Deck of Cards Dumbbell Workout

This deck of cards dumbbell workout has a unique, fun structure. Each suit corresponds to a different exercise and the number is your reps. How quickly can you get through the deck?

Grab a set of weights: Week three of April’s deck of cards series is here! If you missed week one (bodyweight) or week two (sliders) you can check them out using those links. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily harder or easier than the other two, but this deck of cards dumbbell workout definitely has less jumping around than the first. I don’t know about you guys but I was GASSED by the end of week one. This one was more strength, less gasping for breath.

Deck of Cards Dumbbell Workout


I’m using a pair of 10-lb dumbbells. Adjust to match your fitness level!

You’ll need a deck of cards for this workout. There are also smartphone apps for deck of cards workouts you can download if you want to take this to the gym. Shuffle the deck and you’ll flip one card over at a time until you’ve gone through the entire deck. Each suit corresponds to a different exercise and the number of the cards tells you how many reps to do.

Face cards = 10 reps
Aces = 11 reps
Joker = 15 reps, exercise of your choice

As with all workouts, make sure to warm up beforehand. This 5-minute warm up is a great one if you need some guidance!

This deck of cards dumbbell workout has a unique, fun structure. Each suit corresponds to a different exercise and the number is your reps. How quickly can you get through the deck?

Deck of Cards Dumbbell Exercises

CLUBS – Low Surrender Squats | Start in a low squat position with weights held at shoulders. Step your right foot back behind you, planting the ball of the foot on the floor as you gently lower your knee to the ground. Both knees should be at opposing 90-degree angles. Step your left foot back to meet the right so that you’re kneeling on the ground. Step your right foot forward so that you’re in the same position as before, just with the opposite foot in front. Bring your left foot forward (staying low), returning to your starting low squat position. Switch your lead foot each rep.

DIAMONDS – Chest-Overhead Press Jacks | Start standing with your feet together and a single dumbbell held in both hands at your chest. As you jump your feet out wide, press the weight forward and chest height. Jump the feet back together and return the weight to starting position. Next time you jump the feet out wide, press the weight overhead. Jump feet back to starting position, lowering the weight. That’s 1 rep. These go by quickly so if you’re looking for a more advanced workout, double the rep number for these (if you flipped a 10 of diamonds, you’d do 20 reps).

SPADES – Renegade Row Plank Jumps | Start in a plank position holding dumbbells planted firmly on the ground beneath your shoulders. From this starting position, do a row on each side, first driving the right elbow up to the ceiling and then the left, lifting the dumbbell up close to the side of your body. Try to keep your hips level as you do this; don’t twist open towards the rowing side (having a wider stance with your feet will help accomplish this). After you’ve rowed each side, quickly jump your feet up outside your hands and then back to you plank position. That’s 1 rep.

HEARTS – Full Body Crunch | Start laying on your back with legs outstretched and hovering a couple inches off the ground. Holding a weight in your hands, arms should be outstretched overhead and hovering as well. From this starting position, crunch up, bringing your knees in towards your chest as you lift your shoulder blades off the ground and bring the weight up and over towards your shins. Extend back out, lowering to starting position. The goal is to never bring the legs and/or weight to rest on the ground when you extend back out.

This deck of cards dumbbell workout has a unique, fun structure. Each suit corresponds to a different exercise and the number is your reps. How quickly can you get through the deck?

WEARING | Crane & Lion leggings (sold out in this color but others here) // Reebok tank (sold out but this is a similar cut)

Is it weird that I’m kinda jealous of everyone running 26.2 miles today in Boston? The FOMO is real. I just keep reminding myself that I did NOT feel any faint twinges of jealousy seeing people on social media sludge through long runs in the snow this winter and stress about their fundraising minimums. 😉

I have a couple hours of work to do this morning and then I’m looking forward to walking down to Back Bay with friends and enjoying a few drinks while I watch everyone cross the finish line. Wishing everyone running a good race! Soak up every moment of it–especially that epic left turn onto Boylston Street. Oh jeeze I’m tearing up just thinking about it jkdl;sjfcn; endpostendpost END POST.

