Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Barnard chapter.

For many of us, remaining active is an important stress-alleviating activity. However, with the current state of things, you are likely cooped up in your home and pretty sedentary. Although it may not be as easy as hitting the gym, there are still plenty of ways to work out and get some blood flowing from where you are! Here are some basic, do-at-home workout techniques:

Jumping Jacks

This one is probably the oldest workout in the book. From our elementary school days we all know how to jump into the position with our legs spread out and our arms above our heads. Repeat this motion 50 times as a warm-up and to get your heart racing!


The plank exercise entails balancing your weight on your forearms and holding a “push-up” like position for as long as possible. It is a great exercise to build up core strength. While this may seem easy — rest-assured — plank-minutes seem wayyy longer than 60 seconds. Typically, I try to hold planks anywhere from half a minute to three minutes! 

Russian Twists

This is my absolute favorite at-home exercise, albeit a bit painful. Essentially, you are going to sit on the back of your tailbone and raise up your feet (half a foot or so is good) to engage your core. I generally like to cross my ankles for added stability. Now, while holding your core or “abs” tight, move your arms from one side of your body to the other. If you want an extra challenge, you can do this while holding onto a weight or medicine ball (I recommend a maximum of ten pounds). 

Stair Scaling

This one is definitely important to modify for home. Typically, scaling steps is a great way to build endurance and coordination. A lot of people will do this at large stadiums where they can run up and down a lot of stairsteps. But at home your parents would probably not appreciate you sprinting up and down their stairs all day. Instead, maybe challenge yourself to walk up and down (briskly) your stairsteps anywhere from 3–5 times. 

Bicycle Crunches

This is another great exercise for your obliques! Essentially, you want to lie on your back while keeping your shoulders and head raised. Alternate touching your elbow to opposite knee in a back-and-forth motion. I like to do this exercise for 1–2 minutes.


We all know (and probably dread) push-ups. Personally, I am trying to use my quarantine time to get better at these because I know I would be ridiculed for my form if I was doing push-ups in Dodge Gym (hehe). But anyways, the push-up exercise involves holding up your body with your arms and then slowly lowering yourself by bending your elbows. To be safe, in relation to your body you should always keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle. Because I don’t know how to do a proper push-up, I would say to just try to do as many as you can, haha.

Wall Sits

Ok, I think these are super fun. This is an exercise for your quads, and it basically means making a lower-case h-shape with your body and the wall. Be sure to keep straight angles at both your hips and knees. You might think that sitting seems easy, but this is a real muscle-burner. Try to hold this position from 1–3 minutes.


If you want to focus on your glutes, this exercise is for you. Influenced by the ballet position, plié, this exercise challenges you to stand with your feet pointed outwards (in second position, if you are familiar with ballet). Next, you will lower yourself by bending your knees whilst keeping your back straight. Try to do this in reps of 10.


Clearly this option is not available to everyone at this time, but if your neighborhood still allows you to run around this is a really good option for clearing your head while getting some exercise in! If you don’t like running or jogging, even walking or taking a pet around the block is good exercise! Just be wary of social distancing (keep at least six feet apart from others), and you should immediately wash your hands (and shower) when you get home!

In times like this, it is so important to prioritize your personal health and well-being. Hopefully one of these methods will allow you to destress for a few moments, help keep active, and connect with your body! 

Claire Lempert

Columbia Barnard '23

is a sophomore at Barnard studying economics, psychology, and English. She loves exploring NYC, running, writing, and creating dioramas.