Sunday, November 30, 2014

Strength Stack 52 Review

Awhile back, I was contacted by Michael Volkin to review his fitness program Strength Stack 52.  He explained how his fitness cards could be used for homeschoolers.  I was intrigued.  Then I was slightly intimidated at the thought of doing exercises designed by someone called a military fitness expert.  I decided to take the risk.  Or rather, I decided it would be good for the boys.  Right now my boys and young enough, and certainly active enough, that I don't believe they need a structured physical fitness routine (and physical fitness is not a "required" subject in my state, so I don't have to document it) but they certainly do need new ways to constructively burn their energy!

Strength Stack 52 review

Strength Stack 52, simply put, is a deck of cards with exercises on them.  There are a couple of instructional cards, one wild card, and the rest of the cards are suited, color coded and numbered from 1-51.  The colors signify the type of exercise (i.e. blue = cardio) but they've even gone so far as to put the color words on the card as well for those that are color blind!  How cool is that!  There are 17 unique exercises, but a total of 34 variations of those exercises.  The cards are leveled as B-Beginner, I-Intermediate, A-Advanced, so you can choose the appropriate skill level for yourself.  Each card has a picture and description of the activity, as well as a QR Code and address to see a video of the exercise being performed.

Strength Stack 52 review

It's recommended that you work through each card once so you know how to perform the exercise safely and accurately, and then you can start playing games!  Since each card is suited and numbered, there are a so many playing possibilities.  There are a variety of game suggestions on the website, so you can always keep it interesting, whether playing alone or with friends or family.

To first try the cards out, Elliott and I decided we would just work through as many cards as we could.  He was excited that the very first exercise was called Superman!  I'll admit it, he was willing to go a lot longer than me!

Strength Stack 52 review

We've used the cards a few different ways since then, once I got out of my first trimester fog.  Being very pregnant right now though, I haven't participated with the boys as much lately, but Elliott still just likes to go through the cards in order.  Sometimes I call a "Brain Break" during our school day and pull a few random cards for the boys to work their wiggles out.  When the weather's bad, and we can't enjoy our nature walks, these cards are nearby and are an easy way to burn some energy!  The boys like that sometimes we come across something they do in gymnastics warm-ups too.  Emory's favorite has always been the Ski Jumper, which is actually pictured above.  After Baby is born, I plan to get back to using the cards with the boys and maybe lose some of that not so precious baby belly that gets left behind.

These cards are great for a few reasons.  First, a deck of cards is highly portable, which means they can fit in your purse, diaper bag, glove compartment of your car.  Basically, they travel light and take up virtually no space, so exercise can always go with you!  Absolutely no equipment is required, which means everything can be done in your home, in a hotel room, basically anywhere.  The exercises range greatly so they are suitable for most ages and abilities.  There are simpler, familiar activities like jumping jacks and squats . . . but don't worry, there's a whole host of other exercises to challenge you as well!  The cards are laid out well so you understand how and what to do.  If this program is easy enough for me to understand and implement with my 5 and 7 year old kiddos, then anyone should be able to do it!  

You can purchase Strength Stack 52 for only $16.95, so it is an inexpensive way to add to your physical education repertoire (speaking as a homeschooler here) or to your fitness routine.  They would make fun stocking stuffers because of their size and uniqueness factor, and they're great for individuals or for families to do together.  Strength stack 52 offers an Expansion Deck, Insane Deck and a Weight Loss Deck, so you can continue to add variation to your fitness routine!  

You can find out more about Strength Stack 52 on their website, or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or YouTube.

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  1. The cards look great. My son is rather active and I would cut up paper and place it in a hat for when he needed a 'break-out' session or to get rid of extra energy. He'd pick out a piece of paper and just do an exercise on the paper. I guess you can use the cards in the same way.

    1. My oldest likes the "randomness" of the cards, so that's a great idea, especially in the winter when we'll be cooped up more!