Beat the Freshman 15: Total Dorm Room Workout

Life as a college student can be very hectic. You have classes, work, extra curricular activities, homework and research. It can be hard to fit in time for a workout or gather up the funds for a gym membership. Even if you can not make it to the gym there are a few ways to do some effective exercise from the comfort of your dorm.

Silver Medal Workout


  • March in Place – If you just want to get moving for a bit try marching in place or taking a walk around your dorm or your building. It will help you energize and refocus, especially if you have been sitting in the same place for a while.
  • Jog in Place – To kick that up a notch try jogging in place. This is a great way to warm up before your dorm room workout or to wake yourself up.
  • Grapevines – This is definitely more interesting than walking in place. If you want to mix it up even more, turn on some music and bust a few moves!
  • You can also try jump roping, jumping jacks, high knees or a few kickboxing moves.

Strength Training

  • Tricep Dips with your chair – This is a great way to make use of your dorm room furniture.  Begin by sitting tall in your chair with hands on either side of your hips. Wrap your fingertips around the front edge of your chair, lift your hips and slide them forward so that your body is no longer over the seat of the chair. With your knees bent, lower your hips and bend your elbows no lower than 90 degrees. Lift yourself back up without locking your elbows. Repeat for 10 to 16 reps.
  • Work Your Legs – You can do some squats, lunges or wall sits in your dorm with fairly limited space. If you want to give yourself an extra challenge add some weights to your workout (those physics textbooks will do)!
  • Don’t Forget Your Abs – You can use a yoga mat, extra sheet or blanket as padding on your floor and go through a number of abdominal exercises.  Try some planks, crunches, leg lifts and bicycles to hit different areas of your torso.

Go For the Gold

All of the aforementioned exercises can help keep away that Freshman 15. If you are looking to go the extra mile, try adding a few of these to your dorm room workout routine:


  • Run Stairs in Your Building – If you are looking to do some serious cardio in your building try jogging or running up and down the stairs.
  • Zumba – If you have some extra room in your dorm, or are bold enough to workout in the common room, find some Zumba videos on YouTube. Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance fitness program that has become hugely popular on campuses all across the country. You might even find some friends in your hall who want to join in the fun!
  • Blogilates – One of my favorite fitness websites is If I am running low on time I just pick out one or two of the instructional videos and try them out in my room. There are also some great long-term exercise and diet plans if you decide you enjoy this site.

Strength Training

  • Tricep Dips with your Chair with legs extended – Try the same tricep dips listed above with your legs straight rather than bent. If you are looking for an extra challenge put your legs up on your desk or bedframe.
  • Jump Squats – Start of by standing with your legs shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Do a regular squat and then jump up as explosively as you can, reaching up towards the ceiling. When you land return to the squat position. Repeat for 10 reps. If you are doing this particular exercise, try to be sensitive of the people living below you. Landing loudly on the floor may not be the best strategy if you are working out at 6:00 am.

If you want to burn a few extra calories while you are studying replace your desk chair with a yoga ball during long study sessions. The yoga ball will keep your legs and your mind moving!

These tips are only the beginning! There are plenty of effective exercises you can do in your dorm. If you plan on using your room as your gym for a while you could try investing in a jump rope, some resistance bands, a yoga mat or some weights.

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Amber Bray

Amber Bray

Amber Bray is a senior at North Central College studying journalism and graphic design. Apart from her classes Amber writes a relationship advice column, along with other pieces, for the North Central Chronicle. She also writes and designs for North Central’s online magazine, The Viewfinder. Amber is a trivia fanatic and in her free time she enjoys board games, reading and writing fiction, and spending time with friends and family.