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HIIT the Deck

HIIT the Deck

A high-intensity interval card game to help you summon some endorphins.

It’s still (way too) cold outside and for many of us that means a personal polar vortex of inactivity and blob-ishness, especially when we prefer taking our workout into the great outdoors. If, in these final weeks of winter (we hope), you’re not feeling motivated to hit the trails or even jog out to the car to head to the gym, that’s ok. Instead, here’s a quick game of cards designed to make you feel human again. So grab a deck, throw on some workout gear (your pajamas work, too) and let’s get moving. 

If you don’t have a deck of cards on hand, there are many virtual card deck options available online or in app form.

Step 1: Warm up
1-minute forearm plank (okay to modify on knees)
1-minute mountain climbers
30-second side plank right
30-second side plank left
2-3 strenuous rounds of deck shuffling

Step 2: Assign the deck
Assign each suit to an exercise from the suggestions below. Feel free to focus on one or entirely or mix it up for a more full-body approach.

Hearts: _________
Spades: _________
Clubs: _________
Diamonds: _________

Choose from the below options or swap in any of your favorites. These are all no-equipment options, but if you’ve got a set of dumbbells you’d like to break out, it’s all fair game!

Cardio/Full Body
Burpees
Mountain climbers
Plank Jacks
Squat jumps

Upper Body
Push-ups (wide or narrow)
Tricep Dips
High plank to forearm plank transition
Plank arm row and rotate

Lower Body
Squats (narrow or wide)
Curtsy squats
Donkey kicks
Alternating leg lifts in bridge

Core
Alternating hip dips from plank position
Standard crunches (oblique or center)
Legs-up crunches
Bicycles

Step 3: HIIT the deck
Now that your suits are assigned, it’s time to draw the full deck, one card at a time. If you pull a 5 of diamonds and you’ve assigned diamonds to crunches, then do 5 crunches. 

Then, pull the next card and repeat until the deck is clear.

Jack = 11 reps
Queen = 12 reps
King = 13 reps

*If you choose a bilateral exercise for one of your suits, like donkey kicks, then do however many reps on EACH side for each card.

That’s about it! This fun indoor workout can help banish the winter blues and is incredibly versatile. Choose whatever exercises you’re in the mood for and make smart choices based on any injuries or areas of focus. Most importantly, start moving and get your heart rate up just enough to pull you out of the winter rut. You’ll boost your immune function and mood, and set a positive tone for the day.

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