For college students whose lives have been upended by moving off campus and transitioned to online classes, you may be looking for ways to stay sane during this uncertain time. In between school assignments and binging on Netflix, exercise is your next best move. That’s right: It’s time to workout.
Even though you’re not on campus anymore and can’t go to the gym, there are countless workouts for small spaces to browse online. But they can be hit or miss. So I pushed all the clothes in my bedroom floor to the side and tried workouts made for a small space. Here are three that might be worth checking out.
15-minute ‘Ultimate Dorm Room Workout’ (Men’s Health)
I went in overconfident with this workout from Men’s Health, which included three different workouts that would only take 15 minutes total. Each exercise called for as many repetitions as possible within 60 seconds, and a 20 second rest before moving on to the next exercise. Complete five rounds and you’re done. The exercises target arms, legs, and core muscles. I thought I could do all of them. Spoiler: I could not. I only completed the first workout—which included a ‘tempo wall slide,’ a ‘six-stop wall sit,’ and a ‘pushup hold with feet up against wall.’ The hardest part of the workout was its final exercise: The all-dreaded pushups. I don’t like them; I can’t do them. I know they’re effective, but they’re so difficult. If you can do a push up, that’s great for you. Each repetition grew more challenging and, despite the simplicity of the moves, I was a shaky mess by the end of the fifth set.
Overall, this was a good workout, but very hard. If you’re already fit, this is for you. The only issue I had was finding an empty wall. I don’t have any open walls in my apartment except in my bathroom. So I stood in my shower for all of three exercises. I would still give this ‘Ultimate Dorm Room Workout’ an eight out of 10. If you’re someone who exercises (and can do push-ups), this might be the home workout for you.
Easy Dorm Yoga (Seventeen)
My grandmother, who does chair yoga, would have thought this workout from Seventeen was easy.
The poses were very simple, all required sitting in a chair. One of the five positions was the ‘mountain’ pose where I stretched my arms above my head. Another was ‘thread the needle’ pose where I crossed my legs and flexed my foot.
Then suddenly, it was zero to 100. The ‘scale’ pose called for pushing yourself up with your hands, so you’re suspended from the chair for five to eight breaths. There was no way I was actually able to do this. This workout went from touching my thumb and middle finger in ‘lotus preparation’ to carrying my entire weight on my wrists. No, thanks. If anyone can do this pose, please let me know.
For the finale, I put my forehead down on my desk. I am a full believer in a restorative end, but this last pose did not exactly unwind the tension in my muscles.
I would not exactly recommend this workout. I was also in a chair that rolled, which did not help. However, if your shoulders are tight from sitting at your desk all day, then I would absolutely tell you to do the ‘mountain’ pose.
Full-body Dorm Room Workout (Cosmopolitan)
This Cosmo workout requires a desk chair and very little space. The five exercises included 10 reps of air squats, push-up jacks, Bulgarian split squats, bicep chair curls, and forearm planks. Run through all five moves without rest for three sets, and a 30-second break between each set.
I found 10 reps to be very short, and you hold the plank for just 30 seconds. Even for my weak core, that’s not a lot of time.
For someone who is just starting out, this is a good place to begin. But this workout is not going to make you sweat, unless you repeat the sets several more times or increase your reps. I would give this a three out of 10 recommendation. If you weren’t really looking to sweat and just move your body, this is a good option.