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5 Fitness Moves You Can Totally Do in Your Dorm Room
No time to head to the campus gym? This quick sweat session can be done in your dorm room (roomie participation optional).
The gym is all the way across campus. Your favorite leggings are in the wash. There’s only an hour before Intro to Biology starts. Plus, it’s raining.
If you think this sounds like the perfect excuse to skip today’s workout…nope. With this dorm-room routine in hand, you can get a total-body session done in half an hour, without setting a foot outside. This workout is guaranteed to amp up your energy, whether you’re headed next to class, the library or just hanging out on the quad (plus, if you’re about to settle in for hours of studying, a little movement will help you fight the effects of being too sedentary).
If you need more reasons to break a sweat, check this out: A quick workout might actually improve your grades. In addition to the mental health benefits of exercise, research shows that regular aerobic exercise changes the brain to improve memory and thinking skills (just another reason to lace up those training shoes).
The other useful thing, considering most college dorms rooms are the size of glorified closets, is that all of these moves can be done without equipment in less than 30 minutes. Start here.
Total-Body Dorm-Room Workout
What you’ll be doing here is known as a Tabata-style workout. This is a high-intensity interval workout where you’ll do one move for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. You’ll repeat this work/rest combo eight times for a total of four minutes. The key to this workout is to work as hard as you can for those 20 seconds, knowing you’ll get a rest soon. After each exercise, you’ll get 60 seconds to rest before moving on to your next challenge.
Warmup: 30 seconds each of squats, alternating lunges, pushups and planks.
Tabata #1: Reverse Lunge to Single-Leg Hop
Stand with your feet together. Step back with your left foot, bending both knees so that your left knee hovers a few inches above the floor at a 90-degree angle. (Left knee should be directly under left hip; left ankle should be in line with left knee.) Shift your weight to your right side, press your right foot into the ground and straighten your right leg as you jump into the air. (Use your left back leg to propel you higher by swinging your left knee forward at a 90-degree angle.) Land and return to your lunge with your left foot back to complete one rep.
Note: For this exercise, you’ll work one side at a time: 20 seconds on your left leg; rest 10 seconds. Then 20 seconds on your right leg, alternating throughout the four minutes.
Tabata #2: Shoulder-Tap Pushups
Start in a high plank position: Shoulders above your wrists, arms straight, hips in line with shoulders and back flat. Place your feet a little wider than hip-width apart. To modify, place your knees on the ground. Bend elbows and slowly lower your entire body towards the floor. (Imagine yourself as the head of an arrow). Once your elbows are in line with your shoulders and chest is hovering over the ground, exhale and push back to the start in one smooth, straight line.
At the top of your pushup, shift your weight to your left side, lift your right hand off the floor and tap your left shoulder (aim for the strap of your sports bra). Repeat on the opposite side, keeping your hips level to engage your core. That’s one rep.
Tabata #3: Knee-to-Elbow Bodyweight Squats
Start in a standing position with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Place your hands behind your head, elbows bent and out wide. With your weight in your heels, bend your knees into a squat, keeping your back flat and chest up. Straighten halfway out of the squat, driving your right knee and your left elbow toward each other as if you’re doing an oblique crunch. Lower back down into your squat and repeat the oblique crunch on opposite side. Squat again, then straighten to standing to complete one rep.
Tabata #4: Triceps Dip
Enlist the help of your desk chair (or a sturdy coffee table) for this one. Sit in the chair, arms straight by your sides and hands holding on to either side of the seat. Scoot your butt forward so that it is no longer in the seat, and your weight is being supported by your arms. Stretch your legs out in front of the chair. (If that’s too hard, keep knees bent, feet under knees.) Slowly bend your elbows and lower your butt to the floor, keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips and your back close to the chair. Once your elbows reach a 90-degree angle, straighten your arms and return to your starting position. That’s one rep.
T abata #5: Jumping Jack-and-Jab
Finish this dorm room workout with a quick cardio burst. Start with a regular jumping jack, jumping your legs and arms out wide, then back together. Before your next jump, pivot so that your left hip leads. Jump with your left side forward and punch straight out with your left arm. (Imagine a boxer jab.) Jump your feet and arms back together and square off your body. Repeat the regular jumping jack, then switch sides, leading with your right hip forward as you punch out with your right arm. That’s one rep.
Feeling hungry after your workout? Take a look at these trending approaches to healthy diets that have nothing to do with weight loss.