5 Crazy Card Game Workouts to do with a Partner or Solo            
  
by Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer
Author of best-seller: 
The Truth about Six-Pack Abs       

       

Instructions:         
   
1. Use all 54 cards (including the jokers).            
2. One player pulls a card for the second person, who performs the exercise and number of reps as described in the table below.            
3. Immediately after this person completes their exercise repetitions, they pull a card for the other person.            
4. Keep switching back and forth until you've gone through all 54 cards for a fun and intense full-body workout that strengthens and tones the entire body, while stimulating the metabolism, and burning serious fat.            
            
If you don't have a training partner, you can try this workout by yourself as a great variation to your normal routines; finish as much of the deck as you can and work your way up to the full deck after several weeks or months.    

Progression:  At first, if you know a lot about exercise science, you may think that one flaw to these workouts is that there's no progression. As you can see with these workouts, your exercise sequence will be completely random and different every time you do one of these workouts (since you draw the cards in a different sequence every time), but there's the exact same amount of reps for a specific workout in a deck of cards, right? 

Yes, but there are more ways to progress on an exercise routine than just reps!  So...

Here's how you progress and improve... What you need to do is time yourself (with a stop watch or exact time on a wall clock) how long it takes you (or you and your partner) to go through the entire deck of cards. You make improvements by reducing the amount of time it takes to make it through all exercises and reps in the entire deck of cards.  This essentially means that you're increasing the exercise "density" by doing the same exact amount of exercise in a shorter time period...a classic method of progression!
 

Fitness Card Game #1 (bodyweight exercises example)

 

Face Cards exercise
(*see below for more detailed descriptions of exercises)
 
Aces mountain climbers on floor        24 reps
(each leg counts as 1) 
Kings ab bicycles        24 reps
(each leg counts as 1)  
Queens  walking lunges up & back across room
(at least 6-8 steps each way)       
6-8 steps each way 
Jacks jumping jacks        15   reps
Jokers  bear crawls up & back across room
(at least 30 feet each way)*       
30 feet each way


 

 

Numbered Cards  Exercise
Black pushups
(if reg. pushups are too easy, try fingertip, clapping, or close grip)    
Red bodyweight squats
(if bw squats become too easy, try jump squats)  

perform the # of repetitions of squats or pushups based on the # on the card            
Example: Red 8 = eight bodyweight squats            
Example: Black 6 = six pushups       

* exercise descriptions and pics are at the bottom of the page       

 

Fitness Card Game #2 (barbell/dumbbell example)

            
Instructions:            
1. Here's an example routine to use the deck of cards to really shake up your weight training routine in the gym. Just grab a couple sets of dumbbells, set up a barbell with weight for deadlifts, and use a flat bench for your step ups, dumbbell bench press, and one arm rows.
2. All you need is a small area to do these so you don't have to move all over the gym from exercise to exercise.            
3. Use all 54 cards (including the jokers).            
4. One player pulls a card for the second person, who performs the exercise and number of reps as described in the table below.            
5. Immediately after this person completes their exercise repetitions, they pull a card for the other person.            
6. Keep switching back and forth until you've gone through all 54 cards for a fun and intense full-body workout that strengthens and tones the entire body, while stimulating the metabolism, and burning serious fat.            
            
If you don't have a training partner, you can try this workout by yourself as a great variation to your normal routines; finish as much of the deck as you can and work your way up to the full deck after several weeks or months.            
            
           

Face Cards   Exercise          
Aces  flat dumbbell bench presses       10  reps
Kings         dumbbell one arm rows 10 reps with each arm  
Queens  dumbbell step ups  5 reps with each leg 
Jacks  dumbbell curls        10 reps
Jokers  dumbbell forward or reverse lunges        5 reps with each leg   

 

Numbered Cards   
Black barbell deadlifts (either regular or sumo style) 
Red overhead dumbbell presses (choose a weight you could do for at least 15 reps)  


perform the # of reps of deadlifts and overhead presses based on the # on the card            
Example: Red 8 = eight overhead dumbbell presses            
Example: Black 6 = six barbell deadlifts            
            
 

 

 Fitness Card Game #3 (bodyweight exercises example)

Instructions:            
1. Use all 54 cards (including the jokers).            
2. One player pulls a card for the second person, who performs the exercise and number of reps as described in the table below.            
3. Immediately after this person completes their exercise repetitions, they pull a card for the other person.            
4. Keep switching back and forth until you've gone through all 54 cards for a fun and intense full-body workout that strengthens and tones the entire body, while stimulating the metabolism, and burning serious fat.            
            
