The fashionista is in: at home fitness

Itching to get slim but don’t have time for the gym? Fear not, the fitnessista is here.

Shannon Ryan

We’re approaching the end of the year: six weeks left of lectures, lecterns and listening to professors list the elements of a stellar public relations campaign. Then we ditch the PDFs and book bags in favor of Harper’s Bazaar and Longchamps filled with towels and sunscreen, all in the name of summer vacation.

With the increase in odious deadlines and exams, it can be difficult to make it to the gym to get a jumpstart on your beach body, and the extra time you do have is given to tasks of more importance: a lengthy Facebook stalk or a bath and a beer.

I am right there with you, and that’s why I’ve developed a series of at-home exercises that require little time and have big results. No need to spend major cash on weights and equipment — there’s an at-home object for that. This is a revolutionary fitness plan titled “The Poor Girl’s Guide to Getting Fit.”


Washboard workout

More than simply an industrial solvent, laundry detergent can double as a weight used to strengthen your abdomen. Depending on how full your product is, the weight will vary from about 11 pounds for 1.3 gallons, which is about the average size. Use this in lieu of a medicine ball for standard and enhanced crunches. Start with three sets of 10 crunches apiece, resting one minute between each set. Repeat three to four times each week.



Lie on your back with knees bent and your feet on the floor. Hold the bottle with both hands slightly off of your abdomen, and slowly lift your chest off of the ground. Hold for two seconds each.



Begin this exercise in the same position as the standard crunch, but as you lift your chest off of the floor, twist to your right side and hold that position for two seconds. Lower yourself back to the floor, and repeat on your left side.


A great way to show off your tight stomach is to invest in a pair of high-waist trousers and a crop top. Each article cuts off at the smallest part of your waist, revealing a smidgeon of skin for a sexy summertime look.


Bottle and a bicep

Put your liquor bottles to a second use: strengthening your arm muscles. A 1.75 liter of vodka weighs a little more than six pounds, a perfect weight to replace dumbbells for arm lifts. Do these two exercises right after one another, with no rest in between, four to five times a week.


Standing V raise:

Hold a bottle in each hand, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides. With arms straight but not locked, raise the weights diagonally in front of you so that your arms form a V shape until your arms are parallel to the floor. Hold for one second, and then return to the starting position. Do 12 to 15 reps.


Shoulder press:

Holding the bottles just above your shoulders, palms facing each other, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Raise your arms straight overhead and hold for one second, then take three seconds to lower your arms back to your shoulders. Do six to eight reps.


The only season appropriate for strapless dresses and tops is summer, and with a strong set of arms and a toned upper back, you’ll look divine going sleeveless.


Stepping stones

A number of exercises can be completed on a staircase, and many of them help to strengthen not only your hamstrings and glutes but also your heart. Fortunately for those of us living on or near campus, finding a staircase is not like looking for a Balenciaga for $200 — there’s a set of stairs quite literally around every corner. Perform this set three to four times each week, resting for five minutes in between.



Run up and down the stairs without skipping a step as many times as you can for one minute. Rest for two minutes, and then repeat for a total of five sets.


Incline T-pushup:

Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the third or fourth step up and extend your legs behind you; your body should form a straight line from shoulders to heels. Do a pushup, and once you’re back to start, twist your torso to the right until you’re in a side plank, raising your right hand above you. Hold for two seconds and return to start. Repeat on the left side, alternating for a total of 16 rotations.


Show off your polished gams and taut backside in a pair of high-waist shorts with a heeled pair of sandals. The height of the shorts extending into your midsection coupled with the mild lift of the heel will make your legs look my-oh-my miles long.