The No Excuse Deck of Cards Bodyweight Workout

Try these anywhere, anytime bodyweight exercises, and the killer deck of cards game to build a fun and challenging workout.

What if you have a few minutes only, a little time before you get back to work, pick up the kids, go to your next appointment? Do you get in a quick workout in or scroll through the posts on your phone?

What if you have a few minutes only, a little time before you get back to work, pick up the kids, go to your next appointment? Do you get in a quick workout in or scroll through the posts on your phone?

The exercises that follow can be done in a quarter of an hour. They are simple and you can do them anywhere. And, at the end of the article, I have shown you how you can adapt them with a friend or training partner to create the Deck of Cards workout and challenge yourself more deeply at the gym. So the following exercises in sequence, no rest in-between, like a circuit, and see how far you get in 15 minutes.


Standing up tall with your legs straight (can have slight bend), bring your fingertips down to the ground and slowly walk your hands forward until you are in a pushup position, complete two pushups (that’s one more than what’s in this demo video), then walk your feet up back to the original position. That’s one rep. Do – 5 Reps.

Squat With Pause

With your feet shoulder-width apart, core engaged, bring your butt back and down until your hips are aligned with your knees. Pause for a three-count and then bring yourself back up to the original position. If this is too easy, then grab a weighted object to hold close to your chest. Do – 15 Reps.

T-Push Up

Start with your hands and feet shoulder-width apart and the crease of your elbow facing forward. Keep your core engaged as you lower yourself until your nose is an inch off of the ground. Push up to the starting position as you rotate your body to one side and extend that hand overhead, forming a T with your torso and arms. Do – 6 Reps (each side).

Squat Jump

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower yourself until you are in a quarter squat position, then explosively jump straight in the air. Land with soft feet by lowering right into the quarter-squat position with minimal force. Do – 15 Reps.

Elbow Plank-to-Push Up

Start in a plank position with both elbows/forearms on the ground, then place one hand flat on the ground and push yourself up into the top of a push-up position, pause for a second, then bring yourself back down to the original plank. Repeat this process, alternating the hand you place down on the ground first. Do – 6 Reps (each side).

Side Plank

Start out on your side with your elbow directly under your shoulder and your legs straight. Keep your core engaged as you drive your hip into the air, pause for a three-second count, then return to the starting position. Repeat these steps on your other side. Do – 10 Reps (each side).

Diamond Push Up

Start out at the top of a push-up position with your hands forming a diamond. Lower yourself until your nose is about an inch off the ground, then push yourself back up to the starting position. Do – 15 Reps.

Lunge Jump

Start in a standing position. Take a step forward lowering yourself until your back knee is a couple of inches off the ground. Explosively jump up, landing back in the original position. That’s one. Complete all prescribed reps on one leg before switching to the other. Do – 10 Reps (each side).

The Deck of Cards Workout

You need a training partner, a deck of cards, and you’re ready to challenge yourself more dynamically. It’s really simple to push yourself, get results and have some fun so, you can keep this routine in your back pocket for any time you are stuck for a workout:

  1. Pick a bodyweight exercise: you could start with either push-ups or squats.
  2. Pick a card.
  3. Perform the number of reps that you see on the card with the exercise you choose. Either: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack (11), Queen (12), King (13), or Ace (15).
  4. Have your training partner pick a card and do the reps on the card.
  5. Go through all the cards in the deck.
  6. You can do combos of exercises, too, mixing two or three different exercises.

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