If you don't have a training partner, you can try this workout by yourself as a great variation to your normal routines; finish as much of the deck as you can and work your way up to the full deck after several weeks or months.            
            

 

Face Cards            
 
Exercise
(*see below for more detailed descriptions of exercises)
 
Aces              mountain jumpers on floor
(both legs at same time) 
15 reps
Kings ab scissors or V-ups        15 reps   
Queens crab walks up & back across room
(20 to 30 feet each way)
30 feet each way    
 Jacks         military burpees        15 reps
Jokers duck waddles up & back across room
(20 to 30 feet each way) 
30 feet each way  

 

Numbered Cards    
            
Black
pushups (if reg. pushups are too easy, try fingertip, clapping, or close grip) 
Red bodyweight squats (if bw squats become too easy, try jump squats) 

perform the # of repetitions of squats or pushups based on the # on the card            
Example: Red 8 = eight bodyweight squats            
Example: Black 6 = six pushups

* exercise descriptions and pics are at the bottom of the page 

 

Fitness Card Game #4 (bodyweight exercises example) 

Instructions:            
1. Use all 54 cards (including the jokers).            
2. One player pulls a card for the second person, who performs the exercise and number of reps as described in the table below.            
3. Immediately after this person completes their exercise repetitions, they pull a card for the other person.            
4. Keep switching back and forth until you've gone through all 54 cards for a fun and intense full-body workout that strengthens and tones the entire body, while stimulating the metabolism, and burning serious fat.            
            
If you don't have a training partner, you can try this workout by yourself as a great variation to your normal routines; finish as much of the deck as you can and work your way up to the full deck after several weeks or months.  

 

 Face Cards   Exercise
(*see below for more detailed descriptions of exercises)
 
 Aces                       wheel barrel walk partner across floor and back  30 feet each way    
 Kings    military burpees with pushup
(stand, down to pushup, pop up to stand)        
6 reps
 Queens standing reverse lunges        6 each leg 
 Jacks                             breakdancers, aka - grasshoppers   8 to each side
 Jokers    opposite raise on hands/knees
(raise hand and opposite leg simultaneously)  
6 each side 

 

 Numbered Cards   
 Black                              pushups (if reg. pushups are too easy, try fingertip, clapping, or close grip)
 Red  bodyweight squats (if bw squats become too easy, try jump squats)            

perform the # of repetitions of squats or pushups based on the # on the card            
Example: Red 8 = eight bodyweight squats            
Example: Black 6 = six pushups

* exercise descriptions and pics are at the bottom of the page 

 

Fitness Card Game #5 - The "Ab Assault" 

Instructions:            
1. Use all 54 cards (including the jokers).            
2. One player pulls a card for the second person, who performs the exercise and number of reps as described in the table below.            
3. Immediately after this person completes their exercise repetitions, they pull a card for the other person.            
4. Keep switching back and forth until you've gone through all 54 cards for a fun and intense full-body workout that strengthens and tones the entire body, while stimulating the metabolism, and burning serious fat.            
            
If you don't have a training partner, you can try this workout by yourself as a great variation to your normal routines; finish as much of the deck as you can and work your way up to the full deck after several weeks or months. 

 

 Face Cards   Exercise
(*see below for more detailed descriptions of exercises)
 
             
 Aces  
 lying leg thrusts       12 reps
 
 Kings     ab scissors       12 reps
 Queens                   reverse crunches
(roll back knees behind head)       
15 reps
 Jacks     ab bicycles         24 total
(12 each leg)
 Jokers   alternating crunches
(elbows to knees alternating)       
18 total  

 

 Numbered Cards      
 Black  pushups (if reg. pushups are too easy, try fingertip, clapping, or close grip) 
 Red  bodyweight squats (if bw squats become too easy, try jump squats)   

perform the # of repetitions of squats or pushups based on the # on the card            
Example: Red 8 = eight bodyweight squats            
Example: Black 6 = six pushups

* exercise descriptions and pics are at the bottom of the page 


     

Exercise Descriptions         
            
bodyweight squats - stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width and arms held straight out in front of body; keeping your weight back on your heels instead of the balls of your feet, squat down and back by "sitting back" with your hips; squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, and then push back up to starting position. For a more difficult version, try jump squats in which you forcefully explode up on the squat so that you actually jump off the ground, then come right back down into the next jump squat on your landing.           
 
