Illustration by Amelia Madarang

Box jump into the semester: a new dorm room workout routine

These are unprecedented times, and as winter approaches it is becoming increasingly more difficult to exercise. Pamplin Sports Center has been reduced to a single white tent, and it is too snowy, rainy or cold outside to engage in traditional outdoor exercises. So what should you do? Well, if you live on campus, here is a workout you can complete using only the items found in a dorm room. Disclaimer: these exercises are less than traditional and you should have a roommate or workout buddy spot you to avoid injury.

Split squat

The hard wooden desk chairs in your dorm that are horrifically uncomfortable to sit in for online classes are actually perfect for performing a split squat. First, take the pillows and blankets you have on the seat to make it more bearable to sit on and place them on the floor. Then, move the chair to the center of your room to give yourself space. Next, face away from the chair and rest the top of one foot back behind you on the seat. You should be far enough away that you have room to lunge but not so far that you have trouble reaching the seat. Once you are in position, slowly lower yourself into a lunge, making sure that your front knee does not go over your toe. Do this 10 times before switching to the other leg. If you want to increase the intensity, hold some of your textbooks as you lunge.

Box jumps

Most of the dorms on campus come furnished with stackable drawers that are great for modified box jumps. Depending on how comfortable you are, you can use one, two or all three drawers for your jumps. Once again, place them in the center of your room to give yourself ample space. Then, take a squat position facing the drawers, make sure you are putting your butt to the ground, then swing your arms upwards as you jump. Your momentum should carry you to the top of the drawers. Remember, you are jumping for height, not distance, so make sure your toes clear the top of the highest drawer to avoid injury.


The leaf on the back of most of the desks may seem useless, and it usually is, unless you want to get a really good ab workout in your room. Yes, you could technically do all of these exercises on your floor, but if your floor looks anything like mine, that is less than ideal. The surface of your desk is much easier to clean, and more ergonomic if you lay out a towel or blanket on top to lay down on. You will have to remove everything from the surface of your desk, and move it far enough away from the wall so there is enough room to let the leaf out. Now, you have the perfect surface for doing your crunches, bicycles, leg lifts or any other ab workouts you might want to do. Tall people, try going diagonal otherwise you might be forced to brave the floor.

As for arm workouts, you can lift any number of items in your dorm. Try doing some textbook curls, hydro flask shrugs or doing some angled push-ups against your bed frame. Once you have completed all of these things, you will have done a relatively good workout, all without leaving your room. Again, make sure to be mindful of the fact that these items are not made for exercise and should be used with caution. 

Aidan was a contributor for the Pioneer Log in his first semester at Lewis and Clark and became a features editor for his second semester. He is also a member of the Ultimate Frisbee team, Model United Nations, and Psych club.
As a features editor, he hopes to direct students’ attention to events, people, and interesting details about the community they share. He also hopes to inspire fellow students to write for the Pioneer Log and contribute to its supportive journalistic environment.

Aidan is a Psychology major and English minor. In his free time, he enjoys reading, writing poetry, playing the piano, and all things comedy.

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