Bored With Your Fitness Routine? Try a Deck of Cards Workout

Maybe you have hit a plateau together with your at-home exercises and also you’re craving a change. Or possibly you’re trying to maximize your muscle burn once you solely have a restricted timeframe for train. Either approach — whether or not it or not — a easy deck of enjoying playing cards can function a enjoyable and simple strategy to devise new personalised health routines.

Here’s the way it works.

Select 4 workout routines tailor-made to the muscle group you need to work (so if it is leg day, that may be squats, Romanian deadlifts, glute bridges, and lunges). Then, assign one train for every swimsuit within the deck (hearts, spades, diamonds, and golf equipment). The quantity on the cardboard dictates what number of reps you do. Choose a time restrict to your exercise, shuffle the deck, after which simply draw playing cards and do the corresponding strikes till time is up.

“A deck of cards workout is a fun, dynamic, and versatile fitness routine where each card suit (hearts, spades, clubs, and diamonds) represents a specific exercise, and the card number signifies the number of reps,” explains Chris Pruitt, a licensed private coach and CEO of “You shuffle the deck and draw cards one by one, performing the exercise and reps dictated by each card.”

Face playing cards (jacks, queens, and kings) are 10 reps, and aces can both characterize one or 11 reps — your selection. So, for instance you assign push-ups to hearts, squats to golf equipment, sit-ups to diamonds, and lunges to spades. If you pull a seven of hearts, you’d carry out seven pushups. Or, in case you pulled a king of spades, you’d carry out 10 lunges.

“If you’re up for it, make the Joker a fun challenge — like a 1-minute plank hold,” says Konnor Fleming, an alpha grasp coach at Life Time.

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According to specialists, there are many benefits to attempting this strategy, and better of all, it doesn’t require any fancy gear — only a deck of playing cards.

Here’s what to learn about the advantages, plus some exercise concepts to get you began.

Why You Should Try a Deck of Cards Workout

Stan Kravchenko, a NASM-certified private coach and founding father of, says a deck of playing cards exercise is ideal for anybody who’s tired of their exercise routine.

“It’s adaptable, so whether you’re a beginner or more advanced, you can tailor it to fit your level,” he explains.

For occasion, in case you’re a power coaching beginner, you would possibly begin out with decrease impression, body weight strikes. As you progress in your health journey, you’ll be able to advance to assigning tougher workout routines with ankle weights and wrist weights, kettlebells, and resistance bands, for instance.

“It’s unpredictable, you can do it anywhere, and it’s a full-body challenge,” provides Kravchenko.

Since you don’t technically want any gear, Pruitt notes {that a} deck of playing cards exercise is ideal once you’re touring — and even must squeeze in a fast exercise in your workplace on a lunch break.

Ellen Thompson, a NASM-certified private coach with Blink Fitness, additionally notes {that a} deck of playing cards exercise gives a enjoyable and fascinating strategy to exercise with associates.

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“I personally love the deck of cards workout, and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a fun way to switch up their workout routine without compromising their results,” says Fleming. “I also love the deck of cards workout for the mental toughness it can help you build. You never know what card is going to come up next. Life, just like the cards, is unpredictable; the more you can expose yourself, voluntarily, to moments of adversity, the more prepared you will be when life forces them onto you.”

Deck of Cards Workout Ideas

Start by shuffling the deck just a few instances. Kravchenko suggested doing a lightweight warmup earlier than you pull your first card — and naturally, keep in mind that you may at all times take breaks as wanted. That mentioned, flowing seamlessly from one train to the following may also help maintain your coronary heart price up.

“My favorite way to approach the deck of card workouts is to select movements that are going to all but guarantee a well-rounded, full-body workout experience,” says Fleming. “I want to choose movements that hit on different major movement patterns — squat, hinge, press, pull — and that will give me exposure to both muscular strength/endurance and some conditioning along the way, too.”

With that in thoughts, Fleming suggests a exercise alongside these traces:

  • Diamonds: Reverse lunges (a lunge on every leg equals one rep)
  • Hearts: Push-ups
  • Spades: Single leg glute bridges (a bridge on every leg equals one rep)
  • Clubs: Burpees or mountain climbers

“If I’m somewhere that gives me access to equipment, I’ll pick movements that are more strength-based as opposed to cardio-based,” says Fleming.

Here’s what that may appear like:

  • Diamonds: Strict press (Choose a weight that is an RPE 6/10)
  • Hearts: Pull-ups
  • Spades: Deadlifts (Choose a weight that is an RPE 6/10)
  • Clubs: Row for the designated variety of energy
  • Joker: 0.5 mile run

You don’t have to complete the entire deck, says Pruitt. Particularly in case you’re simply beginning to work out, Pruitt recommends setting a time restrict to your exercise (say, 15-Half-hour). Consider assigning new workout routines to every card swimsuit each 10 minutes or so to make sure you don’t get bored or over-fatigue sure muscle groups.

“Don’t forget that you get to decide the nature of the workout,” provides Fleming. “If you’ve got a ton of time and want a harder workout, choose movements that are going to be more challenging for you and might require more rest or might naturally take longer to complete. If you’re looking for a quick sweat, choose movements that are going to cycle fairly quickly and that you feel confident about. It’s always up to you, and you can make it different every time depending on what your training goals are for the day!”

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