                 
            
walking lunges - lunge forward until your thigh is approximately parallel to the ground; make sure to take a long enough stride so that your knee does not extend past your toes and your shin is nearly vertical; from that position, move directly into the lunge forward with the opposite leg; you will essentially lunge walk across the room or field and back.             
                  
                        

standing reverse lunges - lunge backwards bringing the front thigh down to parallel with the ground; knee should not go forward past toes and keep shin vertical; alternate legs            
            
            
mountain climbers - get down on hands and feet in pushup position; quickly bring one leg in so it's under chest; quickly switch to other leg; keep quickly switching legs so that it looks as if you were climbing a mountain     
       
             
            
mountain jumpers - get down on hands and feet in pushup position; quickly bring both legs in so they are under chest and immediately pop back out to starting position; keep quickly "jumping" both legs in so that it looks as if you were jumping, while on the ground.    
        
              
            
ab bicycles - Start by lying on your back on a mat with both your hips and your knees at 90ï‚° angles and your head and shoulders slightly lifted off the ground with your fingers touching the sides of your head (not pulling on the back of your head). Perform the movement by crunching the left side of your upper body off the floor and bringing your left elbow and right knee together simultaneously. Then extend your right knee out and bring your right elbow and left knee together simultaneously. This ends up almost mimicking a bicycling movement in a lying position, except keeping your legs moving in and out linearly instead of cyclically.           
 
                      
              

ab scissors - lie on your back; with legs straight and out about 45 degrees from vertical and arms out straight and back about 45 degrees from vertical, bring legs and arms up together and cross slightly as in a "scissor" motion.            

              
            
bear crawls - get down on hands and feet and crawl forward on hands and feet (not knees) across room or field and back   
         
            

crab walks - sit down on the ground with your hands behind your back and feet on the ground in front of you; then elevate your waist off the ground so that your weight is on your feet and the palms of your hands and your torso is nearly parallel to the ground; then walk forward using your hands and feet      
      
            
                        
reverse crunches - lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor, your knees at a 90ï‚° angle, your palms on the floor by your hips, and your head and shoulders slightly lifted off the ground. Slowly crunch your lower body off the ground by curling your pelvis back toward your head. Do not use momentum. Rather, use your abdominal strength to perform the movement.     
        
            
         
lying leg thrusts - 2 part movement; lie on your back with your head and shoulders raised off of the floor, your hands (palms down) on the mat by your hips, and your legs at a 90ï‚° angle from the floor. Slowly lower your legs only half way to the floor to an angle of approximately 45ï‚° from the floor. From the 45ï‚° position, raise your legs back up to the 90ï‚° position, and then thrust your hips off the floor about 6-8 inches.   
         
         

                            
breakdancers - get down in pushup position; bring right leg under body so that it nearly touches the left hand; immediately reverse movement and bring left leg under body to near the right hand; it should look like a jumping action, almost like elementary breakdancing.  
          
             
            
military burpees - start in a normal athletic stance; lean fwd and drop down quickly to floor and immediately into pushup position with arms extended; then pull legs back in under body and immediately jump back up to a stance.            

            
            
opposite raise on hands/knees - assume a position on your hands and knees. Raise your right arm and left leg out simultaneously and hold for three seconds. Repeat movement with the opposite leg and arm. Alternate reps from side to side.             
            
             

duck waddles - squat all the way down with your butt near your heels; without getting up, walk or waddle forward; kind of resembles of duck walking…your partner will be laughing at how goofy you look doing this!            
                    
       
These card game workouts are fun!  ...and a great way to "spice" up your workouts. Feel free to share this page with any friends, family, or colleagues you know that might enjoy these fun fitness card games as a way of getting in better shape.      Sharing buttons are below to make it easier to share this page with your friends and family:

        

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