How many times have you blamed your lack of fitness on not having enough money for the gym, or not having enough time to get there, work out, and get back? When it boils down to it, these are just excuses. Maybe you can’t attend hot Pilates three days a week, but you can try these five exercises in the comfort of your own dorm.
This move is great for increasing the strength of almost every muscle you have, especially your arms and core. Plus, since it only uses your own body weight, there’s no need for extra equipment. Once you can lift your own body weight no problem, put some textbooks on your back to increase the resistance and work your balance!
Work on those killer abs! You can place your feet under your bed, or cross them around the bedpost/desk leg for stability. This allows you to focus on only using your core to lift your shoulders and torso off the floor. There are different forms of sit-ups you can do to target different regions of your core as well, such as making your elbow touch the opposite knee, targeting muscles in the side of your body, too. For a harder workout, you can release the bed/desk and do the sit up while either holding your legs in the air or making a bicycle motion.
This move works the triceps, leg flexibility, and core muscles. Using the side of the bed frame, or a sturdy (non-rolling) chair, place your hands on the edge of whatever surface you’re using your fingers facing the same direction as you. Slowly bend your arms, lowering yourself as far down to the floor as you can—without your butt touching—then lift yourself back up. For more resistance, hold the lowered/raised position for a few extra seconds. If that still isn’t enough, place a textbook or two on your lap for extra weight as you do the dips.
This is a great workout to strengthen your legs. If you want more resistance than bodyweight, hold a textbook parallel to your torso as you go down on your knee. Make sure to keep your back straight, and to not let your bent knee fully touch the ground.
Unlike all the other moves, planking requires you to hold your own body weight up without moving. There are a lot of variations you can do with this move, including side planks – where you turn to the side and hold yourself up with one hand – or hovers, where you hold yourself up on your forearms. The key to a good plank is keeping your back straight. Your butt shouldn’t be higher than your shoulders.