Ace Your Next Workout with a Deck of Cards

By , Elizabeth Lowry, Fitness Writer
Forget the treadmill and that complete set of dumbells—getting in a good, heart-pumping workout can be as easy as 52 cards and a bit of floor space.

The premise for a deck of cards workout is this: For each suit in the deck, assign an exercise. For instance, spades are push-ups, diamonds are squats, hearts are alternating lunges and clubs are crunches. Flip through the deck of cards and for whatever suit turns up, do that exercise the number of times the card indicates (a two of spades would equal two pushups, an eight of hearts would equal eight lunges, etc.) Play with the deck options to find a workout that works best for your body and endurance level. Variations include assigning face cards a number for extra work or removing them from the deck completely. You might also identify joker cards as a one-minute rest period and ace cards as a one-minute cardio interval.

Alternatively, you can assign an exercise to each number and a number of reps for each suit. For example, clubs equals five reps, hearts equals 10, spades equals 15 and diamonds equals 20. Then, the number two could be assigned push-ups, threes are mountain climbers and on up the line.

Using a deck of cards to direct your workout not only allows you to choose your level of difficulty, but it also results in limitless ways to shuffle and diversify your exercise routine so you never become bored. Every day presents a new chance to get creative with the amounts and kinds of exercises you can do. Plus, we’re willing to try anything that works for Carrie Underwood and her strong legs.

Pick your preferred skill level, grab your favorite deck of cards and get started with one of the examples below. 

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GRANNYOF05 11/21/2019
Cute idea Report
SHEILAEJ18 11/16/2019
I like this idea! Report
LESSOFMOORE 10/26/2019
This is different! Report
KHALIA2 9/11/2019
Thanks for sharing! Report
DEE107 9/6/2019
thanks for the ideas Report
REDROBIN47 8/19/2019
Great idea...and fun. Thanks for a new way to do a fun workout. Report
BONNIE1552 4/11/2019
Cute idea and very adaptable. Report
DJ4HEALTH 1/31/2019
Thanks Report
Great mix up Report
Love this idea
Great idea! Report
This is very clever! Thanks. Report
I really like this one. Report
We call this Deck of Death on my team, lol. Usually involves burpees for us. Report
thanks Report
Thank you for a good article and a clever idea. Report
Great ideas Report
good ideas Report
great idea Report
What a great way to mix things up! Report
Cleaver! Report
Great idea! Will do it today Report
Awesome Idea. I love it! Report
Great article! Report
Interesting idea! Thanks for sharing. Report
Great idea. Thanks Report
neat idea! Report
What a great idea. Thanks for sharing this with us. I'm going to try this and see how it works for me. God Bless. Report
This looks fun. I'm going to try it. Report
What a great idea for something different Report
Great idea! Sounds like fun. Report
Sounds silly, but whatever works for you. Report
We do this at our church workout group..We add in jokers only 2 and they are 10 burpees...also face cards are 1 min cardio and number cards are reps of pushups, crunches squats etc Report
These are great ideas and a great article Report
I do this workout from time to time - it's a great way to change things up and fun to boot because you never know which card is going to face up Report
I did this with my trainer - we tried to finish the deck in 30 minutes! What a workout!
Cleaver idea! Report
Fun idea! Report
This sounds like fun! Report
sounds fun I hope to try it later. Report
This is really great when traveling - thanks for thinking outside the box! Report
Wow. Great idea!! I will have to try this! Thank you!! Report
I don't have time for roll the dice and deck of cards workouts, not interested! It would be fun for people who enjoy games though~ Report
A very well written article :-) Report
This sounds like something I would have made up. lol.
Sounds fun, but I would make those exercises easier choices. Report
This is similar to the Quick Fire Challenge team that went defunct, with a bit less variety, but could be tweaked to work more that way. I do like this idea. Report
When I click on one of the skill levels, the link doesn't seem to work. I get page not found. Anybody else having this issue? Report