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Deck of Cards Workout

by Kaitie Jacoby, personal trainer at acac West Chester and acac Eagleview

Whether you are looking to switch up your typical exercise routine or looking for an at home or travel friendly workout that won’t require going to a gym or much equipment — this workout is for you! No gym, weights, or machines necessary; all you need is a deck of cards!  Here’s how it works:

Equipment: A deck of cards. Yes, it’s that simple!

How to:

– Each suit represents a different exercise

– Repetitions are determined by the value of the card you draw

– Face card values are: Jack (11 reps) Queen (12 reps) King (13 reps) and the lucky Ace… (20 reps)

– Simply place a full (or half, depending on how long you want your workout to be!) deck of cards in a stack, draw a single card from the top, and complete the coordinating exercise

Play by yourself for a quick but intense total body workout, or play with your friends for a little competitive motivation!


            Hearts: Side stepping lunges (alternating sides) OR standing body weight squats

            Spades: Push-ups (Modification: complete push-ups on your hands and knees)

            Diamonds: Bicycle crunches

            Clubs: Cardio round! Options: squat jumps, alternating lunge jumps, jogging in place, marching in place, jump rope. Get your heart rate up and just keep moving!

Feel free to make this workout your own! Change up the movements depending on your goals and athletic ability level. Just be sure to incorporate movements that will incorporate as many body parts as possible!

Contact Kaitie at kaitlinj@acac.com to learn more about fit living.