The first few weeks of the college semester consist of many things – catching up with friends, prepping for new classes, buying overly expensive books, etc…but if you are an avid exerciser, this can also mean long wait times for exercise equipment. It seems that every single student gets the exercise bug the first few weeks of each semester, New Years, or the week before spring break or summer.
What I have learned from talking to many students is that one of the biggest barriers they face for exercising in the beginning of the semester is the lengthy wait to use equipment or even just to get into the gym.
During college, I was so frustrated during this time because these individuals hog the equipment for a few weeks and make it difficult for those who use the gym throughout the entire semester. So, when the gym rush was in effect, I would switch up my current exercise schedule for a circuit training routine. These routines can be performed anywhere including outside or even in a living room.
- Works well for conditioning, strength, endurance, coordination, and flexibility
- Great way to provide a change from your usual fitness routine
- Used by all ages and fitness levels
- Appropriate for wide range of goals – weight loss, tone, increase strength
- Incorporates repetitions with little to no rest time between exercises to keep heart rate up and burn calories
For those who just beginning to exercise or those who feel uncomfortable exercising around others, this workout is very effective and can be completed in your dorm room or house.
This workout requires no equipment and still provides a great workout. Perform the following exercises for 30-45 seconds and move onto the next exercise with little to no rest in between. After all the exercises in the circuit are completed, rest 2 minutes and repeat the circuit 1-2 more times.
- Jumping jacks – Start with arms at your side and feet together. Bend your knees and jump, moving your feet apart until they are wider than your shoulders and arms swing up over your head. Return to starting position and repeat.
- Squats – Place feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and lower your body towards the ground by putting your weight into your heels. Lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground, then push heels into the ground and return to starting position.
- Pushups – Place hands on the ground so they are a little wider than your shoulders. Place toes on the ground and raise your body up so your weight is on your hands and feet. Bend your elbows and lower your chest down to the floor. Once your chest touches the floor, extend your elbows and return to the starting position.
- Alternating lunges – Start by standing with your feet together. Step forward with one foot allowing for both knees to bend. Your front leg should bend so your thigh is parallel to the ground and your back knee is slightly off the ground. Step back to starting position and repeat with other leg.
- Bent-over row – Use a dumbbell or something slightly heavy you can hold (i.e. bottle of laundry detergent). Kneel over a side of a chair by placing one knee and supporting hand on chair. Place other foot firmly on ground next to chair and lean over while maintaining a flat back. Grab weight off ground with free hand and pull it straight up to side until it touches ribs or upper arm. Slowly lower weight until arm is extended and repeat.
- Split Squat – Begin in a lunge position with one leg forward, one back, and hands on hips. Bend knees and slowly lower body until front knee is over toes and back knee touches ground. Rise to starting position and repeat.
- Plank – Begin in push-up position, but with arms bent 90 degrees and forearms on ground. Hold position for time by bracing abdominals and do not let hips sag to the floor.
- Flutter kicks – Lay on your back with arms at side and legs extended straight. Raise legs 6-10 inches off of the ground and keep legs fully extended. Raise one leg higher than the other, then lower that leg down and repeat with opposite leg. Repeat in an up and down motion until time is up.
Don’t let long wait times stop you from exercising and starting the semester off on a healthy note. Feel free to use this workout for a few weeks during the initial gym rush or if you are just beginning to exercise. Enjoy and have a great semester!