It will all workout: Exercising in a cramped student apartment

As gyms around the world closed in March to limit the spread of the COVID-19, bodybuilders and casual gym-goers alike were forced to recreate fitness centres in their homes. Though some Montreal gyms reopened in June, many people still do not feel safe returning. For some, this means adapting their workout routines from an expansive space with professional equipment to a bedroom with a yoga mat. Here’s how some McGill students have continued exercising in their apartments throughout quarantine.

HIIT Workouts

Tabata—a form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that alternates 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest—provides a balance between rigour and recovery that makes it great for casual fitness enthusiasts and competitive athletes alike. Tabata routines cycle through many different exercises, allowing people to build strength while also working on endurance. Designed to be accessible to anyone with a yoga mat and water bottle, hundreds of tabata workouts are available for free online.

Dance Workouts

Staying fit during quarantine can seem impossible, and for those who do not enjoy exercise, being in quarantine is a great excuse to skip working out. Dance music routines, however, are a fantastic alternative for those who want to work out to good music, but are unmotivated by traditional exercises. Online personalities like YouTuber MadFit post weekly dance workouts featuring various popular artists. The workouts range from five to 30 minutes, and demonstrate dance moves that can turn a dance party into a full cardio workout. Don’t let quarantine keep you stationary: Get up and get dancing.

Gymnastics Rings

Have you ever watched Olympic gymnasts performing their routines on the rings and thought to yourself, “I bet I can do that?” Unfortunately, you probably can’t, but you can buy a set of rings and straps at a fairly reasonable price and start practising. Rings bring versatility and mobility to your workouts; you can set them up on anything from a pullup bar to a tree in the park. According to self-proclaimed fitness gurus on YouTube, ring workouts can leave you feeling drained. You’ll see quick progress, and best of all: Your friends, family, and random strangers in the park will be in awe of your new-found gymnastic abilities. 


Yoga studios have started to reopen at limited capacity, but many may choose not to return to enclosed spaces they once frequented before the pandemic. Yoga offers a range of physical and mental exercises that allows one to focus on breathing, flexibility, and strength. Whether you’re practicing yoga as a solitary morning de-stresser, a virtual online session, or outside in a socially-distanced class, yoga is a great way to stay active and grounded during tumultuous times.


Biking is usually an outdoor sport, but as winter closes in, that stops being an option for Montreal cyclists. Fortunately, with a few quick modifications and a stationary stand, you can still get a good spin in. Previously, this may have been a boring and sweaty endeavor, but apps like Zwift allows you to ride virtually with other users, making the experience much more engaging and competitive. The app lets you ride anywhere in the world through your TV screen, and even with professional cyclists.

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