classes.

Are you looking to take the next step in your career? With our Personal Trainer Diploma, we will help get you qualified as both a fitness instructor and personal trainer in as little as 4 weeks! Get an overview of the courses we offer by downloading our free course prospectus.


5 Reasons to Prioritise Making Group Fitness Classes Fun

fun group fitness class ideas

You must make a group fitness class fun. When you do, it makes your classes a welcoming place for new members and encourages your current members to return. 

So dispense with the idea that ‘fun’ activities are expected to be casual, lack intensity and are not taken seriously. Below are group fitness class ideas that prove they can be enjoyable and improve your class members’ fitness levels at the same time.

#1 – Fun Group Fitness Ideas Make Your Classes More Engaging

how to make a group class more fun

Class engagement is crucial for a trainer because if your workout isn’t engaging, your members will feel bored and lose motivation. 

To encourage engagement is simply a matter of showing care to your members. During your class focus on group motivation, not individual performance, and give them personal feedback.

These simple steps will make it easier for your customers to participate in the exercises and motivate them to work as a group. This is because you are acknowledging them as a group during the class and as individuals, once it has finished.

This will help keep everyone on track, allowing you to maintain authority and motivate everyone properly.

#2 – Knowing How to Make a Group Fitness Class More Fun Can Increase Member Retention

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A lot of people find exercise a chore rather than a pleasure. They know it is necessary to maintain good health, but they do not want to devote time to it. Class member retention will improve if you have fun group fitness ideas that promote positivity, contain achievable goals and offer rewards. 

It will even encourage the least exercise-minded to return and lead to fewer cancellations.

#3 – Fun Group Fitness Challenges Inspire Your Class To Push Themselves Further

fun group fitness ideas

Fun group fitness challenges can inspire your members to work harder as they would have to match the fitness levels of their peers. 

By introducing games, such as balloon bounce and or a card game workout, you’re giving everyone an equal stake in achieving success, which is a great way to motivate everyone in the group.

Team games and group tasks also place the focus on completing the exercise rather than how you feel in the moment. When clients adapt their behaviour to achieve a goal, they will ignore feeling fatigued. After all, they’re having fun and competing!


#4 – Utilising Fun Group Fitness Ideas is Great for Your Class Members’ Mental Health

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The physical benefits of fitness are fairly obvious but knowing how to make a group fitness class more fun, can have a positive impact on clients’ mental health as well.

Physical activity triggers the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which naturally boost our moods. 

You can create dopamine-fuelled workouts by introducing competitive and fun challenges into aerobic and dancing classes. Having fun also helps combat fatigue and gives them more energy.

Through hard work and developing new skills, members’ can improve their self-esteem and body confidence, which can have a dramatic impact on their mental well-being in the long run.

#5 – Fun Group Fitness Ideas Make Your Life Easier and More Interesting

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Creating an exciting class for your members can make it exciting for you too! Your main job is to design routines for your members and encourage them to reach their potential. However, if you do the same series or type of workout in blocks over several weeks, they can feel repetitive.

You may even find yourself going through the motions, rather than actively teaching and motivating your members.  In the long run, it will also lead to apathy and less enthusiasm for your class.

This is something you want to avoid at all costs. Bored class members are less likely to return to your classes or talk about you positively with their friends. 

Using a diverse range of fun group fitness class ideas as a part of your training programme will benefit your class, but also structure how you teach sessions every week. Your participants will see you having fun, which makes them enjoy themselves in response!

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Before we continue, why not check out these 3 articles below?

11 Creative and Fun Group Fitness Class Ideas

You now understand the importance of making a group fitness class fun. Let’s explore some of the tricks and tips you can use to enhance your classes.

#1 – Use Themes To Make Your Classes More Engaging

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Themed, fun group fitness class ideas, will inspire you to come up with new and innovative exercises. When it comes to fitness class themes, your only limit is your imagination.  

Routines will be more engaging for your class, giving them a connection to something outside the exercises.

You could run a workout around film and tv characters, taking elements from shows and combining them with your exercises.

You could do a superhero theme which would make strength routines exciting, providing the class with iconic genre soundtracks. This would also open up your routines to natural competition with hero and villain teams (we’ll touch on this in the next section).

Another option could be a sci-fi theme like ‘The Matrix’ or a supernatural theme like ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’. Within these themes, you can include more elements of martial arts or boxing to give you a combat-style workout.

#2 – Bring In Regular Competition Between Your Class Members

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Competition is a natural aspect of sports when people compete in groups. If you manage this correctly, it can be a healthy way for people to interact.

It’s important to make sure the competition stays friendly with this fun group fitness idea.  Otherwise, this could lead to friction in the group rather than pulling people together. There are several ways you can use competition during your classes to help students succeed.

Fun group fitness ideas can include team challenges between members of your group. This could include two halves of your class competing in a circuit relay race, allowing everyone to contribute to their team’s success.

Progress tracking can also help members compete against past versions of themselves, encouraging them to beat their personal bests. Your customers will be inspired by their progress because they will see visible results every week.

#3 – Reimagine Childhood Games For A Fun Workout

fun group fitness challenges

Putting a modern spin on childhood games is a brilliant way to relieve stress and decompress, and improves your members’ mental health.

Environments like this can be fun and engaging, helping people make new friends during these activities. Groups in your class become more cohesive, breaking down any awkwardness.

There are several ways you can incorporate childhood games into your session:

For example:

  • Tag and Stuck In The Mud are great forms of cardio.
  • Hopscotch and skipping improve coordination, and reaction time, and test us mentally.
  • 1,2,3 Home can be adapted to involve more running, and more weaving movements to improve agility.

Games like this are nostalgic and enjoyable for your class. It puts your class members in a great mood, they won’t realise how much effort they’re putting in! They will also see you don’t have to do boring or repetitive exercises to get fit.


#4 – Take Advantage Of New Equipment Where Possible

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The challenge with fun group fitness is to keep things fresh and avoid them becoming stagnant. So one way to keep things interesting is to take advantage of any new equipment you acquire.

Fitness equipment can be expensive, making it unlikely for you to buy new pieces at once. This is especially true with group classes where you will need multiple copies of the same kit.

You could design some new routines or blocks of classes that will showcase a new piece of kit in the best possible way.

For example, you’ve got the right amount of kettlebells to run a full session. Here, you could introduce new exercises such as the Kneeling Plank and Goblet Squat into the workouts with your class members. This group fitness idea shows you’re keeping up with fitness trends and contemporary practices.

#5 – Change Your Location For More Variety

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Changing class environments can create new, exciting challenges, it is a great way to inject some fun into your group fitness classes.

The new terrain could make workouts harder or allow you to focus on different areas of fitness. It also helps stimulate the brain by challenging your students in new ways both mentally and physically!

Exercising on sand forces your class to concentrate more on their balance, which will help improve their core strength and stability. 

Using outside locations with clients can also offer you the chance to include incline training in your routines. It is a brilliant way to make cardio more challenging.

These group fitness class ideas will also encourage creativity when planning your programme, forcing you to adapt to new environments with your class.

#6 – ‘Buddy Up’ Class Members For Partner Exercises

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Fitness classes can be daunting for new members, especially if they’re entering a group that has been together for a while.

If this is the case, you will need great fun group fitness class ideas that help minimise any awkwardness that comes with group interactions.

A quick, fun group fitness idea to promote group cohesion, is the use of partner exercises. Partner stretches could be included in your warm-up, throwing and catching drills. 

Regularly changing pairs can also limit the chance of people working with their friends. This can improve members’ communication and create new friendships. It also increases customer retention, people are likely to return to classes if they know people there.

#7 – Create Different Playlists & Ask Your Class Members To Suggest Their Favourite Songs

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Exercise and music are a perfect partnership to make your classes enjoyable. This group fitness idea will create a lively atmosphere in your sessions. 

It can help people feel less vulnerable and more relaxed; seeing other members singing along and bringing a little silliness into the class.

You could use music to create a fun group fitness challenge, where the winner of each challenge picks the next week’s playlist.

