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A Home Workout for Beginner College Students

Many students think that going away to college dooms them to acquiring the dreaded freshman 15. On the contrary, maintaining a regular exercise regimen can help keep you on a healthy path as you hit the books this semester. While most dorm rooms are extremely small and lack any fitness equipment, this doesn't mean you can't stay in shape. Try this beginner workout routine to keep you fit while you’re away at school.

Read more: Problems College Students Face When They Don't Exercise

How to Put it Together

The workout program detailed below should last about 30 minutes and can be completed at a moderate intensity up to five times each week. Begin by performing one set of each exercise and gradually increase to two or three sets as the routine becomes easier. If any of the exercises cause increased pain, be sure to stop them immediately to lower your risk of an injury.

Warm Up

Start your workout with a brief warm up. Start by jogging in place for 5 to 10 minutes. Try to keep a quick pace and stay in one spot on the floor as you do this. Then, add in a few starter exercises to get your heart rate up. Jumping jacks, push-ups or mini-squats are easy ones to begin with and 1 to 2 minutes of each suffices.

Toe Tap

Toe Taps are an easy plyometric exercise that don’t require much space or equipment.

HOW TO DO IT: Stand facing a chair and quickly lift your right leg in the air as you tap your right foot on the seat. Then, bring your right leg back down as you lift your left foot to the chair in the same fashion. Continue to alternate legs continuously for 30 seconds while keeping your trunk upright. Attempt two to three sets of toe taps per workout.

Plank

Planks are a great way to activate the abdominal muscles in your core.

HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your stomach with both forearms on the ground under your chest. Lift your body into the air as you rise up onto your toes. When your spine is completely straight, squeeze your stomach muscles without holding your breath. Maintain this position for 20 to 30 seconds before relaxing. Try five to 10 planks in one sitting.

Wall Squat

This simple variation of a squat will help strengthen and tone the quadriceps muscles in your thighs.

HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your back to a smooth wall or door and your feet approximately 12 inches away from it. Lean your shoulders and butt against the surface and let your knees bend as you slowly slide down. When your knees bend to a 90 degree angle, stop and hold for 10 seconds before sliding back up again. Do two to three sets of 10 repetitions of the wall squats per workout.

Burpee

Burpees target your shoulder, chest and quad muscles while also incorporating a cardio component.

HOW TO DO IT: Start in a standing position and then lower your hands to the floor beside your shoulders. Kick your feet backwards into a plank and then perform a push-up on the floor. Next, bring your feet forward under your stomach and then quickly jump straight up with your arms overhead. Continue to quickly cycle between these positions while completing two to three sets of 10 burpees.

Bird Dog

This oddly named exercise activates your shoulder blade, glute, and core muscles without needing much square footage.

HOW TO DO IT: Get onto your hands and knees on the floor. Begin by squeezing your stomach muscles and flattening your low back. Then, lift your right arm off the ground and over your head as you extend your left leg behind you. Hold your extremities in this position for 10 seconds before lowering them back down and repeating the motion with the opposite arm and leg. Try two to three sets of 10 repetitions of the exercise on each side.

Read More: Exercises Students Can Do During Class for Weight Loss

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About the Author

Tim Petrie is a sports medicine physical therapist and a certified orthopedic specialist practicing in Milwaukee, WI. In addition to treating patients of all ages, he is passionate about writing about health and wellness topics. In his free time, Tim loves to run and travel with his wife and two kids.

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