Be a Dorm Room Champ

You want to look good. We get it. But it’s cold outside, and the gym is a good 15 minute bike ride away. It’s late, you’re tired, and the thought of going to the gym sounds just as exciting as reading about different evolutionary anthropology theories. You want to relegate your workout to yet another evening and watch reruns on TiVo instead, but you can’t shake that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that’s telling you to get off your butt and move. You fear the dreaded freshman (or sophomore, or junior, or senior) 15. You also know that once you bike in the foggy cold all the way to the gym, it might be twenty minutes before someone decides to get off the elliptical and let you have a go. You are faced with a dilemma.

What about… working out in your own room? Yes, even wtihin the confines of your tiny dorm room, it IS possible to fit in a butt-kicking total-body workout. No bike rides are necessary, and you can quell that nagging voice in your head! And hey, you can even watch those reruns while you tighten and sculpt instead of waiting aimlessly for the next treadmill. Talk about a way to kill two birds with one stone. You don’t even need much equipment. You can do all these exercises with your own body weight, bottles of water, or dumbbells if you have them. (Even a can of corn will do the trick!) And if you live with a roommate, you might want to make sure that a) he/she does the workout with you, b) he/she is gone so you don’t bother them with your huffing and puffing, or c) he/she loves the sound of you huffing and puffing!

How to do these exercises:

You can do these exercises in whatever order you wish. You can do all the body parts, just one, or a combination. But if you want to max out your calorie burn, do these exercises in a circuit style. Choose one exercise from each body part category, do it for one minute, and move on to the next body part with little or no rest in between, until you have gone through each category. Don’t forget the cardio moves and compound moves. (Or just however many body part categories you want to work out.) Then repeat the circuit, or you can choose different exercises to do this time. Repeat until you feel the burn!

Click HERE for a photo guide on how to do these exercises!

Body Part Category – Chest / Shoulders

Shoulder Press shoulder press

Muscles Worked:

Deltoids

Triceps

Trapezius

Directions:

1. Hold a dumbbell or water bottle in each hand, and bring your hands up to each side of shoulders, palms facing forward.

2. Press dumbbells or water bottles up until your arms are extended overhead. Lower, and repeat.

Progressions:

Stand on only one leg

Standing on your left leg, bring your right leg up, knees bent at a 90 degree angle, up to hip level. As you press arms overhead, extend right leg forward

Lift one arm up at a time

Push ups:

Muscles Worked:

Pectoral muscles

Anterior deltoids (front of your shoulders)

Triceps

Core muscles

Directions:

1. Get into push up position with hands placed slightly wider than your shoulders. Make sure your spine is straight; no arching or rounding. (You can make this move easier by doing it on your knees)

2. Keeping your body straight, lower your body towards the ground by bending at the elbows.

3. Push your body back up.

Progressions:

Have your roommate push down against you as you raise up

Shoulder Helicopter:

Muscles Worked:

Deltoids

Pectoral muscles

Internal and external obliques

Directions:

1. Hold a dumbbell/water bottle in each hand and raise them out to the sides, so your body forms the letter ‘t’, palms facing forward.

2. Keeping your arms straight, twist your torso to the right so that your left arm faces the front and your right arm faces the back. Return to center, and twist to the left.

Body Part Category – Arms

Biceps Curl: biceps curl

Muscles Worked:

Biceps

Anterior Deltoids

Upper and Middle Trapezius

Directions:

1. Hold a dumbbell/water bottle in each hand, arms down by your sides, palms facing in.

2. Raise dumbbells up as you rotate your wrist so that your forearms are vertical and your palms are facing your shoulders. Lower to original position and repeat.

Triceps Chair Dip:

Muscles Worked:

Triceps

Pectoral muscles

Latissimus Dorsi (aka your ‘lats’)

Directions:

1. Sit on your desk chair. Grip the front edge of your chair. Move your butt off the chair out to the front, so your weight is being supported by your arms. Your feet should be flat on the floor, knees bent at a 90 degree angle.

2. Lower your butt toward the ground by bending at your elbows.

3. Raise your self back up and repeat.

Progressions:

Straighten your legs, heels on the floor, toes toward the ceiling

Go as low as you can

Triceps Kickback:

Muscles Worked:

Triceps

Latissimus Dorsi (aka your ‘lats’)

Middle and Lower Trapezuis

The backs of your shoulders

Directions:

1. Holding a dumbbell/water bottle in your right hand, place your left and on the seat of your chair for support. Stagger your feet so that your right leg is behind the left foot.

2. Lean forward, and position your upper arm so that it’s parallel to the floor.

3. Extend your right arm back away from you until it’s straight. Return and repeat. Then switch sides.

Progressions:

Without leaning on the chair, do both arms at the same time

Body Part Category – Abs / Core

Plank Hold:

Muscles Worked:

Rectus Abdominus

Transverse Abdominus

External and Internal Obliques

Directions:

1. Place your forearms and elbows down on the floor, making sure your elbows are aligned directly under your shoulders. Extend your legs behind you, and get up onto your toes as if in a push-up position.

