For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Jul 27 2016
by Meghan Field

10 Places In Your Dorm You Didn't Know You Could Turn Into A Gym

By Meghan Field - Jul 27 2016

For those of us that like to stay in bed, finding the motivation to get up and workout can be a major struggle. Fortunately, you don't have to build up the courage to leave your room, exit your residence hall and trek out to he gym, which can be dreadful, especially during the times of year when it is blazing hot or bitter cold out. You are able to workout in your dorm, which is a major plus for when you are short on time or are only planning to work out for a short period of time and not use major workout machines. In your dorm, you are able to work on cardio, strength, endurance and flexibility. You don't even need any equipment!

Almost anywhere you could think of you are able to do exercises. Listed below are types of exercises you can do categorized by where in your dorm you can perform them as well as if they are cardio, strength, endurance or flexibility exercises.

Exercises on Your Wall

Wall Slide (Strength)

1. Stand with your head, upper back and butt touching a wall.

2. Raise your arms so that the back of your hands touch the wall.

3. Bend your elbows 90 degrees with your upper arms parallel to the ground.

4. Pull your shoulders down and back as you slide your elbows up the wall as far as you can. Then slide your elbows down the wall as far as you can.

5. Keep your butt, upper back, head, hands and elbows in contact with the wall throughout the movements.

6. Perform exercise for 90 seconds. Take a 30 second rest period and complete two more sets.

Make it harder: Push your entire body against the wall as hard as you can to create more resistance.

Meghan Field

Wall Sit (Strength)

1. Lean against a wall with your feet two feet away from it at shoulder width apart.

2. Slowly lower your butt and while bending your knees. Make sure you keep your head, back and tailbone in contact with the wall. Your knees should never go past your ankles.

3. As you are descending, make various stops. Every six inches is a good place to start, but as you become more experienced you can make more frequent stops as you go down.

4. Once you are at a stop, hold that position and squeeze your core for 30 seconds.

5. Continue you down the wall until you are in a wall sit (should be a 90 degree angle) at your desired interval.

6. Do the same thing but going up the wall now until you are back in your starting position.

7. Take a 30 second rest period and repeat the exercise two more times.

Make it harder: Push your feet against the ground really hard to create more tension in your thighs. Play around with the width of your feet, as well. You can either make your stance wider or narrower.

Meghan Field

Wall Splits (Flexibility)

1. Stand with your back against the wall. 

2. Reach your arms over your head, bend at your hips and place your hands on the floor. 

3. Keep your legs straight, but do not lock your knees. 

4. Rest your body weight on your hands and the foot that will stay on the ground. 

5. Slide your leg against the wall. 

6. Hold the position for 30 seconds. 

7. Slowly move your leg away from the wall and repeat with the other leg.

Make it harder: Try to take your hands off of the ground and lift up your chest to try to balance.

Meghan Field

Exercises While Standing Up

Calf Raises (Endurance)

1. Stand straight up with your hands by your side and your feet together. 

2. Lift your heels at whatever pace you desire and then count to 10 as you lower your heels to the ground. 

3. Repeat the calf raises 15 times. 

4. Move your feet farther apart in two inch increments and repeat steps 1-3.

5. Once your feet are as far out as they can go where you can still do calf raises, repeat the calf raises but bring your feet towards each other in two inch increments.

Make it harder: Vary the speeds in which you do your calf raises.

Meghan Field

Squat Jumps (Cardio)

1. Stand up straight with your knees slightly bent and your feet shoulder width apart. 

2. Squat down. Keep your hips back, back straight and your head facing forward. 

3. Immediately jump upwards. Reach upward as high as you can with your hands as you jump up while keeping your shoulders down. 

4. Land in the same position you started in. Swing your arms back and immediately jump up again. 

5. Do three sets of 20 squat jumps.

Make it harder: While you are in the air, switch directions by 180 degrees.

Meghan Field

Jumping Jacks, High Knees and Butt Kick Combo (Cardio)

1. Start off by facing one wall. Do 25 jumping jacks and then face the next wall. You should have rotated over one wall. 

2. Repeat two more times until you are facing the front wall again, then go the opposite way you just went until you are facing the front again. 

3. Immediately after, do 50 alternating high knees, which would be 25 on each leg. 

4. Then, do alternating butt kicks with 25 on each side.

Make it harder: Do two sets of this exercise.

