The trucking industry is full of largely sedentary jobs that provide little space for proper workouts. This leads to an epidemic of increased levels of obesity, heart disease and many other health concerns among truck drivers. The good news is there are exercises that can be done virtually anywhere. Whether you’re squeezing in workout time in the truck first thing in the morning or fitting it in during mandatory downtime, you can find activities to do. In fact, there are even truck driver exercises that you can do while you’re staged and waiting for a pickup or delivery.
Stretching may not sound like much, but routine stretches can make a big difference in your flexibility and reduce muscle tension pain. As a truck driver, the repetitive motions of driving can lead to pain in your shoulders, arms, hips, knees and lower back. Things like lateral leg lifts, pelvic tilts and shoulder shrugs can help loosen tight muscles and preserve your range of motion. You can even do some of them right from the driver’s seat while you’re waiting at a loading yard.
Don’t dismiss yoga for your routine workouts. In fact, yoga has been shown to help not only with strength-building and toning your core, but also with stress reduction and calming. Since driving a semi-truck can be a high-stress job, daily yoga can help you to manage the effects.
As antiquated as it may seem, walking is still one of the best truck driver exercises. In such a sedentary job, it’s in your best interest to get up and get moving when you have the chance. Even a 15-minute walk every day can make a difference. If you don’t feel like you can safely leave the truck where it’s parked, that’s OK. Just do about 30 laps around the truck right where it’s sitting to get a mile in. Over time, add difficulty by wearing ankle and wrist weights to increase resistance.
4. Step Exercises
Stepping is great for aerobic activity and getting your heart rate up. It’s also beneficial for toning your legs and your core. You don’t need to carry an aerobic step for this, either. You’ve got one right on the side of your truck. Use the step on your truck to do 15 or 20 reps at a time, a couple of times a day, as you can fit it.
5. Tricep Dips
While you’re toning the lower body, use that same step and help strengthen your upper body, too. Tricep dips are great truck driver exercises because they tone your upper body without the need for extra equipment in the truck. Ten or 15 reps at a time, once or twice a day, will help you build strength and tone those muscles.
Strengthening your core is important because it helps you to burn fat that’s settled around your abdomen. Crunches are one of the more effective ways to do just that. You might even be able to do them in your truck if you don’t have a lot of stuff on the floor between the bunk and the front seats. Just lie down on your back, interlock your fingers behind your head and stretch your legs out straight. Then, raise your upper body toward your feet and pull your knees in toward your chest, “crunching” your body together and using the support of your abdominal muscles to do so. Hold this for a few seconds and then release. Repeat the movement for 10 to 20 reps a day.
When it comes to truck driver exercises, planking is often far more beneficial for toning your core than you might give it credit for. A proper plank starts with lying face-down before raising your body up onto your forearms and your toes. Hold this position for as long as you can, trying to tough out beyond when it feels like it’s becoming difficult. Even 30-second intervals are good when you’re first starting, then make it longer as you go.
Push-ups are a popular exercise because they provide both upper body and core toning. If you have the room in the truck, you can do them right in the truck, between the bunk and the front seats. If not, a yoga mat in the parking space right beside your truck can be as effective a workout place.
Squats are a widely known exercise, but they are often overlooked in the trucking community. Even a few quick squats as you’re getting out of or into the truck each time can make a difference for your overall muscle tone.
You can increase the intensity or difficulty of any of these truck driver exercises by adding free weights, resistance bands, and stress balls. For more tips and information helpful for truck drivers, or to find out about the right insurance coverage for your truck, visit us at Rev Insurance.