Ok, let's be real, even though your tuition covered a gym membership, you don't have time to go. It's ok, we get it, we've all been to college. However, there's no reason you can't get up 15 minutes early every morning and get the blood pumping. These are some of the best circuit workouts that can be done right in your dorm room or around campus. Perform each group of exercises once a week with at least 1 day break between each group. (See: Eating Healthy on a Student Budget)
Day #1 – Monday
Complete each move for 30 seconds, with 10 seconds of rest between. At the end of all 8 moves, rest for 2 to 3 minutes. That's 1 circuit. Complete the entire circuit 3 to 5 times.
- High Knees: Hold your hands out flat just above your waist. Quickly bring your right knee to your hand like you're jogging, then the left, then the right. Do this continuously for 30 seconds before stopping. Try to keep your pace fast. You want to almost simulate running.
- Butt Kicks: Same idea as above, but this time instead of throwing your knees up, you're trying to kick your butt with the heel of your feet. Do this as rapidly and as fast as you can for 30 seconds.
- Jump Squats: Now that you've got a sweat going, stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and squat your butt as close to the floor as you can without over extending yourself. When you come back up jump as high as you can! As soon as your feet touch the ground drop right back into your squat position. Repeat!
- Push-Ups: We've all done push ups before haven't we? If you're feeling rather spry, try putting your feet up on your bed to increase the intensity. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds.
- Mountain Climbers: While still in your push-up position, start bringing your knees to your chest. First the left, then the right. This will really activate your core!
- Leg Lifts: Flip over, and lay down on your back. Place your hands by your side to help stabilize your body. Keep your legs straight and lift them off the ground as high as you can and slowly lower them back down to the ground without your heels actually touching the ground. That's one.
- Supermans: Lay on your stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you – palms on the floor – like you're flying in a Superman movie. Now keep your arms and legs straight and stiff, and raise them off the ground so the only part touching is your belly. There should be a slight curve in your spin without torquing it. Hold for 5 seconds.
Day #2 – Wednesday
- Tempo Wall Slide: Stand with your head, upper back, and butt touching the wall. Raise your arms so that the back of your hands touch the wall. Bend your elbows 90 degrees with your upper arms parallel to the ground. Pull your shoulders down and back as you slide your elbows up the wall as far as you can. Then slide your elbows down the wall as far as you can. Keep your butt, upper back, head, hands, and elbows in contact with the wall throughout the movement. Perform the move at a tempo of 3 seconds up, 3 seconds down. Make it harder: Push your arms, hands, and elbows against the wall as hard as you can.
- Six-Stop Wall Sit: Lean against a wall with your feet 2 feet away from it at shoulder width. Slowly lower yourself and bend your knees. Keep your head, back, and tailbone in contact with the wall. Pause six times as you lower down a few inches at a time. Hold each pause for 10 seconds. At the bottom position, your thighs should be parallel to the floor. Work your way back up. Your legs should be burning. It's a good thing!
- Push Up Hold with Feet Up Against Wall: Get into a push up position with your feet fully planted against a wall. Place your hands slightly in front of your forehead for maximum leverage. Drive your heels into the wall. Bring your shoulders down and back, brace your core, and squeeze your glutes. Make it harder: Assume the same position as above, but place your feet about a foot up on a wall.
- 20-10 Cardio/Core Supersets: Perform 20 seconds of max effort stationary running (cardio exercise) followed by 10 seconds of rest. Then perform 20 seconds of max effort mountain climbers followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat for 4 minutes total.
Day #3 – Friday
- T-Push Up Against Wall: Get into a push up position, your body parallel to and a couple inches away from a wall. Do a full push up and on your way back, rotate the back of your torso towards the wall, raising your opposite hand into the air. With your arm straight, press the back of your hand against the wall and hold for 4 seconds. Return to the starting position, and repeat. When you complete the cycle again, perform the exercise on your opposite side.
- Left-Leg Split Squat: Get into a lunge position with your front knee and ankle aligned and your back leg on your bed so it's elevated off the ground. Keep your torso straight. Put your weight on the heel of your lead leg throughout the movement. Slowly lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground. Your knee should form a 90-degree angle. Rise up to the starting position.
- Right-Leg Split Squat: Repeat the same movement as above, only with the opposite foot in front.
- 20-10 Cardio/Core Supersets: Perform 20 seconds of max effort seal jacks, where you clap your hands in front of you instead of overhead. Follow with 10 seconds of rest. Then perform 20 seconds of push-up jacks, where you jump your feet in and out while holding a push-up position. Follow with 10 second of rest. Repeat for 4 minutes total.