Leadership Inspirations Activities

Group Push Up

To have the group find a way to get the entire group safely off of the ground with only hands touching ground

Duration

10-20 minutes

Team Stage

Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity

Materials

None

 

SUMMARY

The object of the activity is to raise the entire group off the ground with only their hands being able to touch the ground. Participants cannot use any props but themselves. Team members must collaborate to develop a strategy and trust each other in order to be successful.

 

SET UP

  • Take the group to large enough space where they can spread out to complete the activity.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Tell the group that their goal is to raise the whole group off of the ground with their hands being the only things with contact to the ground.
  •  You can give a time to be off the ground (ex. 5 seconds, your count) to sway them from trying to do simultaneous handstands.
  • They may use each other for support but no other props.
  • If you want to limit trial and error further and your group can be split into groups of 3 or 4 as those work best for the push-up. Our recommendation is not to divide them unless they determine it is the best way.

SOLUTION

  • There are two primary solutions:
    • The first is a group (4 works best) where each person’s feet are on the lower back/thighs of another person and in the box formation they are able to do a push-up.
    • The second way the group starts sitting in a circle (groups of 3 or 4 work best for this) and crosses their ankles, putting them on the shoulder of the person next to them and then their hands are used to lift.
  • Safety: Beware of back and neck problems. Encourage people to move at a moderate pace.

VARIATIONS

  • Group Sit
    • Have group members stand in a circle, have them turn so that their hands are on the shoulder of the person in front of them.
    • Then have everyone sit down slowly to form one sitting circle.
    • For added challenge have everyone raise their hands above their heads or attempt to move together as a group.
    • Note: Because of the physical closeness required, this activity can be considered higher risk. Do not force people to participate if they do not feel comfortable.

SAMPLE DEBRIEFING QUESTIONS

What?
  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?

Teambuilding

  • When has your group worked well together in the past? When have they not worked well together?
  • When has (something that happened in the activity) happened in the past with your group?
  • What habits or actions make a successful or effective team? What does your group do well as a team? What are your group’s opportunities for growth when working together?
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?