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Wellness > Health

Your Dorm Room Workout: When It’s Too Cold to Go to the Gym

Last night you set your alarm for 8:00 a.m. promising yourself an early morning workout before class to jumpstart your day. At the time, this sounded like the perfect way to begin your Monday…until you checked the weather- High: 17°F feels like -4°F. Never mind the working out part, the cold walk to the gym sounds tough enough. The dreary weather is brutal enough to make us all want to hibernate this time of the year. Unfortunately, too much hibernating can leave us all feeling like bears when swimsuit season rolls around. An at-home workout is just the solution to accommodate the weather and avoid getting out of shape. Don’t worry, we’ve all had mornings when we’ve placed greater value on our warm down comforter than we have on our workout. For those days when you’re just not feeling brave enough to face the cold (we don’t blame you!), Nikki Lopez of Exhale Spa Dallas recommends this dorm-friendly workout to beat those winter blues.

Your Dorm Room Workout

Time needed: 25 minutes- or more depending on how many reps you choose!
Equipment needed: Yoga mat (or even carpeting will work!), Chair

Warm up

Start by raising each knee up to your chest. Swing your arms as well, making sure to raise your knees high to your chest. This move looks like you are marching in place with swinging arms, and will let your blood flow while warming up the backs of your legs and lower back.

Forearm Plank

Place your two forearms on the floor in parallel position, shoulder width apart, with elbows under shoulders. Connect balls of feet to floor behind you and lift knees off floor. Hold horizontal position for 1 minute. Keep legs straight, hip width apart. Be sure to keep lower back flat and supported. Pull in abdominal wall and take deep breaths in and out. Rest by sitting back on your heels, arms stretched out in front.

Thigh work

Stand with your hands on the back of a chair. Make a V shape with your feet, toes about 4 inches apart. Bend your knees over your toes and lift your heels a little off the floor. Sink down about halfway keeping your ears over your shoulders and your shoulders over your hips. Keep your heels together. Imagine you are between 2 panes of glass as you bend your knees a few inches down and a few inches up for 1 minute. This exercise will not only shape your thighs but also help you burn calories. Thighs have big muscles and the denser they are, the more calories you burn at rest.

Gluteal work

Place your forearms on the back of a chair. Take 3 steps back until your body is in an L-shape. Rest your forehead on your forearms. Bend both knees. Step your right foot back and raise it up to hip height. Keeping your leg straight and foot pointed repeat small leg raises for about a minute and a half. Keep your standing leg bent and your torso in one long line. Make sure your lower back is supported by pulling in your abdominal wall. Repeat the exercise on the other side.

Abdominal Curl

Sit on the floor (preferably carpeted) with your legs bent and your forearms on the floor and elbows directly underneath your shoulders. Allow your lower back to press into the floor. Take a deep breath in and exhale. Pull your abdominals in and slide your hands up to the sides of your legs so that your forearms are longer on the floor. Hold onto the sides of your legs as you pull in your lower abdomen. Your body should resemble the letter C. Lower back down. Rest on your forearms in between sets, making sure to reset the position by pulling in abdominals and pressing lower back down. Work at this for up to 4 minutes at first, progressing to 6 to 7 minutes as you build strength. If you find yourself needing to switch it up a bit, there are other fun options available to stay in shape without leaving the house. Lopez recommends making exercise a social activity: “Buy a couple of exercise DVDs and organize a weekly workout night with your roommates or dorm mates.” With Kim Kardashian’s “Fit in your Jeans by Friday” workout video, you’ll have no problem keeping up with the Kardashians. Spice it up a bit with some belly dancing DVDs, and you’ll be seeing results in no time. Don’t let the cold weather keep you from working out. Your living room or dorm room can serve as a makeshift gym during the winter months. Trust us, when spring break rolls around you’ll be thankful. Always remember, work out whenever, wherever, just like Shakira says. Source: Nikki Lopez, representative for Exhale Spa Dallas Model: Nicole Montanaro Music: Kanye’s Workout Plan, Kanye West

Halle Organ is a junior at Southern Methodist University, majoring in Convergence Journalism and minoring in both Business and Psychology. Though she goes to school in Dallas, Texas, Halle is originally from Hudson, Ohio. She is the Health & Fitness Co-Editor of SMU’s Daily Campus newspaper, with her best friend and fellow Her Campus writer, Marissa O’Connor. Halle is on the crew of the Daily Update, SMU-TV’s weekday morning, student run news broadcast. On campus, she is the president of LEAD: Leadership, Education, Activities and Development, and is a member of the Delta Gamma sorority. Halle’s interests include: Googling, Triple shot Caramel Light Frappuccinos, Skiing in sunny Colorado, accessorizing and dressing up, yoga, and sushi dates with friends. She looks forward to pursuing a journalism career when she graduates from SMU.
Marissa O’Connor is a junior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX where she’s majoring in Convergence Journalism with a double minor in Spanish and Corporate Communications/Publics Affairs. She is originally from Buffalo, New York and spent last summer interning at Time Warner’s 24-hour news station, YNN Buffalo. At SMU, Marissa is the Co-Editor of the Health & Fitness section of the Daily Campus with her best friend and fellow HC writer, Halle Organ. She also works on the Daily Update, the SMU student-run morning news broadcast and is an active member of Delta Delta Delta and the women’s club lacrosse team. Marissa enjoys running, sunny days, new places, bikram yoga, sundresses, iced coffee, and anything outdoors. After graduation Marissa plans to pursue a career in broadcast or magazine journalism.