Strength Training: Dorm Edition

by Mackenzie M. | September 13th, 2011 | Strength Training

Last week, I wrote about developing a running habit for the college student. I emphasized the important and positive effects running can have on both your physical and mental health. Continuing with the theme of dorm room fitness, comes the somewhat more difficult task – strength training in college.

Let’s be serious, for both men and women of college age, looking your physical best is important. Strength training helps to sculpt your muscles, so that you appear fit and healthy.

Keeping a workout routine while in school can be difficult at best; however, the combination of cardio and some easy in-dorm strength training will be enough to help you become fit. You do not need the giant university weight room to get the muscle definition you desire (although it would be good to go when you feel motivated). You will be on your way to tip-top shape in no time if you follow the easy exercises outlined below.

As cheesy as it may sound, march in place. Anything that gets your arms and legs involved is a good way to maintain muscle. Challenge yourself, and see how long you can do it for. Lift your legs high; it’s not as easy as it looks!

Take advantage of the stairs in your building. My building last year had twelve floors, making for a stair runner’s nirvana. Running stairs counts as both cardio and strength training. It is a superb way to build up your leg muscles, and you will even feel the burn in your abs.

There are numerous kinds of squats, and they each have the power to benefit you in different ways. Squats can build up your leg muscles, abs, as well as firm your glutes. Correct form is imperative though.

Jumping jacks are more than just an activity for little kids. Jumping jacks can build muscle on your shoulders, abs, thighs, and calves. Again, challenge yourself. Try to do five more each time.

My grandfather taught me one of the classic ways to build arm muscle if your only workout equipment is a desk. Stand in front of the desk, and place your hands at the edge, lean and do push-ups off the desk. Always remember, your own body weight offers the best natural resistance to build muscle.

Sit-ups, combined with cardio, are a near guarantee to flatten your stomach if done on a regular basis. During study breaks or between classes, do 50 sit-ups.

As Lady Gaga said, “Just Dance.” When it comes to strength training, this could not ring more true. Dancing at a fast pace will count as your cardio, and surprisingly, can be a great strength training tool. Crank up the music in your dorm, and just let loose!

The final tip is to invest in some 10-15 lb. weights to keep in your dorm. Just doing some simple reps with these will give you arm muscles worthy of envy in less than a month. Always remember, no pain, no gain!

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.