I’m going to start each week in April by sharing a deck of cards workout on the blog. This first one is all bodyweight exercises, but I’ll be incorporating equipment into the others (sliders, dumbbells, kettlebells). If you haven’t heard of this structure, it’s a really fun way to switch things up!
I’m not going to put a YouTube version of these workouts on my channel because unless you went through the whole thing at the exact same pace as me, it’d be a pain–you’d have to pause or fast forward the video after each card was turned over. Doesn’t make sense! I will have a video preview though so that you can see the exercises in action. These will be posted to my Facebook page, Instagram and embedded here. And for all my YouTube subscribers–don’t worry! I’m going to still post other workouts in video format throughout the month in addition to these.
Deck of Cards Workout (Bodyweight Exercises)
All you’ll need for this workout is a deck of cards. 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!
Deck of Cards Bodyweight Exercises
CLUBS – Surfer Get Ups | Start laying on your stomach with hands by your side. Squeeze your back and glutes to lift your chest and hands off the ground. Lower your hands back to the ground by your rib cage. From here, you’re going to explosively press up and jump into a low squat with one foot in front and the other staggered behind (think of a surfer jumping up on the board to catch a wave). From here, bring your hands back to the ground as you jump your feet back into plank lower your body to the ground with control. Repeat from the top, this time landing in low squat with your other foot in front.
DIAMONDS – Bicycle Sit Ups | Start laying on your back with your hands lightly behind your head, elbows bent out to the sides and chest open. Engage your abs, pulling your bellybutton down to the floor as you lift your legs off the ground about six inches to a hover. This is your starting position. From here, bend your right knee in towards your chest as you crunch your left elbow across to meet it, lifting your back off the floor like a twisting sit-up. Your left leg should remain outstretched in a hover as you do this. Slowly return back to the starting position and continue, crunching in the same direction the entire time. The goal is to keep the legs off the ground the whole time, but if you need to modify, your left heel can quickly rest on the floor in between reps. Complete the full number of reps on the right and then the left.
SPADES – Jump Tucks | Jump up into the air, using your core to pull your knees up towards your chest. Lower them quickly in time to land. You’ll want to bend your knees, sinking into a squat to prep for the jump, and you’ll land this same way, sinking into a squat to absorb the landing. As you jump up bring your hands in front of your rib cage and try to hit them with your knees.
Low(er) Impact Modification: Jump Squats. If you have a history of knee pain or are otherwise at risk of injury with high-impact movements, do jump squats instead of jump tucks. The landing is gentler.
HEARTS – Hovering Fire Hydrants | Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, hands stacked under shoulders, knees stacked under hips. Plant the balls of your feet on the floor and lift your knees to hover a couple inches off the floor. Keeping your right leg in that 90-degree angle, lift that knee out and up in a wing motion (like a dog lifting to take a pee), opening up at the hip. Bring it back in close to the starting position. As you do these, pay attention to your core: You want a straight spine, protecting the low back by pulling your abs in tight the whole time. You also want your hips to stay right around shoulder height, so keep your supporting leg at a hover; resist the urge to straighten your stationary knee. Complete the full number of reps on the right and then the left.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a deck of cards workout, but I’ve got a bunch from the archives on this page you can check out.