NU Year, NU You: Dorm fitness

Thanks to the unforgiving Chicago chill, making the three-minute trek out to SPAC is a workout in itself these days. Trudging up a hill of snow, slipping on it and then using up all of my strength to get back up leaves me feeling out of shape and out of breath before I even reach SPAC’s entrance. It was when I fell on my butt in front of a cute guy in a suit that I decided that SPAC and I just weren’t going to work out anymore. So how to stay fit now? Because I absolutely refuse to fall victim to the Freshman 15, I started doing simple but effective exercises in my dorm. Here are some exercises that are well-suited to small spaces:

Abdominal reaches


Sit upright on your chair with good posture. Spread your legs out to provide stability. Rest your arms on your knees. Quickly inhale for a second and then exhale for a second. Curve your back slightly into the back of your chair. Be sure to contract your abs throughout the entire exercise. Repeat for a minute.

Air punches


Sit upright on your chair and spread out your legs. Punch the air firmly for a minute. Rest your arms on your knees. Contract your stomach muscles.

Head circles and arm lifts


Sit upright and rotate your head in a circular motion. Raise your arm, draw it back and then drop it back down. Repeat.

Classic crunches


Lie on your back and bring your knees up. Place your hands behind your head. Raise your head to your knees.

Leg wall sit


Press your back against the wall. Bend one knee, while raising the other leg in front of you. Hold for 10 seconds. Switch legs. Repeat.

Spiderman pushups


Like most, I hate pushups. But I do enjoy Spiderman pushups, because I find them easier while still effective. Extend your arms and orient your body parallel to the floor. Take one leg and bend it across your other leg as shown above. Each time you lower into the pushup your knee will come up and touch your elbow.

Chair dips


This exercise targets the triceps. Stand in front of a chair. Place your arms (stretched out) onto the edge of the chair and extend your legs. Be sure that only your hands are touching the chair. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat.

Table rows


This exercise is designed to work out the back muscles, biceps and abs. Clear your desk and slide beneath it. Hold onto the edge, but make sure the desk is steady before exerting all of your weight onto it. Pull yourself up onto the tabletop. Hold for 10 seconds and then repeat three times. You can always add on another repetition as you make progress.

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