Photos: Kim Wiens and Marta Kierkus
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Work-out routines you can perform while studying

Finals are just around the corner, which means that students all over campus will soon be abandoning steady exercise in favour of solitary study sessions.

So, to help balance out this equation, here are a few simple workout routines that can be pulled off when you’re trying to study for finals in your oh-so cramped, but hopefully quiet, study space.

Wall sitting/air chair

wall-squatOne of the oldest tricks in the book is wall sitting. My favourite way of pulling off this technique is trying to see how many pages of notes I can read while I’m in the middle of a righteous wall sit.

For those new to this exercise, just put your back flat against a wall and lower your body until your legs are at a 90° angle. Maintain this position for as long as you can.

If this gets too easy, don’t use the wall and try doing the fake chair sit in the middle of your room, which is essentially the same exercise but without the wall to support you.


squatThis technique is the Holy Grail of developing strong legs. Squatting is my favourite because you can do them with or without weights in any location, and they’ll still give you the deep burn you’re looking for.

Simple squatting is great when you’re taking a break from studying, as it gives you a chance to get out of your seat and stretch your legs. The way I squat when I’m cramming is by having post-it notes of whatever subject I’m studying on the wall at eye-level, so that I’m constantly beating this information into my skull every time I stand up.

Go as low as you can and make sure to push off with your heels and not your toes, so that you don’t fall on your face.

You can easily replace these with lunges or, if you’re feeling exceptionally racy, jumping squats where you push off the ground and jump.

Textbook tricep extensions

textbook-liftPick up your heaviest—and probably most expensive—textbook, and prepare to feel the burn.

This is a great alternative to doing weighted tricep extensions at the gym. All you need to do for this at-home workout is grab a heavy textbook and hold it horizontally, with your thumbs on one side and fingers on the other side.

Lift the textbook and make it hover behind your head. When your arms are in a 90° angle, extend them, lifting the textbook above your head, and then back down again. Do a few repetitions of this according to your comfort level and then take a rest.

Be careful not to injure yourself, and always stay within your limits.


Desk push-ups

push-up (1)Let’s face it, not all of us can do push-ups, and sometimes being up-close and personal with your dirty carpet isn’t very appealing.

So, here’s an alternative that works for everyone. Locate a sturdy desk or counter top and grab the edge with your palm flat against it. Angle your body at about a 45° to 60° angle. The steeper the angle, the harder it is. While grabbing the edge, make sure you’re on your toes and then start to bring your chest to the table and back up.

Be sure to leave those review notes on the desktop so you can keep up with your study schedule at the same time.

If you don’t have a desk, the wall works just as well.

Happy studying!