Foam Rolling for Runners

Love to run? Keep your body injury-free with foam rolling for runners.

This post is sponsored by HoMedics® as part of the #NotGonnaStop campaign. All opinions–as always!–are my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that make this blog possible!

In a recent Instagram post, I talked about how I pretty much completely stopped running after crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon last April. I had ZERO desire to go for even short runs so … I didn’t. There are so many other ways to get a quality cardio workout in so why force running? I instead turned to spin, boxing, bootcamp and HIIT workouts for a sweat and for the last year have probably only gone for a handful of runs, none of which were longer than four or five miles.

Maybe it’s the warm weather creeping in or the fact that it’s marathon weekend in Boston, but it’s only just recently that I’ve started to get the itch to run again. And like with most activities you haven’t done in a while, the first couple long(er) runs left me super sore last week (my calves!!).

Foam rolling is important for mobility and injury prevention, and I’m never more vigilant about doing it than when I’m running regularly. With perfect timing, I was recently sent a package of HoMedics® Sports Recovery Massagers (available on Target.com!) and have been putting them to good use.

Love to run? Keep your body injury-free with foam rolling for runners.What you won’t be able to see in these pictures is that all the HoMedics® Sports Recovery Massagers include vibration for a deeper, more effective, more hurts-so-good massage. I especially like using the vibrating option when I’m pinpointing a knot. I’ll roll over the muscle first and when I hit a sweet spot, turn on the vibration and press firmly on it for 20-30 seconds.

Everyone can benefit from foam rolling, but with the running spark reignited in me and the Boston Marathon on Monday, let’s go over some muscles to focus on in particular if you’re a runner.

Foam Rolling for Runners

The following muscles are the ones I show the most love with the foam roller when I’m running frequently. Every body is different and we’re all working with different muscle imbalances, injuries and workout regimens so think of this as a general guide, not an exact foam rolling prescription for you individually. Especially if you’re injured, check with a doctor or PT before whipping out the foam rollerit can makes things worse to roll directly on an injury.

You’ll want to spend at least 1-2 minutes on each muscle, slowly rolling up and down, stopping when you hit a sweet spot (knot). Apply pressure to those knots for 20-30 seconds before continuing the larger rolling motions.

I’m using the HoMedics® Gladiator™ Vibration Foam Roller in the below pictures which has battery-operated vibration for an even deeper massage. There are three vibration intensities to choose from and I usually stay on the lowest one while doing the big rolling and then the highest for pinpointing knots. The roller also has multiple foam textures on its surface so you get a variety of sensations. It also has a hidden compartment so that you can store your keys, ear buds, etc. if you’re bringing it to the gym.

Love to run? Keep your body injury-free with foam rolling for runners.

Quads | Unless my quads are particularly tight, I typically roll one leg at a time so to increase the pressure. As pictured at the start of this post, I’ll also sometimes use The HoMedics® Vertex Vibration Stick Roller which has six spinning rollers and is of a harder material than the HoMedics® Gladiator™ Vibration Foam Roller. I roll up and down the center; up and down at a slight angle to the right; up and down at a slight angle to the left.

Adductors | When rolling out the adductors, place the foam roller lengthwise alongside you and come into a half frog position. 

Calves | With the other muscles, foam rolling is a hurts-so-good feeling. With my calves, it’s full on torture. A long time ago I blogged about my experience getting a runner’s assessment and the trainer working on me actually called over her colleague to watch what was happening with my calves because it was literally as if she were rolling over marbles. Oy vey. When I’m holding on a knot (which is every centimeter), I’ll do so with my foot flexed and then with it pointed to really try to work it loose.

Glutes | I’ll cross my leg over the knee to better hit the piriformis (sometimes I feel like a ball is more effective), but when I do the glute max and med, I usually like having the leg out straight.

TFL / IT Band | When it comes to the IT Band, you need to think about foam rolling the muscles to which it attaches. I usually start with my glutes and TFL and then gradually make my way down towards the tibia. As I roll down the IT Band, I don’t roll directly on my outer thigh, but rather lean my body forward at an angle so it’s more the outer/front thigh area.

Love to run? Keep your body injury-free with foam rolling for runners.

