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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Easy exercises you can do in your dorm

    Casey Aldava
    UA freshman Marissa Heffernan works out in her dorm room at Arbol de la Vida Residence Hall on Monday, Jan. 18. Many exercises can be done from the convenience of a dorm room.

    With syllabus week over, a new semester is officially upon us. As the semester goes on and everyone gets busy and back into old routines, it will be tempting to replace going to the Student Recreation Center with sleep, Netflix and excuses.

    As you feel yourself beginning to drift toward ease and convenience, don’t forget that the freshman 15 can be gained at any time and now that the weather is starting to warm back up, swimsuit season is just around the corner. We can all sympathize with homework demands, burdensome classes and work schedules, but who says you can’t have fitness with convenience? Don’t let a busy schedule keep you from making your health a priority.

    Here are seven simple exercises that require no weights or gym equipment that anyone can do in the comfort of their room. All you need is your sweet self and a killer playlist.


    It’s a staple for a reason. Planking helps tone your core better and faster than any gym machine could. Start by holding it as long as you can and then add 10 to 15 seconds each following time you do it. Do the same for both your right and left sides every day and you’ll be seeing and feeling the results all throughout your midsection.

    Bicycle crunches

    These crunches give your whole body a workout. Begin by lying on your back with your legs bent and your hands behind your head. Then as you crunch up, move your legs in a bicycle motion and twist your torso so your elbow touches your alternate side’s knee. Continue to alternate your legs and arms as you crunch. Do these in reps of 15 to 20.

    Leg raises

    Lie on your back with your arms by your side and your legs extended. Slowly raise your legs up and then back down, just hovering without letting them actually touch the ground. Keep your legs straight; you should feel it in your core. Do these in reps of 12 to 15.

    Wall sit

    You can do this easily against any flat wall surface in your room. Sit so that your knees are at a 90-degree angle, and hold it as long as you can. Each time you do it, add 15 seconds.


    You can do any version of push-ups that you know. In order to be sure you’re getting a 90-degree angle at your elbows, you can grab a few textbooks or notebooks and try to touch the tip of your nose to them when you go down. These can be done in reps of 12 to 15, or as many as you can.

    Lunge twist

    Here’s a fun twist on the typical lunge. After lunging, alternate twisting your torso to the right and left. Add an extra challenge by grabbing something heavy such as your backpack or a couple of textbooks and holding them as you lunge. Do reps of 12 to 15.

    Jump squat/Plié squat

    You can choose from these two forms of squats, or do both. The jump squat is a simpler option. After squatting down, jump up and then repeat. For the plié squat, start by crossing one leg over the other, then squat down and keep the crossover leg’s knee over that leg’s ankle, trying not to let the knee go out. The back leg’s knee should be within the bend of the back of the front knee, or touching the back of the calf. You should feel it in your butt and your inner thighs. Do these in reps of 12 to 15.

    Do this whole routine in three to five sets every day and don’t feel bad about getting that chocolate chip cookie with your morning coffee. You can use this workout as a study break or to wake yourself up in the morning. Do it with friends or alone, add some yoga stretches into the mix or shake things up afterward with a healthy fruit smoothie. No matter what you do, you will be surprised how an extra 30 minutes of exercise everyday will make you feel healthier, happier and more balanced.

    Follow Casey Aldava on Twitter.

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