Meghan Field

Exercises with Your Chair

Chair Shrug (Strength)

1. Sit upright in a chair with your feet flat on the floor at hip width apart. 

2. Place your hands flat on the seat next to your hips with your arms straight. 

3. Supporting yourself with your arms, scoot your butt off of the chair. 

4. Allow your shoulders and butt muscles to relax so your butt lowers a few inches. 

5. Push your shoulders down to lift your upper body as high as possible and hold for five seconds at the top position. 

6. Return back to resting position. 

7. Do 10 reps and then take a 30 second rest period. 

8. Repeat two more sets of 10 reps.

Make it harder: Experiment by doing the same move with your feet together or with one foot in the air.

Meghan Field

Stepup (Endurance)

1. With your hands at chest level, step up on your chair with your right leg. 

2. Smoothly lower your body down until your left leg touches the ground. 

3. Step off your chair completely and repeat the movement with your left leg on the chair. 

4. Do this five times on each leg. 

5. Take a 30 second rest period and complete one more set.

Make it harder: Instead of keeping your arms where they are comfortable to you, try to keep your arms up above your head or behind your head.

Meghan Field

Standing Kickbacks (Endurance)

1. Stand a few feet behind your chair and bend at the waist to place both palms on the back of a chair. 

2. Shift your weight to your left heel as you lift your right leg straight up and out behind you.

3. Without dropping your foot or knee, bring your right knee out to the side and behind you to the starting position. That is one rep. 

4. Complete 15 reps before switching sides.

Make it harder: Hold onto the chair with only one hand.

Meghan Field

Exercises at Your Desk

Tricep Dips (Strength)

1. Turn facing away from your desk. 

2. Make sure your shoulders are back, back is straight, chin is up and butt is tucked under. 

3. Reach behind you and place your hands on the corner of your desk, with your fingers facing downward. 

4. Keep your hips and knees bent at 90 degree angles. 

5. Slowly lower your body down while keeping your elbows facing down. 

6. Repeat five sets of 15 dips.

Make it harder: Slowly lower down in increments of a few inches until you reach the bottom where your knees make a 90 degree angle. Making stops in between will strengthen your arms.

Meghan Field

Quad Stretches (Flexibility) 

1. Make sure your shoulders are back, back is straight, chin is up and butt is tucked under. 

2. Hold onto the desk with the opposite hand than foot that you are going to grab. 

3. Reach behind you and grab one of your ankles keeping your foot behind you. 

4. Slowly pull your ankle to your butt while slightly pushing your hip forward. 

5. Repeat on your other leg.

Make it harder: Arch your back while your leg is being stretched.

Meghan Field

Bicep Curls (Strength)

1. Stand in front of your desk. 

2. Bend your arm at a 90 degree angle to make sure that your hand is able to touch the underneath part of the desk. 

3. Make a fist while your elbow is at a 90 degree angle. Make sure your palm is facing up. 

4. Push up against the desk with your palm, engaging your biceps. 

5. Hold the position for 15 seconds and then relax your muscles. Repeat steps 1-4 10 times.

Make it harder: Push your palm against the desk in increments going from 5 seconds, to 10 seconds, to 15 seconds. That is one rep. Complete 10 reps.

Meghan Field

Exercises to do While Laying Down on the Floor 

Ab Twists (Flexibility)

1. Lay on your back with your feet straight out in front of you. 

2. Bring your knees into your chest and hug them. 

3. Hold your legs behind you knees with your right forearm and bring your knees to the floor on the right side while looking to the left. 

4. Bring your knees back to the center of your body and repeat on the left side. 

5. Complete 20 reps on each side.

Make it harder: Do two twists on each side as opposed to alternating sides each time.

Meghan Field

Superman (Strength) 

1. Lie facedown on the ground with your arms straight out in front of you. 

2. Simultaneously lift your legs and arms a few inches off of the ground and hold for five seconds. 

3. Lower slowly and repeat 25 times.

Make it harder: Each time, don't completely collapse to the floor. As you lower, get your feet and hands and close to the floor as you can without touching the ground.

Meghan Field

Coccyx Balance (Endurance)

1. Lay flat on the ground facing upwards with your legs straight and feet pointed. 

2. Make sure your arms are straight at your side. 

3. Begin to come up by lifting your legs so both of your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Simultaneously lift up your back to a flat back. 

4. Your legs should be parallel to the ground and your arms should be parallel with your lower legs. 

5. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then slowly lower to the ground and immediately come back up and hold do 10 reps.

Make it harder: Go to the basic position and hold for 10 seconds, then straighten your legs up and hold for 10 seconds, then open your legs to a V position and hold for 10 seconds. Then come back to the position where your legs are straight in the air, and then back to the 90 degree angle.

Meghan Field

Exercises to do on Your Bed

Scissor Legs (Strength) 

1. Lie on your back with your hands underneath your hips and your palms facing down. 

2. Bring both feet straight up into the air and point your toes. 

3. Keeping both legs straight, engage your core as you lower your right leg down to the bed with control.

4. Without touching the bed, bring your right leg back up to the starting position. 

5. Repeat with your left leg. That is one rep. 

6. Complete 50 reps.

Make it harder: Vary the speed in which you complete the exercise. Try bringing your leg up quickly and down slowly. Then bring your leg up slowly and put it down quickly.

Meghan Field

Hip Raises (Endurance) 

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and heels near your butt. 

2. Put your arms along your sides with palms facing down.

3. Press into your heels as you lift your hips up so your body forms a line between your knees and shoulders. 

4. Keeping your leg bent, squeeze your butt as you lift your right foot off of the bed and bring your right knee directly over your right hip. 

5. Place your right foot back on the bed and repeat on your left leg. That's one rep. 

6. Complete 50 reps.

Make it harder: Instead of always keeping your feet turned in, try turning them out.

Meghan Field

Diamond Crunches (Strength) 

1. Lie on your back with your arms along your sides and palms facing down. 

2. Bring your feet together and open your knees out to the sides so the space between your leg resembles a diamond. 

3. Press into your palms and brace your core as you raise your feet up over your hips. 

4. From this position, lift your hips up off the bed and shoot your feet straight up towards the ceiling. 

5. With control, bring your hips back to the bed. Make sure you don’t drop your feet. That is on rep. 

6. Complete three sets of 50 reps.

Make it harder: Do three fast reps, and then one slow rep where you hold for 10 seconds at the top of the crunch to vary the speed.

Meghan Field

Exercises in Your Hallway

Bear Crawls (Cardio)

1. Start on one side of the hallway and get down on all fours. 

2. Lift up your knees and begin to crawl as fast as you can down to the other side of the hall. 

3. Going to one side and back to where you began is one rep. 

4. Complete five reps.

Make it harder: Do 10 steps and go down into a cobra position for five seconds. Keep repeating that sequence until you get to the other side of the hall.

Meghan Field

Lunges (Strength)

1. Start on one side of the hallway standing normally. 

2. Take one large step in front of you with your right leg and bed your leg at a 90 degree angle. 

3. Repeat but with your left leg forward. 

4. Go to the other side of the hallway and back twice.

Make it harder: Once you are in your lunge, do three pulses where your knee touches the ground and comes back up before you switch to the other leg.

Meghan Field

Burpees (Cardio)

1. Begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart.

2. Lower your body into a squatting position with your hands placed on the floor in front of you. 

3. Kick your feet back so that you are in a push-up position. 

4. Lower your chest to do a push-up. 

5. Kick your feet back into the original position. 

6. Stand up and then jump up while clapping your hands over your head. That is one rep. 

7. Complete 15 reps twice with 30 seconds of rest in between.

Make it harder: Do more than one push-up once you come down. The amount you do is up to you.

Meghan Field

Exercises to do in Your Shower

Push-ups (Strength)

1. Start by facing a wall in your shower with your feet a shoulder width apart. 

2. Place your arms out in front of you and make sure you are standing a little further than an arms length away. 

3. Lean your body forward and put your palms flat against the wall at shoulder height and shoulder width apart. 

4. Bend your elbows and lower your upper body toward the wall in a slow, controlled motion. 

5. Do 25 push-ups and then take a 30 second break and do 25 more.

Make it harder: Take one leg off of the ground to do the push-ups. Then switch to the other leg.

