Dorm Room Workouts: Staying Fit in a Pandemic

Dorm Room Workouts: Staying Fit in a Pandemic

Going to the gym was stressful enough before the pandemic. Most college kids hate the idea of other people watching them as they workout. Now, thanks to COVID-19, going to the gym is harder than ever. It has become difficult for people to even sign up for a spot in the gym as spots tend to fill immediately. If you can get in the gym, half the equipment is closed for social distancing and it’s a race to get what you want. One of the worst parts about exercising in a gym right now is wearing masks. Wearing masks is essential right now to keep ourselves and others safe from the virus, and to do this, your mask must stay completely on (no cheating and uncovering your nose, that defeats the whole point). I understand that during a good workout, it’s already hard enough to breathe. Masks only amplify that and make going to the gym an unideal option to some. Trying to get to the gym is causing anxiety that ruins the best part of working out—to relieve stress and let go of everything you’ve been holding in. Some have always been anxious about working out in public and just don’t know how to utilize their dorm room for exercise.

Here are some tips on how to feel the burn without the gym concern

While your dorm room may not have the equipment the gym does, there are still plenty of exercises you can do without even having to walk out your door. If you’re the type of person that likes to be in charge of your own workout, you still can be! Your dorm may be small, but there is enough room for these simple exercises. I recommend starting with some cardio to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. This would help you warm up and make the rest of your workout go smoother too. Some good cardio to start with could be some high knees, jumping jacks, running in place, or even fake jump roping (this is when you pretend you’re holding a jump rope and swing your arms with it as you jump from side to side like you’re jumping over it. I promise this is one jump rope you won’t trip over). 

Once you’re warmed up the possibilities are endless! You can work your legs and glutes by doing some squats, lunges, donkey kicks, fire hydrants, and wall sits. For your abs, there are countless workouts capable of being done in a dorm. You can do any form of sit-ups, crunches, russian twists, leg raises, flutter kicks, bicycle twists, and of course planks. If you don’t want to lie on your floor for these, you can get a yoga mat to lay on (some can be expensive, but I find that Target or Amazon has cheap ones sometimes. I found mine for $5 at target). 

If you’re thinking to yourself that this all sounds well and good, but there’s no way I can have a good arm workout in a dorm, then you’re wrong. Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: push-ups. Yes, they are an option, but they are not your only option! I cannot stress this next part enough; utilize your dorm furniture. Grab that desk chair and start doing some dips. I promise your arms will be burning after a few reps. There are other types of push-ups you can do besides the normal type. Some people like push-ups, but others struggle with them. These are a little easier, but still give your arms a good workout. The first kind you can do is standing push-ups against your bed. Keep your body straight and push yourself away from the bed and bend your arms again. Another type of push-up to try uses your desk chair. Put your feet on the chair and your hands on the ground and crank out those push-ups. These can be a little tricky at first, but it’s a great workout for your arms. Even holding a heavy textbook to study while doing other workouts can strengthen your arms. The most important thing to remember when doing these exercises is that reps are everything! If you want to feel satisfied with your workout and feel results it can’t be a one and done. You have to do several reps and listen to your body. 

Need a little inspiration? No problem!

It can be hard to come up with your own workout plan sometimes. There are plenty of places that you can look to find inspiration for exercises. Pinterest is a great way to find different kinds of workouts that can be done with no equipment in your room. You can look for whole-body workouts or zone in on something specific you want to work and you’ll never run out of options. One of my favorite pre-planned workouts to try is the Neila Rey workouts. You can search for them on Google or Pinterest and you can find great, and most importantly, convenient workouts to try. Each exercise set is named after a popular movie or character so you can workout like the Mockingjay, an Avenger, or even Rocky. It adds a fun twist to your workout and makes you push yourself harder. If you need the motivation of someone being “with you” and pushing you to be your best, a workout video might be a good choice for you. You can find a ton of these videos on YouTube or download an app that has videos and tells you what to do. 

Just because you can’t go to the gym doesn’t mean you can’t get a good workout done! You don’t even have to leave your room. Gym stress can be a thing of the past if you just want to take advantage of your space and really make your workout your own. Always remember, the only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen.