[Collegiate Exercise] Dorm Room Fitness




In the midst of homework, exams, parties, and other college distractions, finding time to hit the gym can be difficult.  I've compiled a set of exercises that you can do from your dorm room.  For just twenty minutes a day, you will see results from these simple exercises!

Keep in mind that is is important to make an effort to hit the gym to lift weights and perform cardiovascular exercise as well.  On days when your schedule is just too packed to hit the gym for an hour, perform these exercises in your dorm and you will look and feel better!

My room is about 15' by 12'.  In just this small space, you can make a difference in the way you look and feel!

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Step 1: Push-Ups

Although the push-up one of the most common exercises, many people perform this exercise incorrectly. 
  • Begin with your hands at about shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your hands directly beneath your shoulders.
  • Your body should be in a relatively straight line from our heels to your shoulders.
  • Lower your body down to the ground using your core (abs) and upper body.
  • Lower your body just until your chest touches the floor.
  • Now just push up with your arms, and chest muscles.
Be sure that your back remains straight, and does not sag.  The buttox also tends to rise up on some folks, so make sure you keep your buttox down as well.  Another issue comes when your hands are too far from your body, or too far in on your body.  Keep your hands directly under your shoulders when you begin the pushup. 

You can perform the following exercises in a circuit, performing 10 repetitions, and then moving on to the next exercise.

Don't fret if you can't do these perfectly yet.  As your upper body gets stronger, you will be able to perform them cleaner and you wil be able to do more of them.

Step 2: Sit-Ups

Your core is an important part of your body, and the classic sit-up is a perfect abdominal exercise.
  • Sit on the ground in the seated position.
  • Keep your feet flat on the ground, and slowly lay your back down on the ground.
  • Now place your knees at about a fist's distance apart.
  • Move your hands up your thighs, and move up to the original seated position.
  • Do you best to keep your feet on the ground during this movement.
  • Once you are at the sitting position, you have completed one repetition!
  • Now slowly bring yourself down with your back on the ground and then perform another sit-up.
Just like the push-up, perform 10 repetitions and then move on to the next exercise.

Step 3: Sculls

The scull is another abdominal workout.  It is short for the form of rowing, called "sculling," where this exercise takes the form of this style of rowing.
  • Begin by sitting on the ground.
  • Bring your legs in to your chest, with your arms spread out.  (Making your body like a T).
  • Now extend your legs out, and bring your arms in to your chest.
  • Now bring your legs back in to your chest, and spread your arms back out like a T once more.
  • Note, try to keep your knees as close together as possible when you bring your legs in.
  • This is a tough exercise, but very effective.
Perform ten repetitions of these "scull" abdominals.  Then move on to the next exercise.

Step 4: Chair Dips

Triceps are an important muscle in your arms, and can make a difference in your arm strength when you perform tricep exercises.
  • Find a computer chair, or your desk chair in your dorm.
  • Sit on the ground, with your back rested on the front of the chair.
  • Lift your arms, and place your hands on the cushion behind you.
  • Push up with your arms, and lift your body off the ground.
  • Now let yourself down to the ground, and repeat.
Perform ten repetitions of this exercise, and then move on to the next one!

Step 5: Isometric Bicept Hold With a Towel

The other important muscle in your arm is the bicep.  This exercise is not a repetition exercise, but rather an exercise of resistance.
  • Begin by twisting a towel, so that it is in a twisted, straight line.
  • Step onto one end of the towel with either your right or left foot (depending on which bicep you want to exercise.
  • Grab the other end of the towel with your hand.
  • Now try to create some tension in the towel, and enough so that you feel some pressure in your muscle.
  • Keep this tension up for about 30 seconds, and repeat until your biceps get tired.

Step 6: Door Pushups

Door pushups are also a good exercise for both your arms and for your upper body.
  • Begin by putting your arms against the wall, and place your hands in the shape of a star.
  • Extend your arms, so that you are leaning against the wall with them.
  • Place your feet a few feet from the wall.
  • Note that the further from the wall they are, the more difficult your exercise will be.
  • Bend your elbows to about 90 degrees, and lower your body to the wall.
  • Straighten your arms to their beginning state, and you will have completed one repetition.
I usually perform ten repetitions, and then move on to the next exercise.

