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How to Do Cardio in a Dorm or Small Apartment

Feeling Boxed In by Your Dorm or Apartment? This Cardio Circuit Is Perfect For Small Spaces

Young woman getting ready for morning exercising

If you've recently headed off to college, or traded in your beloved gym membership to help pay rent on your first apartment, you may be understandably worried that your workouts will suffer. But whether you're short on resources or time (who can make it to the gym across campus with a packed class schedule?), you can still get in a good sweat session, no matter how small your living space may be. Here, Mathew Forzaglia, a certified personal trainer and creator of Forzag Fitness on the NEOU app, shares his tips for how to squeeze in a cardio workout in a tight space.

How to Safely Work Out in a Dorm or Small Apartment

Before you get moving, remember that you'll need to be careful not to hurt yourself or wreck anything around you. "Be mindful of sharp corners and take down anything that's fragile and could break or fall while you're working out," Mathew told POPSUGAR. For example, breakable items on bookshelves could slide off, depending on how close you are and how hard you're working while doing certain moves, like jumping jacks. Do a quick scan before you start so you don't have to stop mid-workout to grab a broom and sweep up glass. Mathew also recommends staying at least an arm's length away from all furniture, in order to do your exercises correctly and effectively.

The Best Workout Equipment For Small Spaces

Good news: you don't need much. "You can get in a decent workout just by using your bodyweight," Mathew said. If you have room for other equipment, your best space-saving bets are a kettlebell, a booty band, or a pair of gliders. Check out some workouts below that use this equipment:

Try This Cardio Circuit, Ideal For a Dorm or Small Apartment

If you're not sure where to start, try these circuits to get in a quick sweat session before you head off to work in the morning or in between classes. Depending on how much time you have, you can do one or all three of these circuits for a more complete set, Mathew explained.

Circuit 1: Death by Burpees

  • Set a timer for one minute. Perform as many burpees as you can in that time, resting for 10 seconds between each one.
  • Set the timer for two minutes. This time, do two burpees back-to-back before taking a 10-second rest; repeat for the entire two minutes.
  • Set the timer for three minutes, completing three burpees at a time and resting for 10 seconds in between, until the time expires.
  • Set the clock for four minutes and continue the pattern: four burpees followed by a 10-second rest. Repeat this pattern for the entire four minutes.

Circuit 2: 300-Rep Challenge
In this circuit, you'll complete 10 rounds, striving to get faster each time. One round consists of:

Circuit 3: Chipper
Perform each exercise for 100 reps, followed by 80 reps, 60 reps, 40 reps, and finally 20 reps. If needed, take a 30-second rest in between exercises and a one minute rest in between sets. Each set consists of the following exercises:

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