Last but not least—that’s an understatement, actually. Last and BEST, the feet. I could massage my feet all day. The HoMedics® Atlas Vibration Acu-Node Massager offers a gentle vibration and its acu-node texture delivers pinpointed pressure that my arches love.

All these HoMedics® Sports Recovery Massagers and more are available at Target.com, HoMedics.com and in-store at Rite Aid.

Love to run? Keep your body injury-free with foam rolling for runners.

What’s the most painful (in a “good” way) muscle/muscle group for you to foam roll? Anyone like me and say calves?!

 

Deck of Cards Slider Workout

This deck of cards slider workout is a fun way to switch it up! Each suit corresponds to a different slider exercise and the number tells you the reps.

For today’s deck of cards slider workout, you apply the same rules as last week’s to four new exercises. Side note: It’s by complete accident that I’m dressed like a deck of cards in this post. 😉

Deck of Cards Workout (Slider Exercises)


If you don’t have sliders, you can use a dish towel on hardwood floors or paper plates on carpet. If you’re in the market for a pair, I use these double-sided sliders (on sale for $14) that work on both hardwood and carpet.

You’ll need a deck of cards for this workout. There are also smartphone apps for deck of cards workouts you can download if you want to take this to the gym. Shuffle the deck and you’ll flip one card over at a time until you’ve gone through the entire deck. Each suit corresponds to a different exercise and the number of the cards tells you how many reps to do.

Face cards = 10 reps
Aces = 11 reps
Joker = 15 reps, exercise of your choice

As with all workouts, make sure to warm up beforehand. This 5-minute warm up is a great one if you need some guidance!

This deck of cards slider workout is a fun way to switch it up! Each suit corresponds to a different slider exercise and the number tells you the reps.

Deck of Cards Slider Exercises

CLUBS – Lunge Slide to Single Leg Bear | Start in a low lunge with your right foot forward, knee bent to 90 degrees and stacked over the ankle. The ball of your back left foot should be planted on a slider. Hinge forward at the hips so that the weight of your torso is slightly forward, over the target right leg. This will allow you to keep your back foot light. From this starting position, slide your back left foot forward, bending the knee in and staying low on your right side. Slide it back out behind you into the starting position.

Bring your hands to the ground and extend your right leg back behind you in a single-leg plank. Keeping the right leg hovering and your hips at shoulder height, bend the left knee in and then slide the leg back out into a plank. Step the right foot forward between your hands and lift your torso up to the starting low lunge position. That’s one rep. Complete the designated rep number on the right and then left.

DIAMONDS – Marching Forearm Pike | Start in a forearm plank position with your feet on sliders. Keeping your legs straight and heels lifted, pike your hips up into the air as high as you can. Lower them back down to a plank position. Do a marching plank, pressing up to hands one arm at a time and then lowering back down to forearms.  1 pike + 1 march = 1 rep. 

SPADES – Squat Jack to Heel Click | This is the only exercise not requiring the sliders. Its purpose is to provide cardio blasts throughout the workout. Start in a low squat position with feet wider than hips’ width. Staying low, jump your feet in together in a narrow squat and then back out wide. From here, jump up, tapping your heels together midair and landing back down in a wide low squat. That’s one rep.

HEARTS – Snake Crunch to Side Plank Rotation | In a plank position, feet on sliders, hands stacked under shoulders on an exercise mat, cross your right foot in front of the left and drop your heels so that you’re heel-to-toe with toes pointing towards the left. This is your starting position. From here, start bending your knees in towards your left elbow, sliding your feet forward. When you’re in as far as you can go without lowering the hips, slide the feet back out, straightening your knees back into your starting position. Release your left hand from the floor, opening up into a side plank. Return it to the floor. That’s one rep. Complete the designated rep number on the right and then left.

This deck of cards slider workout is a fun way to switch it up! Each suit corresponds to a different slider exercise and the number tells you the reps.

WEARING | Booty by Brabants leggings // Puppies Make Me Happy Pugs ‘N Roses tank (this style is sold out, but they have lots of other adorable stuff for fellow dog lovers!)

Alright, that’s all for me today. Hope your week is off to a great start!