Dorm Room Exercises: 6 Moves You Can Do When You're Short on Space

by

Apr   2015

Fri

10

The typical two-person dorm room size in the United States is 12 feet x 19 feet. Throw in some furniture, a mini fridge, and a stacked pile of energy drinks in the corner, and you haven’t got a lot of room left. But Doug Miller, professor of health and exercise science and director or wellness at Messiah College, says that limited space shouldn’t deter students from keeping active.

Students can make the most out of their tiny living arrangement with the following six dorm room-approved exercises. And the best part? They’re free.

Hundreds   

  • Lie flat on your back and place your arms down at your side. Bring your knees to your chest.
  • Bring your head up and look at your abdomen. Stretch out your legs.
  • Pump your arms straight up and down. Inhale for four counts and exhale for four counts.
  • Continue for 40–80 counts. 

Crisscross

  • On your back, bend your knees and place your hands behind your lifted head.
  • Extend your right leg out straight in front and bring your bent left knee toward your right elbow. 
  • Inhale and slowly switch the position by straightening your left leg and bringing your right knee toward your left elbow.
  • Complete 10 repetitions. 

Leg pull-up

  • Face up, press up on the palms of your hands, with your fingers pointing toward your legs. 
  • Press up on both feet to create a controlled line with your body.
  • Maintain core engagement and alternately lift your right and left legs.
  • Complete four to eight repetitions.

Leg pull-down

  • Face down, press up on the palms of your hands, with your fingers pointing away from your legs. 
  • Press up on both feet to create a controlled line with the body.
  • Maintain core engagement and alternately lift your right and left legs.
  • Complete four to eight repetitions.

Double leg circles

  • On your back, support your head and neck and lift your legs. 
  • Stabilize through your core and gently open your legs away from your body.
  • Bring your legs together and then return to the starting point. 
  • Complete four repetitions in both directions.

Side-lying leg series

  • Up and down: inhale, lift your top leg straight toward the ceiling, exhale, resist gravity while lowering your leg.
  • Front and back: lift your top leg to hip height, inhale, swing your leg to the front, exhale, swing your leg back.
  • Small circles: lift your top heel above your bottom heel, circle your leg from your hip in small motions, reverse.
  • Leg tap: lift your top leg above your hips, bring your foot down in front of your bottom foot, tap twice, lift your leg above your hips, bring your foot down behind your bottom foot, tap twice.
  • Bicycle: lift your top leg to hip height, drive your knee forward in a bicycle motion, extend your leg back to complete the cycle.  
  • Repeat each exercise for 10–15 seconds on each side of your body.

According to Miller, these exercises will help strengthen your core and extremity muscles, which is important for students, given that they spend so many hours sitting in class each day.

Bonus!

For additional variation, Miller also suggests trying out some of the free Internet exercise videos, like those that appear on SparkPeople.com or HASfit.com. These exercises can be performed easily in a dorm room and with no exercise equipment needed (you can choose videos that include weights, an exercise ball, a resistance band or other equipment).

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