Back to School Workout Series

With 3 daughters heading off to college this Fall, I wanted to put together a workout series that they could easily incorporate into their collegeate routine.  With classes, studying, extracurricular activities, part time jobs, not to mention pizza and parties... finding time for fitness becomes a challenge.  However, it is not impossible.  Finding time to exercise can not only help you fight the college weight gain, but it can improve your focus and concentration as well as improve your mood and reduce anxiety and stress.  There are soooo many benefits to working out and they don't all have to do with your weight.  You can read more about the MANY benefits of exercise here.

Most colleges have a fitness center, indoor track and pool on campus with extended hours to accommodate students'  busy schedules.  Make your goal  to workout  at least 3 days a week while also incorporating walking or biking to classes and around campus into your daily plan.  There are 4 workouts in this Back to School Series.  If you are working out 3 days a week, I would suggest doing the upper body workout,  lower body workout and cardio core workout.  If you are wanting to make fitness part of your daily routine, I would suggest doing  upper body, cardio/core, full body, cardio/core, lower body.  For those days you can't get to the fitness center or for those of you who don't like working out with other people, all of these workouts can be done in your dorm room or apartment with the use of resistance bands.  You can buy a set here or find them at your local sporting goods store.  

So colleagates...start your year off not only nourishing your mind, but also nourishing your body.   Create your favorite playlist, grab a workout buddy (it helps you stay committed)  and make fitness a part of your weekly to do list.  I promise you the benefits will amaze you!  It's like we always say...happy life, healthy life!


  • follow the reps for each exercise on the upper, lower and full body workouts

  • on cardio/core workouts you can set the timer OR follow the reps

  • You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs. Click HERE for full disclaimer.


  • resistance bands

  • dumbbells, weights

Warm-Up - 30 seconds each exercise

boxer shuffle, butt kicks, jumping jacks, skaters, good mornings, squat kicks, lunges, side lunges (click here for video of warm up exercises and be sure to do the warm up before each workout)


Upper Body Workout

  • This workout combines upper body strength with cardio and core exercises to give you an upper body workout that also burns calories and strengthens your abs!

  • Do these exercises in an ABAB format.

  • Rest as needed.

A.  Front Raise  10-12  B.  Mt Climber 40

A. Alternating Hammer Bicep Curl  10-12  B.  Bicycle Crunch 40

A. Walk Out Push Up  10-12  B.  Jumping Jack 40

A. Row with Band or One Arm Row 10-12. B.  Reverse Crunch 15

A.  Band Tricep Extention or Lying Tricep Extension/Skull Crushers 10-12  B. High Knees  40

A.  Lateral Raise  10-12  B.  Russian Twist 25

A.  Kneeling Band Bicep Curls or Bicep Curls 10-12  B.  Jump Rope 40

A.  Windmill Push Up or Chest Flies 10-12  B.  Long Leg Obliques  30

A.  Standing Rhomboid Pull or Reverse Flies 10-12  B.  Plank Shoulder Tap 20

A.  Tricep Kickback. 10-12  B.  Burpees 10


Lower Body Workout

  • Adding resistance/weight to workouts stimulates more muscle growth.

  • Adding explosive cardio moves increases fat burn.

  • Do these strength exercises in ABAB format. Between ABAB sets do explosive cardio move.

  • For an added challenge work through each set at ABABAB format:)

  • Rest as needed.

A.  Romanian Deadlift 10-12  B.  Split Squats   10-12 each leg

A.  Sumo Squat  10-12  B.  Side Lunges  10-12 each leg

  • Explosive cardio move: Reverse Lunge Skip 10 each leg

A.  Goblet Squat  10-12  B.  One Legged Deadlift. 10-12 each leg

  • Explosive cardio move: Skaters 15-20


Full Body Workout

  • This workout requires NO equipment and can be done anywhere...dorm, apartment or outside!

  • Go through each ABC set 2-4 times.

  • Rest as needed.

SET 1:

A.  Windmill push ups -10 reps

B.  3 pulse squat jumps-10 reps

C.  Plank with rear raiser-20 reps alternate sides

SET 2:

A.  Crab walks -10 reps 

 B.  Reverse lunge skip-10 reps L and R

C.   Plank knee to same elbow + hip taps-20 reps

SET 3:

A.  Pike push ups-10 reps

B.  Burpee + jumping jacks-10 reps

C.  Plank shoulder taps-20 reps


Cardio/Core Workout

  • ABAB format.

  • Follow the given reps for each exercise.

  • If you like using a timer (we like using Seconds app), set for 30 seconds of exercise/15 seconds rest.

  • For an added challenge work through each set at ABABAB format:)

  • Rest as needed.

SET 1:  A.  modified jump lunges  10  B. in and out crunch 10

SET 2:  A. jumping jack + burpee  10  B. plank hip taps  10 (count 1-1, 2-2...)

SET 3:  A. jump rope 40   B. Reverse Crunch  10

SET 4:  A. 3 pulse jump squats   10  B. russian twists  10 (count 1-1, 2-2...)

SET 5:  A. skiers  40   B. plank rear raisers 10. (count 1-1, 2-2...)

SET 6:  A. mountain climbers  40  B. bird dogs  10 each side

SET 7:  A. reverse lunge toe touch 10 each leg  B.  long leg obliques 10

View working out as a positive way to relieve stress, or as a great way to take a study break, and you’re more likely to stick with it

Fill out the form below to download the printable workouts to take to the gym with you!  

Don't forget to click the link after submitting the form.

DORM COLLEGE WORKOUT SERIES. back to school workouts!
back to school workout series.  college workouts to burn and tone!

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