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Dorm Room Exercises: How to Tone Muscles in a Tight Space

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Everyone knows exercise is a great way to keep stress down and confidence up, especially at college when schedules are packed and the workload is intense. When there's not enough time to go to the gym, some easy dorm room exercises might be just the thing to keep up energy and save time.


This is one of the easiest muscle groups to work out in such a small area. Since there are so many different types of ab workouts, it's a good idea to switch up the ones you do. I usually do 50 sit-ups followed by 50 of two other types of ab workouts. All the work happens in a sit-up when you lower yourself back to the floor, so remember to drop your head and shoulders — or legs, depending on the work out — slowly to make more of an impact.

Another good dorm room exercise is the leg lift (fig. 1). It's harder if you put your hands flat on the ground to your sides, but you can tuck them under your butt if you need help. Remember, don't let your feet touch the ground!

You can also try holding your legs out in the same position and kicking them up and down. This is called the flutter, and it feels great for your abs and lower back.

The twist (fig. 2) works the sides of your stomach. Just lean back at about a 45-degree angle as you twist side to side.

You can do wall sits (fig. 3) by leaning your back against the wall and keeping your knees at a 90 degree angle. It's harder than it seems! It helps to listen to a song for as long as you do it, just to keep your motivation up.

Push-ups are great for biceps and all you need is enough room for your body. To work triceps, you can do dips on a chair (fig. 4). Hold yourself up with your back to the chair and slowly lower yourself and then lift yourself back up.

These exercises are great for strengthening but it's important to do cardio, too. When I can, I run to the gym and back — this lets me spend less time on the machines while still getting a workout for a long time.

Photo credit: Kaila Braley