Smart Play: Part 2

Do you need to increase your fitness motivation?

Engage in Smart Play today!

To perform smart play follow three (3) simple rules:

  1. Exercises must be easy to understand:  Be able to explain each exercise in 30 seconds or less.
  2. The duration of each exercise must take only 90 seconds to 2 minutes to complete:  High intensity and short duration exercises combat boredom.
  3. Perform a light-moderate warm-up for 5 to 10 minutes before an intense exercise circuit.

Play “Pick A Card”

The Game

  • Grab one deck of cards. Assign each suit (of the four total) an exercise using the four (4) exercises below (or you may choose your own exercises).  Draw one card.  The number represents the repetitions of the exercise assigned to that suit.  Each ace indicates one (1) minute of jumping rope.  A queen is a repeat of the previous card.  A jack doubles the repetitions of the next card.  A king is a one-minute recovery.  A joker denotes a “skip” that can be used to pass once on any exercise.  After you complete all repetitions for a given exercise, draw another card.  Your goal is to use the entire deck of cards in 45 to 50 minutes.
  • The following four (4) exercises target most of the major muscle groups.  Or, you may choose to adapt the game to target specific muscle groups, such as chest and legs.

Plank Row

  • Start in a plank position with hands holding two (2) dumbbells.  Hands aligned with shoulders.  Navel drawn in, and hips in a neutral position.
  • Row the right dumbbell to the rib cage while maintaining a steady plank.  Lower dumbbell to the floor.
  • Perform exercise on left side.


Image source:

Image source:

  • Start in a standing position.  Bend knees and place hands on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Extend (or jump) legs backward until hips and knees are aligned.  Draw in navel and squeeze gluteal muscles.
  • Quickly pull knees (jump in) to chest.
  • Stand up straight with arms overhead.
  • Add an optional jump.

Squat Press

  • Start in a standing position.  Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height with elbows bent and feet hip-width apart.
  • Bend knees and lower until thighs are parallel to the floor.  Maintain an upright chest and straight spine.
  • Push through heels to stand while pressing the dumbbells overhead until the arms are straight.
  • Return to starting position.

Lunge and Curl

  • Start in a standing position.  Hold a dumbbell in each hand at sides, palms facing in.
  • Step forward with left foot, lowering right knee and until left thigh is parallel to floor.
  • Push back up with left foot while performing a bicep curl.
  • Perform exercise, stepping forward with right foot.


Fiske, B. (2014). The Power of Play. The Training Edge, Spring, 28. Retrieved from

About rrluthi

Certified fitness expert with a passion for educating and empowering people of all ages (young "kiddos" to the active aging "baby boomers") about the benefits of adopting and maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle, preventing injury, and feeling good. Proven strengths applying cutting-edge fitness/wellness concepts and research through roles as a health coach, fitness trainer, group exercise instructor, and rehabilitation aide—in addition to promoting these concepts in a more systematic way through blogging and social media, community outreach, and corporate wellness program facilitation.
This entry was posted in Core Strengthening Exercises, Daily Workout, Inspiration, Tips to Stay Active and Keep Moving and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Smart Play: Part 2

  1. Pingback: Strength Training Builds Up Arm, Chest Muscles | Find Me A Cure

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