As an over-the-road truck driver, you can expect to live a pretty sedentary lifestyle. That is, unless you make the conscious effort to take care of your body by getting workouts in a few times every week.
A common excuse against truck driver exercises is that space is so limited and time so scarce. While both of these points are true, many drivers like to make excuses for why they can’t work out on the road instead of just sucking it up and doing it. So you can’t make use of a gym membership. That doesn’t mean there is NO HOPE for getting a good workout in. Think of all the times and places you can work out…
- While waiting to be loaded/unloaded
- When parked at the truck stop after finishing your shift
- When driving (easy workouts that aren’t distracting, like isometrics)
- When waiting to be dispatched on a load assignment
- During a restart
As you can see, the time is there. It just depends on what you want to do with it. You sit on your tuckus for 11 hours a day – don’t you want to get up and DO something and feel good about yourself? Then quit your belly achin’ and invest in some (or all) of this easy-to-store exercise equipment to keep in your big rig! Oh, and all of this equipment can be found at your friendly neighborhood Walmart!
Dumbbells are great for truck drivers because they’re easy to use and don’t take up much space. Store them under your bunk or on the passenger seat when not in use.
Try these exercises…
- Tricep Presses: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold both weights (or just one, depending on how heavy your dumbbells are) in both hands above your head. Slowly bend elbows and lower weights behind your head, keeping elbows directly above your shoulders.
- Bicep Curls: Curls can be done sitting or standing. Hold weights with palms facing up and elbows next to the body. Bend elbows and curl weights toward shoulders. Lower weights back down and repeat.
- Dumbbell Lunges: Stand straight with dumbbell in each hand. Hang arms at sides and stand with feet shoulder width apart. Take a big step forward, bending at the knee until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Step back into starting position and repeat on other side.
Resistance training is a kind of strength training when each effort is performed against an opposing force generated by resistance (the band). Exercises are isotonic when body parts are moving against the force, and isometric when holding still against the force (i.e. pushing hands into steering wheel for 1 minute).
Try these exercises…
- Chest Presses: Loop resistance band through door handle. Bend elbows 90 degrees with forearms parallel to the ground. Press left arm out, then bring back and press forward with right arm. Continue alternating arms for as many reps as desired.
- Overhead Press: Stand on the resistance band and hold handles in both hands. Begin with arms bent in a “goal post” position. Contract shoulders to straighten arms up and lower back down. Repeat as many reps as desired.
- Lateral Pull-Down Crunches: Loop band around a stable object. Face away from the resistance band and lie on your back, holding the handles with your arms extended upwards. Raise your legs and bend your knees so your shins are parallel to the ground (like you’re doing crunches). Crunch upper body forward and draw arms toward knees. Roll back to starting position and repeat as many reps as desired.
In all seriousness though, jump roping is a great way to get a full body workout. It’s good cardio and again, easy to store because a jump rope takes up virtually no room in your truck.
Try these exercises…
- Basic Jump: This is your regular, run-of-the-mill jump rope technique. Swing rope over your head and jump as it passes your feet. You don’t need to beat any high-jump records here – just high enough to clear the rope. Jump for one minute, then rest.
- Alternate Jump: Jump as rope passes your feet, but land on right foot. On next rotation, land on left and balance. Continue for one minute, then rest.
- Combo Jump: Alternate between basic and alternate-foot jumps. Do 8 basic jumps, then 8 alternate-jumps. Continue for one minute, then rest.
Truck driver exercises can be done – it’s all a matter of whether or not you have the motivation to do them. There are always ways to exercise, so the space and time excuses are null. You don’t even have to get out of your cab to use two of these three pieces of equipment! And with such a sedentary lifestyle, it’s even more important that truck drivers get adequate of exercise.