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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DIVAGLOW 5/24/2021
Fun idea, thanks Report
ROBINRS 4/26/2021
love this idea! new routine everyday and fun. Report
CD26750174 3/30/2021
Need to find something easy on knees Report
ARNETTELEE 11/18/2020
thanks Report
KATHYJO56 9/14/2020
Interesting Report
CECELW 8/31/2020
I love this idea Report
CHERYLHURT 6/29/2020
Thanks Report
Interesting idea! Report
This is an awesome idea. I want to try it out. Report
Great Article! Thanks for sharing this one!!! Report
Maybe some day I could try this. I'm more inclined to pick a suit & assign a cardio activity for the day then cut the deck. Hearts - walking; Diamonds - cycling; Clubs - dancing; Spades - elliptical. Numbers could be minutes (maybe times 10?) Or how many blocks you walk, miles you ride, songs you dance to, how much resistance, etc.
Maybe a joker is a rest day, face cards mean a strength training session too. Report
Great ideas! Thanks! Report
Very goood idea! Report
Great Tips! Thanks! Report
Cute idea Report
I like this idea! Report
This is different! Report
Thanks for sharing! Report
thanks for the ideas Report
Great idea...and fun. Thanks for a new way to do a fun workout. Report
Cute idea and very adaptable. Report
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