Full-body workouts are useful in many ways. Not only does it prevent injury from overusing and targeting one muscle group only—alongside a healthy diet, a full-body workout is also more effective for fat loss. Strength training with cardio, for example, builds lean tissue (muscles) as your body burns calories.
But even full-body workouts can be tedious and repetitive if you do the same routine every day, so it really does help to switch things out every now and then. A creative way to come up with a well-rounded and interesting workout program is with a deck of cards and the standard rules of poker.
Here’s how to shuffle your fitness routine with a full-body poker workout:
What Is a fully-body poker workout
A full-body poker workout uses a card deck to devise your own workout routine. One suit is dedicated to a specific exercise—for example, a Bulgarian squat for Diamonds and a plank for your Spades. Whatever card you pull from the deck will tell you which exercise to perform. You can dedicate a series of exercises to cardio alone, and then strength for the next four suits. But you can also combine both for one series and then do another deck with different exercises.
Once you pull from a deck, the number on the card will tell you how many reps to do. How many you’d need to do depends on its value on a poker hand ranking chart, where 2 is the card with the lowest value (2 reps) and King is the highest (13 reps). The number of reps assigned to your Ace depends on your preference, much like how Aces are valued differently depending if poker players are in a game of “Ace High” or “Ace Low.” If you pull a 4 of Diamonds, for instance, then you have to do 4 reps of a Bulgarian squat.
Poker workouts are quick as you can go through a whole deck in 10 minutes or less. However, you can lessen or increase the duration of your working out by sticking to one deck or adding another series of suit exercises if you have more time.
How to get started
When getting started with your full-body poker workout plan, the only thing you really need to do is have clear fitness goals. Setting goals helps you select the appropriate exercises to assign to each suit. If you want to have toned legs, for example, you can assign a whole series (4 suits) to leg workouts. Meanwhile, if you want to train both your leg and arm muscles, you can assign half the deck for leg exercises and the other half for arm exercises.
You can shuffle the content of your routine whenever you’re bored or targeting a new goal. You can do this routine two to three times a week. Each series should last no more than 45 minutes.
Just make sure to look up videos of unfamiliar exercises to ensure that you’re doing them properly. Proper form is the secret to preventing common exercise injuries, such as sprains and extreme muscle pain.
It may not be easy to start a fitness commitment. Some may be too busy to work out with all the responsibilities on their plate. But with a fully-body poker workout, exercising could finally be a priority that you could easily insert into your packed schedule.
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