popsicle stick workout jar

Popsicle Stick Workouts

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Popsicle Stick Workouts

It’s time for another Pinterest Challenge, friends! If you weren’t around the last time I did one of these, basically, it’s a self-instituted challenge to stop pinning and actually turn some of the ideas on my Pinterest boards into reality. In the past, I’ve made cake stands, figured out an easy-to-make spray for wavy hair and made a mirror made out of Goodwill finds and flatware. But today, we’re talking workouts!

Pinterest is a really interesting place when it comes to health and fitness. And by “interesting” I mean, “scary”. It’s full of thinspiration, workouts created by people who aren’t personal trainers and lots of unhealthy tips and tricks for dropping weight fast. It’s basically my least favorite area of Pinterest. Which is sad, because it has the potential for being an amazing place to share inspiring stories, workouts and foods.


But alas, if you push aside all that unhealthy stuff, there are a few really amazing fitness-related gems on Pinterest, and one of them was this amazing workout jar idea:

The pin doesn’t link to an original source (which I never like) but whoever came up with this, you are awesome! What a great idea! Basically, you write exercises on some popsicle sticks, put them in a jar and then pull them out at random to build yourself a work out. I loved the idea! I love that there are a lot of different combinations to make a wide variety of workouts. Such a great way to bust boredom.

What I didn’t love? The total randomness. What if I got five back exercises and no cardio or other muscle groups? What if I got just one of each muscle group and didn’t get enough of workout on any part of my body? Oh! The horror!

So I removed the total randomness. I made categories! I started by painting popsicle sticks in six different colors.


And then I worked on groups of exercises in each of six different categories: cardio, core, legs, arms, back and chest. The idea: for each workout, I pull out one stick of each color and suddenly, I’ve got myself a well-rounded, custom-designed workout!

I used a thin black Sharpie to jot each workout down on the light-colored dried popsicle sticks and a thin silver paint pen on the dark ones.

Now, before I head to the gym, all I have to do is pull out one of each color to plan out a full-body strength and cardio workout.

If I want to do a more targeted workout (like, for example, focusing on legs), I can pull two or three from one color and combine that with some cardio.

I’m so in love with this system. It’s totally personalized to me and my abilities (which is why I won’t be sharing the full list of workouts with you). I also included a mixture of really difficult and pretty easy ones. Somedays I’ll get lucky. Some I won’t. The only rule? I get what I get. No switching them out once I pull it out! I also love that it’s so easy to add more sticks if I get bored with the current selection and switch them out when I need harder or easier workouts. Oh, and the colors are fun, too!

Have you ever found any fitness gems on Pinterest?

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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32 Responses
    1. Cassie

      Thanks! I actually used to have terrible handwriting, but I took a Communications Law class in college that required notebook after notebook full of handwritten notes. So I decided to use that class to force myself to have better handwriting. And it stuck!

      1. Dan

        If only I had the time for what appears to be about hour and a half workouts =[. That said, this is a really neat idea. Way to go!

  1. tina

    You are BRILLIANT! Great fix and your jar looks so pretty, I think the biggest couch potato would be motivated to do a multicolored workout!

    1. Cassie

      It’s hard not to be motivated! And I love that it’s flexible. Like, today, my legs are a little tight, so I can just not pull out an orange stick! Yay!

  2. So I can’t decide what I think of this idea.
    I’m anal when it comes to putting together workout routines. I set them out and do them for 4, 6, 8, or even 12 weeks. It would feel really weird for me to change my routine on a weekly basis.
    Plus I don’t know if I could fit all the exercises I want to do on a single popsicle stick.
    On the plus side, at least you’re picking from the same pool of exercises every week so the variance isn’t too great. That’s a positive.

    1. Cassie

      I actually really enjoy the variety. I think I get my strongest when I’m doing a wide-variety of exercises. I’ve seen the most results when I’m kinda all over the place.

  3. Anna

    I’m trying to get into a routine of doing more of these exercises. DO you have a list somewhere of the ones you wrote down, or good websites for finding them? I’d love to mimic this idea!

  4. Ashley G.

    Hi Cassie–I’ve been reading BTHR for a while now and just decided to delurk and comment! This is such a cute and creative way to increase the variety of your workouts–I love it! Also, I love your blog, especially your recipes and crafts! I’m saving for a sewing machine and can’t wait to make your reusable snack bags! I would love to see more sewing and crafts on the blog!

    1. Cassie

      Thanks Ashley! Glad you delurked. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now that we’re finally starting to unpack, I’m really hoping to dust off my sewing machine and getting back to crafting. Although, honestly, most of those things will be posted over at The Broken Plow (unless they have something directly to do with food and fitness). Thank you for reading!

  5. vicki

    Would you be able to write a list of the workouts you have written on your sticks? I am in the process of trying to develop a routine for myself and I have no idea where to start.



  6. Vicki G

    I was wondering if you would be able to post a list of all the workouts that you have on your sticks? I am starting to make a workout plan for myself and need some good ideas.



  7. Hey Cassie!

    I don’t know if you’ll actually see this comment since it’s been so long since the original post but I was wondering if you could please (possibly) show the full list of what’s written on your popsicles… I’m feeling really uncreative but I love this idea. Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚



    I have been trying hard to get my CERTIFIED ACE/STEP Kickboxing, Aerobics, Water and Personal Trainer I love your idea Cassie. But I warn everyone that reading a book or watching a tape or even trying to use the popsicle sticks you need someone to correct your form or number of reps . otherwise you can hurt yourself terribly and have to live with that injury for maybe years. Please for your own sake find a class with a certified instructor either in your gym or park district or classes taught by instructors that can help you. No one starts out performing perfect form. But be patient with a class and learn how to do the exercise right and you will really enjoy your workouts. Have any of you ever pulled a muscle or after running or walking too fast and your shins hurt real bad? Those are called Shin Splints because that’s what you did you splintered part of your shin bone. Anyway this needs rest using legs elevated and warm compacs for 15 min. then cold etc. Any muscle you may strain needs rest and similar compacs to heal it. Shin splints can take 2 – 3 weeks to heal and muscles 24 to 48 hours until you can workout again. Every other day is ok unless you are injured. Sweating, huffing and puffing is not a good workout. A good test to see if you are working out well is if you can still talk to a partner but if it is too easy to talk you need to pick it up. If you can hardly breathe must yet talk you’re working too hard. You should be able to talk but not fast and not long sentences. I have a lot more instructions for working out so reply here if you have a question I could help you with. ?

  9. Sarah

    I know this post is from a few years ago, but do you by any chance have the workouts that you used? I would love to do this, but I’m terrible at coming up with stuff

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Hello. My name is Cassie, and Iโ€™m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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