5 Exercises that Make Working Out from Your Dorm Room Simple and Easy

When you make the choice to adapt to a more fitness-based lifestyle or simply trying to incorporate more exercise into your routine, it can be quite daunting at first. You may be turned away by the gym because it is filled with a variety of intimidating equipment and machines that you have no idea how to use. It may also be difficult to find time between classes, homework, and exams to go the extra mile to make it to the gym, especially on a consistent basis. If this sounds like something you may be going through or have experienced in the past but still are determined to get in your daily exercise, here are 5 simple exercises you can do straight out of your dorm room to achieve that goal! These exercises target all major areas of your body that you can do anytime anywhere, without a gym, and no equipment required!


Each exercise described will be linked to a short tutorial that will demonstrate the exercise if it is unfamiliar to you!


1. The Plank

The beauty of the various exercises there are to choose from working out is that almost every exercise offers alterations depending on your fitness level. This is especially true of the basic plank. Depending on your level, you can hold the plank for as long or short as you want. For beginners, I would suggest you start off with holding the plank for 15 seconds and increasing it in 15 second increments if you want to challenge yourself. If a full body plank is too straining as a beginner, I would suggest you do the plank but with your knees still on the ground. I like this exercise because the target is your whole body. It not only works out your arms, but your abs as well.


Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B296mZDhrP4


2. Donkey Kick

I think we are all aware of the squat and often dread it when it comes time to do it during our workout. Therefore, I offer an exercise known as the donkey kick, as an alternative for when you get bored and want to change things up. For beginners, try to start off by doing 10 repetitions of 3 sets on each leg. That means one set would consist of 20 donkey kicks each by doing 10 on your left leg and 10 on your right. This is a favorite lower-body exercise of mine because it really isolates and targets a specific muscle which allows you to feel it even more.


Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ1Xuz9D-ZQ


3. Russian Twist

The russian twist is another exercise that may be unfamiliar to most people. Like the squat, crunches or sit-ups are what comes to mind for most people when they think of doing ab exercises. When I first incorporated this exercise into my routine, I started off by doing 3 sets of 20 repetitions each without any weights or alterations to the exercise. If you want to make it more challenging, try holding a weight while twisting from side to side. Or if the foundational position is too difficult for you, try doing the same upper body movement but leave your legs bent and resting on the ground.


Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyUqwkVpsi8


4. Calf Raises

When you think about working out your lower-body, what often comes to mind is your butt or thighs. However, one body-part that is likely to be forgotten are your calves. Not many exercises exist that specifically target the calves, but one exercise to do just that are calf raises. This exercise is so simple to do because you can literally do it anywhere. For example, I find myself doing calf raises while brushing my teeth or standing around somewhere. I will often set a timer and try to do as many as I can in a minute, or I will just try to do as many as I can before my calves feel like they are on fire.


The tutorial demonstrates the exercise with dumbbells, but they are not required to be able to perform this exercise.


Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iYwv4QVFjM


5. Side-Leg Lifts

Another exercise to target the lower-body is the side-leg lift: a two-in-one exercise that targets both the inner thighs and outer hips. This exercise can be done both standing up or lying down, but why not lie down and exercise if you can, right? With your head propped up in your palm or resting on your arm, start off by trying to do 3 sets of 15 repetitions per leg. If you feel like you can do more, try to increase the amount of repetitions each set, but make sure you do the same amount on each leg to keep it balanced.


Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQih_ePdxP8


These are just a few of the many varieties of exercises offered for beginners and those who are looking to go back to the basics of foundational moves. Do not get discouraged if a certain exercise does not work for you. The beauty of it is that almost any exercise you may come across can be adjusted to meet your physical needs and capabilities. Set a pace that works for you, but try to challenge yourself by increasing the reps or adding a weight because you may be more capable than you think. You just need to find what works for you and when you do, it will keep you motivated to achieve your fitness goals.