Keep fit on the go with a workout that you can perform at the truck side without any aids. It is good, of course, if you also do endurance sports such as running, swimming or cycling in your free time. Of course this is hardly possible during the short breaks on the road. But with the right workout you can also keep your muscles in shape with just a little effort and prevent back pain and becoming overweight.
Your workout as a plan for on the road
Devise a workout plan that will allow you to do a few minutes of exercise every time you stop for longer. You don’t have to do a short programme more than once a day, but you should integrate it into your day so that it becomes perfectly normal for you. First you park the truck, then you do some exercise,
take a shower and then have something to eat. This may be an effort in the beginning, especially if you are hungry when you park up your truck, but your body will thank you after a short time!
Is the 7-minute workout suitable for truck drivers?
It sounds great. Within only seven minutes a day you should get fit, have sufficient exercise and stay fit? Of course it’s not that simple. It is true that a strenuous workout has been developed in the USA that demands everything from you in a short time. But it takes a little longer. You can’t simply get out of the driver’s seat and start doing star jumps right away. You should allow yourself a few minutes of stretching exercises and warming up. You then do different exercises for 30 seconds each and after each exercise take a break of ten seconds (these are also added to the seven minutes). 30 seconds doesn’t sound that much at first, but they can be very long if you need to move untrained muscles. But interrupting and waiting for the next exercise is not allowed. This way the short and strenuous workout loses its effect. In fact, the 7-minute workout is mainly done by reasonably fit people. It includes the following exercises:
- Star jumps: You stand up straight, then move your feet apart as you jump, while your arms are stretched out to the side and you clap your hands above your head. A second jump brings the feet together again in the centre under the body and the arms down – the palms of the hands clap sideways against the thighs. Keep alternating, for 30 seconds, then ten seconds break.
- Wall sitting: Lean your back against your truck and slide down until your upper and lower legs are at right angles to each other. From the side, it should look like you are sitting. Hold yourself here for half a minute by tensing your legs and upper body.
- Push-ups: It is understandable that you do not want to do push-ups on the ground in the layby. However, there is probably enough space in your sleeping area. 30 seconds!
- Sit-ups: It is best to stay right where you are, because for the next exercise you should lie flat on your back and place your legs so that the soles of your feet are flat on the floor. Place your fingertips to the right and left of your head while your elbows point to the sides. Then lift your shoulders and chest off the floor and bring them forward towards your knees. Breathe out. Relax and lower the upper body again, but without putting the shoulders and head down again. Repeat the exercise for half a minute.
- Step-ups: A chair is recommended for this exercise. You can simply use your cab step. Put one foot on it, shift the weight onto it, pick up the other foot and descend again. Then repeat the procedure with the other foot. Thirty seconds alternating!
- Squats: Place your feet no more than a shoulder-width apart, arch your back slightly and hold your arms out straight to the front. Lower the body until the thighs are parallel to the floor and push yourself up again. The knees always remain level with the toes or behind them. Repeat half a minute!
- Triceps dip: A chair is recommended for this exercise – you simply use the truck. Stand with your back to the driver’s door and place your hands on the step. Stretch your legs to the front at an angle so that your body weight rests on your stretched arms. Now slowly bend your elbows, go lower, hold your body and lift yourself up again. Here, too: 30 seconds.
- Plank: This again is an exercise for your sleeping area. Lie down on your stomach and stretch out fully. Then push yourself up on your forearms and toes so that your body forms a straight line. Hold this position for half a minute.
- High knees running on the spot: That’s exactly what it sounds like. You run on the spot, but with each step you pull your knee up so high that it forms a 90-degree angle. This is relatively exhausting for 30 seconds.
Lunge: You stand up straight and support your hands on your hips. With one foot you lunge forward and bend the other knee. It goes low, but does not touch the ground. Use your leg to push yourself back into the starting position and change sides.
- Push-ups with rotation: For this exercise, you climb back into the truck. You do normal push-ups, but when you reach the highest point, shift your weight to one arm and turn your upper body to the side so that you can stretch the other arm above you straight into the air. Then lower your arm again and rotate back to the push up position and do another push up. Then rotate to the other side.
- Sideways plank: Stay in the truck and lie on your side. Lean on one forearm and the edge of your lower foot so that your body forms a straight line between them. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then you’re done with the 7-minute workout.
These exercises look less strenuous than they are. If you do them properly, you will work up a good sweat. If you would like a detailed tutorial with the appropriate times, you will find one
Put together your own workout
If you find that you are not up to the strenuous 7-minute workout, you can use different elements from it. For example, the star jump exercise is ideal for loosening up tense shoulders and stimulating circulation, as is running on the spot with raised knees. You can also circle your arms forwards and backwards to exercise your shoulder and neck muscles.
To train the abdominal muscles, stand upright and extend your right arm straight forward with your palm facing down. Then try to hit the palm of your hand with your left foot. After ten repetitions, swap sides. Alternatively, lean against the truck with your arms stretched straight out as if you wanted to do push-ups on it. Then pull your knees up alternately towards your chest.
You can pep up the squats a little. Support yourself with one hand on the truck and use your other hand to lift your foot upwards towards your buttocks. Now you do push-ups on one leg. Then switch sides. Lunging forward and to the side also helps to loosen and strengthen the legs.
There are also a number of exercises where you can use the truck as a support. In this video you will find some good examples of this.
Mini-exercises in the driver’s cab
On longer journeys you will notice at some point that a workout or at least some exercise would do you good. Your shoulders are tense, your back hurts. Unfortunately, sport is impossible right now because you’re stuck in traffic. However, you can now do some very small exercises that will provide relief. Take a deep breath and push your chest out. Then place your hands against the bottom of the steering wheel and push hard upwards. Tense the entire upper body and hold the position for ten to 15 seconds until you let go again.
Or reach under the seat with one hand and hold on tight. Then lean your head as far as possible over to the other side. That’s how you loosen up your cramped shoulders. Hold the position for ten to 15 seconds and then change sides. But you should never try this whilst driving!
Summary: Any exercise is better than none
Even with a small workout, which you can integrate into your everyday life, you can strengthen your muscles and prevent stiffness and back problems. If you supplement it in your free time with endurance sports, you are already doing a lot of good for your body. For simple mini-exercises that you can do directly at or in the truck, you don’t even need special equipment. Your body weight alone is enough. The main thing is that you do your workout regularly and do not let it slip again after a short time.