1. Fast aces
This is a fun game in which your workout is determined literally by the hand that you are dealt. All you need is a pack of cards and to create a rule sheet (or use ours below). This will give you a full-body workout and a good laugh as the cards turn and command you to get moving.
Participants: 2-6 (6 is ideal).
Equipment: A deck of cards and a rules sheet.
Set-up: Deck of cards and find a marker 30m-50m away.
Instructions: Everyone sits in a circle around the deck of cards. One person turns a card and does the corresponding exercise (individually or as a group – see the rule sheet). As soon as the person starts the exercise (or the group finishes the “everybody” exercise), the person to the left turns a card and does their exercise. Keep going like this around the circle as fast as you can. If people are doing exercises and someone draws an “Everybody” card, everyone must finish off the exercise they are doing before you start the group exercise. Work through the deck of cards as quickly as you can and keep an eye on the aces so you know how many times you have to run to the marker and back. The action doesn’t stop until you have turned over every card, so get ready to sweat and laugh!
You can modify your rule sheet to work specific muscles.
Ace Run out and back to your chosen marker 30m-50m away (multiplied by the amount of aces that have been turned as you progress through the game)
King Everybody plank for 60 seconds
Queen 20 jump squats (or normal squats)
Jack Everybody do 20 star jumps
Ten Everybody do 15 squats
Nine Everybody run out and back
Eight Run out and back with a mate – choose someone that you want to make sweat!
Seven Heaven (you get to rest this turn)
Six 20 mountain climbers
Five 10 push-ups
Four 10 sit-ups
Three 10 lunges
Two 10 squats
2. Hot Potato Cardio
This game will make you laugh and sweat at the same time. Pair up and race against your friends through exercises and basic skill components that become slightly more challenging under the pressure of racing and as you laugh and goof around with friends.
Participants: If there are four or more of you, race. If not, just race against the clock instead.
Goal: Race to complete 10 laps.
Equipment: Tennis ball, netball or soccer ball and 3 cones per pair.
Set-up: 3 cones in a straight line per team. Place 1 cone at 0m (cone A), 1 at 10m (cone B) and another at 20m-30m (cone C).
Instructions: Both teammates start at cone A. One teammate, holding the ball, runs around cone C and back to cone B, stops, does 10 body-weight squats, then turns to face cone C and throws the ball over their head to their teammate at cone A, like a bouquet of flowers at a wedding. If the teammate catches the ball, they complete a lap, as their teammate just did. But if they drop it, both teammates complete 5 push-ups (or push-up variation, or burpees if you’re adventurous) to then complete the lap. Repeat this until you have completed 10 laps. With 4 or more people it can be a really fun race that will get your heart pumping.
Tip: A flat throw is faster, but a looping throw with a higher arch is easier to catch.
Note: Feel free to change the exercises to focus on the body parts you want to strengthen.
3. The Circle of Strength
This follow-the-leader game will get you doing exercises that you might not usually do and challenges everyone to work every muscle in their body, building full-body strength and fitness and aiding in weight loss. The best part is that as a group you’re all in it together. People of all levels can participate as you are just doing as many quality reps as you can in 30 seconds.
Participants: Two or more.
Equipment: Phone timer (look for an interval app). You can also use weights if you have enough for everyone.
Instructions: Start by sitting in a circle. Go around the circle and allocate a number to each participant. If you are an odd number, try to think of 3 different lower-body exercises (such as lunges). If you are an even number, choose 3 different upper-body or core exercises (such as star jumps). The person who is number 1 chooses the first exercise. Everybody does the exercise for 30 seconds, then the group rests for 10 seconds while the next person chooses an exercise. Everyone does that exercise for 30 seconds and around you go. Every 10 exercises or so, go for a fast walk or run for about 1 minute, then rest for 1 minute. After the rest period, form the circle again and start round 2. Keep mixing up the exercises as much as possible, trying not to repeat the same exercise in the same round. Go for a total of 15-20 minutes and you have a great little workout!
Article first published, 1 May, 2017.
Image: (L) Natalie Hawkins has lost 10kgs (C) Jasmine Acorn has lost 30kgs (R) Michelle Jenkins-Pickles has lost 33kgs with Weight Watchers.