While living on a college campus, self-care can sometimes feel like a luxury too great to afford. Among the tiring milieu of classes, extracurriculars and hanging out with friends, it is difficult to find time for fitness and physical health.
Fitness can alleviate the discomfort that can arise from being confined to a chair all day. It can give you the mental clarity to adopt a positive outlook when stresses pile up. When looking to sleep better, burn off pent-up energy or improve your memory for rigorous study sessions, there is no better solution than exercise. So why not give it a try?
Although the benefits of exercise are well known, it is especially difficult in a college environment to find the space and time to work out. Most schools have on-campus fitness centers or workout facilities. But oftentimes, these can be intimidating to attend when one is inexperienced with workout equipment. The ideal alternative is working out from the comfort of one’s own space, which provides much-needed privacy.
However, because dorm rooms tend to err on the smaller side or are otherwise shared with roommates, this is also not always an option.
Or so one would believe. In actuality, there are a ton of amazing fitness content creators right on YouTube, making great videos, all for free.
Dorm-friendly workouts feature little to no jumping, as not to disturb roommates and possible neighbors. All these exercises require is a soft surface like a fitness mat or rug, a bit of space and a few minutes per day to develop the perfect on-campus fitness routine.
As somebody who loves fitness and has used YouTube content to work out in her dorm numerous times, I am happy to recommend some underrated fitness YouTubers that make working out in a college dorm simple.
Included with each creator are some of my go-to workouts from each of their channels. Everyone on this list is a positive role model who does not promote toxic fitness or beauty standards in their content. Rather, they provide fun and effective workouts for anyone to enjoy.
Definitely check out these fitness YouTubers if you’ve always wished you could work out from the comfort of your dorm:
1. Bailey Brown — Quick and Effective Workouts for Time Management
Bailey Brown is the ideal fitness YouTuber for anyone looking for low-impact workouts or who finds themselves short on time and craving a quick workout to warm up for their day. Although Bailey only has a comparably small audience of only 365,000 subscribers, once you try her workouts, you will question her lack of mainstream popularity.
The majority of Brown’s videos are filmed in gorgeous, scenic locations, most often lending her content a beachy and pastel-dreamy aesthetic. What makes her videos ideal for the busy college student is their length, as most of her videos are 5-10 minutes. This makes them great for squeezing in a quick workout on a busy day.
Her actual content targets areas like the core, waist, legs and glutes. Most of her workouts are equipment-free with the option to add equipment if one desires extra intensity. She even has some videos that feature low-impact cardio workouts to burn extra calories.
But the shortness of Brown’s workouts by no means implies that they are ineffective. In each video, she builds up the intensity of the workouts as they progress. Normally, Bailey will focus on one side of the body before repeating the whole process again on the other side. For example, the video may start with a simple side lunge, then transition to a lunge that adds a pulse. This elevates one’s heart rate slowly and does not disturb neighbors or roommates in a small or confined space.
In every video, Brown’s fun, fitness trainer personality shines through, as she guides viewers step-by-step the entire time, making her videos perfect for beginners.
2. Mary Braun — Effective HIIT for the Dorm
If you’re looking for a more intense-HIIT workout for the dorm, look no further than Mary Braun. With videos slightly longer than Brown’s ranging between 10-20 minutes, Braun’s content focuses mainly on abs, legs, stretch routines and best of all, silent cardio, ideal for any college living configuration.
In such videos, Braun gives the viewers modifications of typical high-impact cardio workouts. These videos are created with tight spaces in mind. Like any HIIT workout, these videos typically feature 30 seconds of work devoted to each exercise with interim rests. She manages to ramp up the intensity in these videos with exercises like mountain climbers, squats and modified jumping jacks. Even without large ranges of movement, you are still guaranteed to be sweating by the end of one of Braun’s apartment-friendly cardio burns.
Another coveted aspect of Braun’s channel is her flexibility routines, mainly designed to help one get closer to mastering splits. However, these stretching videos are perfect to loosen stiff legs and relax the body as a whole, even if one is not working toward their splits.
Unlike Brown’s approach to making videos, Braun does not directly lead viewers through her videos, opting instead to remain silent, with no narration, and allowing those at home to follow along at their own pace by copying her movements. There are pros and cons to this workout method. On one hand, it allows one to relax and figure out the movements on their own. But for some who are new to working out, opting for a channel with live commentary may be ideal. Whatever one’s preference, Braun’s quick and effective workouts are still worth checking out.
Shockingly, Braun’s channel only boasts 275,000 subscribers despite her exquisite variety of content. Her dorm-friendly cardio is undeniably a godsend and her stretch routines will have you feeling your best after a long day.
3. Move With Nicole — Amazing Pilates To Energize You
Of all the fitness YouTubers on this list, Move With Nicole is my go-to for a great dorm workout. This amazing Pilates instructor will have you feeling sore the next day, working the smallest muscles in your body — all on the space of one mat.
Move With Nicole’s Pilates workouts range between 20 and 40 minutes long and are perfect for newcomers and seasoned Pilates pros alike. Showing off a beautiful Australian beach, Move With Nicole’s channel features barre workouts, stretch routines and traditional Pilates content. She occasionally uploads monthly schedules and calendars to help one stick to a viable schedule.
All of her videos feature stretch-heavy warmups and cooldowns that sandwich the actual workouts. Her videos are challenging, but Nicole makes it super easy to follow through the whole time. She walks viewers through every step of each workout in a slow and relaxed manner. She even tells viewers how to match their breathing to the movements to make for the most effective workout possible. Her workouts never feel slow, redundant or boring— just plain fun and rewarding.
I highly recommend checking out Pilates with Nicole for an energized morning. Her workouts will get you pumped and in a long-lasting good mood. Your body, as well as your roommates, will thank you. If you’ve never tried Pilates before, Nicole will get you hooked.
4. Yoga with Kassandra — Perfect for Unwinding and Relieving Stress
A very different approach to fitness and taking care of one’s body is through the healing and restorative powers of yoga.
Kassandra has videos for all levels and all kinds of time slots. Her Yin yoga content features a deeper and more advanced stretch, her strength-heavy vinyasa flows foster a more rigorous workout and even her traditional evening yoga flows are perfect for unwinding after a strenuous day.
Another great part about Kassandra’s content is the videos geared toward certain muscle groups, like her videos on yoga for the calves, hamstrings or hips. These videos are guaranteed to relieve any pain in these specific areas. You will feel brand new after targeting stiff body parts with these flows.
Kassandra also narrates all her videos for easy follow-along. She even directs some flows entirely in French. If you are interested in learning the language or are a French student yourself, this content is perfect for immersion.
Overall, Kassandra’s meditations are a great way to relax, unwind and not take up too much space in a crowded dorm.
All of these fitness YouTubers make amazing content for the busy college life — creating effective ways to work out in a dorm or apartment, or in a way that is low-impact yet still productive.
While college is about enriching your mind, it is also imperative to remain happy and healthy to have the best possible experience — and what better way than through fitness?
So, roll out your mats, because “hot girl summer” may be over, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to begin a fitness regimen. There is no better time to start than right now.