Step 7: Planks

Planks are a great resistance exercise for your abs, and you can perform these on your side as well.
  • Begin by laying on your stomach.
  • Put your elbows and forearms flat on the ground.
  • Tighten up your stomach, and make your body as flat a possible.
  • You will be able to feel your abs tighten, and this means you are working them out!
  • Keep your head up, and make sure your buttox does not droop, and your bax does not sag.
  • These are common mistakes that come as you get more fatigued.
30 seconds to a minute is a typical length of time for your planks.  As your abs get stronger, you will be able to do the planks for a longer amount of time.

Step 8: Body Squats

Your legs are important too!  For your legs, we can do some squats for your thighs and gluts. 
  • Begin with your legs wider then shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your back straight, and lower your body by bending your knees.
  • Get your body into a seated position, and then push back up.
  • Do this slowly, and make sure that your muscles are being stretched and contracted.
  • Straighten your legs up, and stand back up straight.
Perform ten repetitions and then go on to the next exercise.

Step 9: Elevated Push-Ups

For the stronger bunch out there, elevated push-ups are a more difficult, but an even better workout than regular push-ups.
  • Find a desk or a chair, and place your feet up on to them.
  • Now, refer to Step 1, and perform a push-up just as described.
  • These are slightly more difficult, so you may need to do two sets, with five repetitions.

Step 10: Lunges

Another great thigh exercise is called the lunge.  Although this is best used with a weight in each hand, this is still a great aerobic and muscular exercise.
  • Begin with your feet at about 75% of your shoulder width apart.
  • Step forward with one leg, (left or right, they will alternate each time).
  • Bend your body until both of your legs are at 90 degrees.
  • You should step about 2-3 feet from your original position.
  • Now just push back up with your front leg.
  • You can switch legs now, and repeat the steps once again.
Do your best to lunge 10 times on each leg.  That would be a total of 20 repetitions.  If you have some weights to hold on to, that would make this exercise even more beneficial!

Step 11: Leg Lifts

Another fantastic abdominal workout is leg-lifts.
  • Begin on your back.
  • As you lift your legs, lift your arms up to meet your legs.
  • This is essentially a crunch, except your legs are straight, rather than bent.
  • I usually perform 12-15 repetitions of this exercise.

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    31 Discussions


    12 months ago

    i love your room's style.

    thanks bro awesome guide.


    3 years ago

    Nice workout! My chair is a bigger one in which I can dip while holding my legs up, or the other way round, holding in the upper (dip) position (in German "Unterarmstütz") and lift the legs (for abs). At least two exercises which can be done during bootup,.. :-P


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Great workout! I would add in some weights though. There are a bunch you can get at reasonable prices and they barely take up and space. Definitely adds a ton of new exercises you can do, especially for your arms! Plus people tend to get bored really fast if they only do the same 4-5 exercises all the time ;)


    Great selection of exercises, with a focus on a strong core. I like!

    For cardio I'm thinking I could add a few minutes of skipping rope outside...


    7 years ago on Introduction

    this is great! i used to play rugby long ago, so i'm trying to get my fitness and strength back up to where it used to be so i can start again, and this guide seems to be helping with the strength and endurance aspects! unfortunately, my room is even smaller so some of the exercises i cant do, and others, i'm just too unfit and can only do 1 rep! but thanks, this really helps!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is almost always good for programmers! All that hard work sitting at a computer is really wearing me down.


    7 years ago on Step 4

    I just wanna add to be careful when doing dips. Depending on how deep you go, they can hurt your shoulder, due to the hyperextension of the shoulder girdle. Otherwise, great exercises for dorm space!

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 4

    i don't think the shoulder girdle range of motion includes hyperextension....retraction, elevation, depression, and protraction


    Reply 7 years ago on Step 4

    Perhaps its shoulder joint then...yes, i believe it is. I was just always told to be careful on these is all. I don't think it will be a huge issue unless if a person has recurring shoulder injury though.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nicely mixed and practical exercise series for the stressed student in a swotting phase! A good way to relax your brain and work those muscles - for a change... =)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice! Perfect mix of exercises and good instructions too


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Perfect exercices for vacations, tanks a lot Brennn10 ;)


    8 years ago on Step 10

    Seems like there is something missing at the end of text (maybe repetitions)... Great 'able, thanks.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 10

    Thanks for catching that. It must not have saved. It is corrected now!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Also, great for young working people in small aparments! Thanks for the tips!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    It looks silly but exercise is exercise! I would prefer to take a job around the campus, but that's just me!