Meghan Field

Kickbacks (Endurance)

1. Lean into the shower wall and kick one leg up behind you.

2. Raise the heel of the foot you are kicking towards the ceiling, focusing on the glute of that leg. 

3. Lower your leg slowly to the ground. 

4. Repeat with the other leg. 

5. Do 25 kickbacks on each leg.

Make it harder: Do multiple kickbacks on the same leg before switching so you don’t put your leg down completely.

Meghan Field

Punches (Cardio)

1. Start by standing in the center of your shower. 

2. Stand straight with your legs shoulder width apart with a slight bend in your knees. 

3. Hold your arms up in a guard position in front of your face. Your arms should be bent at a 90 degree angle. 

4. With your right arm, punch out so that your elbow locks and the arm is straight and your palm is facing the floor. 

5. Bring your right arm back into the guard position and repeat with your left arm. That is one rep. 

6. Complete 50 reps.

Make it harder: Twist your torso as you punch to engage your abs more.

Meghan Field

Exercises to do on a Couch

Tricep Dips (Strength)

1. Grip the edge of the couch with your hands. You should be facing away from the couch. Each hand should be on either side of your hips. 

2. Make sure your palms are down and your fingertips are facing the floor. Your thumbs should be closest to your hips. 

3. Lift your butt off of the couch. Your arms should be completely straight. 

4. Walk your feet out slightly so that your knees are able to be in a 90 degree position. 

5. Lower down until your elbows create a 90 degree angle. 

6. Lift back up to the starting position. That's one rep. 

7. Complete two sets 25 reps with a 30 second break in between sets.

Make it harder: Find something, such as a textbook or stool, to prop your feet up, as this will add more weight to your triceps.

Meghan Field

Arm Extensions (Endurance)

1. Hold a filled water bottle in each hand. 

2. Sit on the edge of the couch. 

3. Make sure that your arms hang straight down next to your knees.

4. Sit straight up and raise your arms straight up so they're level with your shoulders. 

5. Slowly bring your arms back down to your side. That's one rep. 

6. Complete 30 reps.

Make it harder: When you get to the T position your arms make, do 10 arm circles front and then back before bringing your arms back down.

Meghan Field

Pillow Rotations (Endurance)

1. Sit on the edge of the couch with your legs bent at a 90 degree angle. 

2. Take a couch pillow and hold it straight out in front of you. 

3. Lift your legs straight out in front of you, then rotate the pillow in a figure eight motion from hip to hip. 

4. Complete 25 figure eight motions.

Make it harder: Simultaneously lower your legs and bring them back up as you perform the figure eight motion.

Meghan Field

Exercises to do on the Stairs

Step-Up Reverse Lunge (Strength)

1. Face the stairs with your left foot on the second stair and your right leg behind you on the floor. 

2. Lift your right knee to your chest, then quickly step back to the starting position. 

3. Step down to the floor with your left leg, positioning it behind your right, then do a lunge with your right knee directly over your ankle. 

4. Quickly step back up with your left knee to your chest and return to the starting position. 

5. Do 15 reps on each side.

Make it harder: Once you bring your knee into your chest, try to balance there for a couple of seconds before your put your foot down on the stair.

Meghan Field

Calf Raises (Endurance)

1. Stand with the balls of your feet at the edge of the bottom stair while holding onto the railing or wall. 

2. Rise up on your toes and squeeze your calves at the top. 

3. Slowly lower your heels to the starting position. 

4. Complete 25 reps then take a 30 second break and do 25 more reps.

Make it harder: Take your hands off of the railing or wall. You can also try doing the exercise on one foot.

Meghan Field

Stair Climbing (Cardio)

1. Start at the bottom of a staircase and run up the steps.

2. Once you get to the top, run back down the flight of stairs. 

3. Go up and down the stairs as many times as you wish.

Make it harder: Run up five steps and then slowly step down one step. Keep repeating this pattern.

Meghan Field

Take advantage of all your university has to offer, even the little things. Remember, it is always WAY easier to stay right in your dorm to exercise, so create a daily exercise routine as soon as you get to campus. It will be both beneficial and rewarding to stay active everyday.

Lead Image Credit: Angelo Benedetto via Flickr Creative Commons

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Meghan Field - Pennsylvania State University

Meghan is a sophomore at Penn State - University Park. She's from Hershey, PA. She is going to major in Biobehavioral Health and Psychology with a minor in Global Health. She has been dancing her whole life and has always had an interest in writing and anything science related. Instagram is @meghanfield.

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