2. Hold in this position making sure your entire body is straight, from your feet to the top of your head. Don’t round or arch your back, and don’t let your head droop down into your chest. (If this position is too difficult, get down onto your knees)

3. Pull your belly in, and hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Don’t forget to breathe!

Progressions:

Lift one leg up.

Click HERE to watch a Plank Hold Video

Twisted Crunch:

Muscles Worked:

Obliques

Rectus Abdominus

Directions:

1. Lie on your back on the floor, knees bent, so your feet are touching the floor.

2. Clasp your fingers behind your back and crunch up, twisting your torso so that your right elbow and left knee meet.

3. Return down so that only the back of your shoulders touch the ground, and repeat to the other side.

Progressions:

Hold a weight behind your head

Really twist, bringing your elbow to the outside of the opposite knee

1

Superman: superman

Muscles Worked:

Lower Back

Gluteus Maximus and Medius

Directions:

1. Lie on the floor face down, and extend your arms and legs away from you, as if you are flying in the air like Superman.

2. Lift your arms and legs straight up off the ground at the same time. Your chest should come off the floor. Hold, lower, and repeat.

Progressions:

Lift your legs and arms higher off the ground

Body Part Category – Butt

Donkey Kicks:

Muscles Worked:

Gluteus Maximus and Medius

Hamstrings

Quadriceps

Hip Flexors

Directions:

1. Place your hands and knees on the ground, so they are perpendicular to the floor.

2. Lift your right leg up, knees bent at a 90 degree angle, until your thigh is parallel to the floor, and your heel is facing the ceiling.

3. From this position, contract your butt muscles, exhale, and kick up about a foot more. Lower it back down to step two, where your thigh is parallel to the floor, and raise your leg back up. Switch legs.

Hip Bridges: hip bridges

Muscles Worked:

Gluteus Maximus and Medius (aka your buttocks)

Hamstrings

Quadriceps

Core muscles

Hip flexors

Directions:

1. Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Arms should be out to the sides, palms facing down.

2. Contract your butt muscles, and exhale as you lift your butt and torso off the floor. Your body should form a straight line from the top of your knees to your shoulders. Your abs should be tight.

3. Hold, and lower and repeat, without letting your butt touch the floor.

Progressions:

Lift one leg straight up into the air (perpendicular to floor)

Press down on your hips with your hands as you push up for added resistance

Single Leg Dead Lift:

Muscles Worked:

Hamstrings (you can’t have a good butt without good hamstrings!)

Gluteus Maximus

Back muscles

Directions:

1. Stand with arms by your sides.

2. Lift your right foot off the ground, and lean forward as you lift right leg up, until you form the letter ‘T’. Your right leg and upper body will be parallel to the floor, and your arms will be down towards the ground. Make sure your hips don’t rotate or twist.

3. Hold, and return to original position. Switch legs.

Progressions:

Hold dumbbells in your hands.

Body Part Category – Legs

Squats:

Muscles Used:

Quadriceps

Gluetus Maximus

Hamstrings

Calves

Core muscles

Directions:

1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart.

2. Squat down until thighs are parallel to ground.

3. Stand back up and repeat.

Progressions:

Hold dumbbells in your hands

Jump squats

Forward Lunges:

Muscles Worked:

Quadriceps

Gluteus Maximus

Hamstrings

Calves

Directions:

1. Stand with feet hip width apart. Take a large step forward/lunge forward with right leg. Make sure to land on your heel then your forefoot.

2. Lower your body until your right thigh is almost parallel to the floor, and your left knee is almost touching the ground. Make sure your right knee does not extend past your ankle.

3. Stand back up to original position. Repeat, and switch legs

Progressions:

Hold dumbbells in your hands

Alternate legs after each repetition

Lunge deeper

Lunge farther

Standing Calf Raise: calf raise

Muscles Worked:

Calf muscles (Gastrocnemius, Soleus)

Directions:

1. Stand with feet hip width apart

2. Raise onto the balls of your feet, heels off the ground

3. Lower back down to original position and repeat

Progressions:

Hold dumbbells in your hands

Go up higher

Cardio Moves:

1. Jumping Jacks

2. Boxer Shuffle (Staying springy on your feet, fists in front of your chin, jump left and right, left and right, as if you are a boxer in a match)

3. Butt kicks

Compound Moves:

Work more muscles at once!

Walking Push Ups: walking push up

Directions:

1. Stand with feet hip width apart. Bend down to touch the floor right in front of your toes with your hands.

2. Walk your hands out until you are in a push up position.

3. Do a push up (or two, or three, or more)

4. Walk your hands back to your toes and stand up. Repeat.

Push Up with Leg Raise:

Directions:

1. Get into push up position, and perform a push up.

2. After the push up, raise your right foot off the ground, and raise your leg towards the ceiling to work the butt muscles. Lower back down to ground.

3. Do another pushup, and this time, raise your left foot off the ground and raise leg towards the ceiling. Lower, and repeat.

Squat with Overhead Press:

Directions:

1. Holding a dumbbell/water bottle in each hand, squat down until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground.

2. As you stand back up, press your arms overhead.

3. Lower arms, and repeat squat and overhead press sequence

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