Homemade Exercise Equipment for Truck Drivers – Household Workout Tools

exercise equipment for truck drivers

Image credit: Gudlyf, Flickr

As a truck driver, your storage space is significantly more limited than the average person’s. We know that life is cramped out on the road, and there’s not much exercise equipment for truck drivers that’s small and compact enough to keep in the cab. But don’t think that just because you don’t have any fancy gym equipment that you don’t have anything to exercise with. That ain’t no excuse! There are plenty of household (truckhold?) materials lying around that you can McGyver into your own makeshift workout equipment. I’m going to share a few of those with you today.

Bungee Cords

You probably have a bungee cord or two lying around your truck, am I right? This is a great tool that mimics a resistance band. To be able to do exercises with a bungee cord, you’ll want the longest size you have access to — preferably 48 inches long.

You can really get creative with the exercises you do. Our buddy Jerry loops resistance bands through his truck door handles to perform chest presses, but you could just as easily use a bungee cord for the same exercise. Some other ideas are bent over rows (stand on the cord and pull both ends up toward your chest like in the link) and tricep extensions.

Just a word of caution: Do NOT overstretch the bungee cord!! If you can’t stretch the cord relatively easily, don’t use it! We don’t want any snapped bungees or busted corneas here.


Your bed is probably one of the best workout tools you have at your disposal! Think of your bunk as a makeshift workout bench. It’s a little squishier than what you’d find at the gym, but it’ll do.

The bunks in semi trucks are great for doing crunches, wall sits (bed sits?), modified pushups (or regular pushups), flutter kicks, and leg lifts. Best part? You get to lay down, so you can even do them in your PJ’s before you get out of bed in the morning! Just….don’t fall back asleep, ya lazy bones.

Old Water Bottles

Old, empty water bottles and milk jugs are easy to fashion into poor man’s dumbbells or kettlebells. To make the dumbbells, scrounge up two 16 oz water bottles (or soda bottles, but you don’t drink soda anymore, right?) and fill them with water, sand, or gravel. Do the same for the empty one gallon milk/water jug.  A gallon jug filled with water weighs about 8 pounds, while one filled with sand rings in at about 13 pounds.

To work out with the makeshift dumbbells, you could do some exercises like bicep curls, tricep extensions, and wrist curls. The heavier milk jug weight is great for kettlebell swings (hold it by the handle, just like you would a kettlebell), tricep extensions, and one-arm deadlifts. Obviously you could use the heavier weight in place of the two smaller “dumbbells” if you find that they’re not heavy enough. Or hey! If you’re feeling particularly crazy, you could even make a set of dumbbells with two of the heavier water jug weight.

Paper Plate

A paper plate is a great, cheap substitute for a Valslide. If you don’t know what a Valslide is, it’s similar to a slide board, except you don’t need said slide board because it has little sliders you put your feet on instead. It’s pretty pricey for what it is — $30 for the foot sliders and a DVD. Fortunately, we can make our own for a fraction of the price.

Do you have a paper plate? BAM! Makeshift sliders. Thirty dollars or 10 cents? The homemade Valslide sounds a little more financially savvy to me…but I digress.

Anyway, literally all you need is a paper plate and a floor that your feet will slide around on. All you do is put your feet (or hands, depending on the exercises you’re doing) on top of the paper plates and use them as slides. You’ll be contracting your abs a lot with these exercises. The best exercises for this in such a limited space would be a variation of lunges (front, side, rear) where you slide with the foot on the plate, but you can certainly get creative with it and include cardio like mountain climbers if you have the space.  

Bonus: Use your homemade dumbbells in combination with the paper plate for even more of a workout!


A basic bath towel can serve many functions in your workout! You can use it for stretches, isometric exercises like static rows, and strength training like tricep pulls. If you have a slippery tile or hardwood floor in your truck, you can also fold the towel up and turn it into a slide like the example above. Check out this great post via Spark People for a full body workout using only a towel.

We know exercise equipment for truck drivers is limited. Sometimes you just have to make do with what you have. With these common, inexpensive household items, you can get some physical activity in even in the small, cramped space of your cab.

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