With this fun group fitness idea you’ll be demonstrating you’re always willing to listen. This will make members more likely to return the following week.

Music can set the mood for your classes. For high-intensity workouts, you want music with a solid beat for your members to exercise to. Alternatively, you’ll want something relaxing for a cooldown or slower session.

By creating great workout playlists you’ll have a ready resource to pull out for every exercise situation, which makes your life a lot easier.

#8 – Get Your Class To Encourage Each Other To Succeed

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To make a group fitness class work towards fitness goals, get other members involved in a friendly, supportive environment. This can be achieved by creating accountability and time-sensitive goals between your class members.

This fun group fitness idea helps improve members’ mental health, boosting their moods and motivating your clients during their workouts.

Teaching will also be easier for you. Whilst members are supporting each other, you’ll have time to dedicate 1-to-1 instruction to other members where needed. 

This is a brilliant way to get everyone engaged with the exercises. It also helps members to monitor their own and other people’s progress.

#9 – Switch Between Routines Often So Members Don’t Get Bored

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Teaching the same thing gets boring as the brain gets used to something. As a result, you end up plodding through a session rather than actively engaging with the content. To keep your group fitness challenges and ideas fresh, you should regularly introduce new exercises.

This constantly challenges members as variety means they won’t become familiar with any specific workout.

During a cardio workout, you could introduce a different exercise into the workout, such as Pound. This involves using drum sticks to air drum, which will be a great way for members to keep their cardio levels up whilst developing upper body strength.    

This is beneficial to you in the long run, as you’ll end up with a bank of great usable workouts. You’re also likely to see members’ fitness levels improve, as switching up your routines will challenge your members’ physical and mental strengths with new exercises.


#10 – Get Involved With The Class & Enjoy Yourself!

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Actively enjoying yourself during a session carries several benefits for you and your class.

Your group will appreciate you’re willing to get involved with them, especially when you bring in fun group fitness challenges such as Tug of War or Circuit Assault Courses to the session.

You need to find a balance between maintaining authority and having fun with your class. You don’t want to lose your passion for teaching classes because you don’t feel part of the group. 

When your group sees you having fun it’s contagious. It helps reduce any awkwardness that members may feel during a session. It can help shyer members out of their shells.

By getting involved with your class, it shows you’re prepared to put in the hard graft and help class members get everything they can from exercise.

A Zumba class is a brilliant example of this. With an enthusiastic teacher, even if members can’t dance, they are more likely to participate and improve their fitness levels. 

#11 – Ask Your Group What Exercises They Enjoy And Build Fitness Plans Around Them

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It takes skill and inventiveness to connect various fun exercises and skills into a cohesive session plan, so you’ll be getting a challenge as well as providing one!

To make a group fitness class fun, why not take suggestions from your class? This will tell you what members enjoy most.

Everyone will find different exercises and routines fun, so it’s important to understand that not every workout will appeal to your group equally.

The advantage of creating customised programmes is that you can assist specific members who enjoy that type of content and encourage them to take part in something they enjoy.

People prefer to go to classes they enjoy over another workout that doesn’t interest them – so by taking on these suggestions from your class, you will improve retention at your sessions.

Responding to their feedback its demonstrating you’re willing to listen to what your members want and take their comments on board in the future.

This helps build confidence in you, which in turn will improve your professional reputation in the industry.

Before You Go!

We hope this collection of fun group fitness class ideas will help you spice up your exercise programme and most importantly, have fun! Remember, knowing how to make a group fitness class fun can have a huge impact on class member retention and engagement.

Remember, you can get started in the fitness industry or advance your current career with our Personal Trainer Diploma. You can also get an overview of the other courses we provide by downloading Origym’s prospectus.


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About the Author: Rachel Stevens

rachel stevens origym authour
Rachel is a freelance content writer and fitness enthusiast based in Liverpool. She completed her BA (Hons) in Egyptology and Ancient History, followed by a MA in Ancient History, at the University of Liverpool. She has a keen interest in many water-based sports, like kayaking, in which she holds a 1-star qualification with the intention of progressing further. She is an avid reader, runner and yoga enthusiast.

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