The best exercises for truck drivers are squats, push-ups, planks, mountain climbers, and running. All of the exercises can be done without weights and can help lead to a healthier lifestyle on the road. Whether you’re new to trucking or have been driving for years, a well-balanced exercise regimen can greatly improve your quality of life.
In this article, we’ll break down how to do each exercise and what types of variations you can do to best perform in your workout.
Top 5 Best Exercises for Truck Drivers
Squats are one of the best exercises for truck drivers because they are extremely low impact and can be done anywhere at any time. After driving for hours on end, it’s very typical for truck drivers to feel swelling and tingling in their legs. Blood flow is restricted and your legs need movement or else they will stiffen up. Simple and straightforward, squats help strengthen your quadriceps and hamstrings while working on your balance and core strength.
To do a proper squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your weight on your heels. Bend your knees as if you were slowly sitting down behind you until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Then stand up straight while keeping your feet on the ground. Repeat this process until you feel a muscle burning sensation in your legs.
Push-ups help strengthen your back, chest, arms, and upper body. Of course, when done properly, like most exercises, push-ups also strengthen your core. Push-ups are a great replacement for bench presses at the gym and can give you the same type of muscles when done on a consistent basis.
To do a proper push-up, start with your hands flat on the ground, just about shoulder-width apart. To work your triceps a little more, you can also tuck your elbows into your body. Keep your body straight and parallel to the ground. Then bend your elbows to lower yourself to the ground slowly. Push back up until your forearms are fully extended. Repeat this process in sets of ten. Remember, the slower you go, the more difficult it will be.
Planks are one of the best exercises for truck drivers who are just getting started with their workout routines. Planks help provide stability and core strength while adding muscle to both your abs and lower back. Most planks are done in sets of one minute or more, but it’s also fun to time yourself to see how long you can go.
To do a proper plank, simply position yourself on the ground face down. Then, prop your body up and rest on your forearms and toes. Hold this position for as long as you can. Very soon, you’ll start to feel pressure in your abs and you will want to dip your lower back into the ground. Make sure to keep your back rigid as you perform this exercise or you will injure yourself over time.
4. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are a total body workout and not for the faint of heart. This is definitely a more advanced body weight exercise that requires both strength and coordination to do effectively. However, even beginners can recognize that mountain climbers are one of the best exercises for truck drivers after they see how exhausted they get from just a few sets of these.
To properly do mountain climbers, start in a push-up plank position with your body parallel to the ground. Then pull your right knee under your stomach while keeping your toes off the ground. Return your right foot to the starting plank position and repeat that same movement with your left leg. Do this rapidly while keeping your arms and back straight and steady. Try this exercise slowly at first until your body understands the motions. Then, ramp it up and get a cardiovascular workout in as well.
Running doesn’t quite fall into the same category as many of these other body weight exercises listed. However, it is one of the most effective ways to burn calories and give yourself a total body workout. Running helps to increase your cardiovascular strength and can help reduce your chance of heart disease, stroke, and other serious medical conditions. Best of all, you really can run anywhere at any time and get an effective workout all year-round.
Many running styles differ and expert runners can argue endless about proper form. The most important thing, however, is to make sure you are scaling your runs appropriately so you don’t burn out and hurt yourself. Going on too many runs for too long of a time can lead to foot pain, knee pain, or even serious injury. As a professional driver, the last thing you want to do is hurt yourself. Remember to start slow and base your workout on your current athletic ability.
Perfecting the Best Exercises for Truck Drivers
No matter who you are or what your current body type is, a simple workout each day can do wonders for your health. Truck drivers are especially susceptible to obesity and conditions caused by it because of the stress they put on their bodies. However, in an increasingly digital world, there are ways to help remind you how to exercise even when you’re on the road. Devices like fitness trackers and heart rate monitors can help you identify when and how you should move your body. And your mobile phone is full of endless apps that can help guide you through workouts and keep you fit even through long hauls.
Perfecting the best exercises for truck drivers takes time and effort and is no small task. The exercises mentioned above were chosen specifically for truck drivers because they are low impact, simple, and don’t require extra equipment or gear. If you want to take it up a notch, feel free to bring free weights on the road or just use whatever you have lying around in your cab. A gallon of water is the perfect free weight and it’s always fun to get creative when trying new things.
Truck Driver Institute Can Help
At Truck Driver Institute, we are committed to growing and sustaining a healthy trucking community. Whether that means providing the highest quality CDL classes or just giving you some valuable health tips, TDI is here to help. If you’re looking to start your truck driving career, contact Truck Driver Institute today and get rolling.