Truck driver exercise: 3 workout routines you can do on the road

By Darin Flannery, Physical Therapist, Atlas Injury Prevention Solutions Aug 16, 2019

“Use it or lose it” is an expression many of us can personally identify with and is often used in the context of physical fitness. Commercial driving is an excellent career path that is enhanced with supplemental activity to sustain several mental and physical benefits, across the milestones of our lives.

My previous post on overcoming challenges to a healthy trucker lifestyle on the road discussed benefits, challenges, strategies and opportunities to lead a healthy, active lifestyle while over the road. Perhaps you are newly committed to your health and are seeking a detailed truck driver exercise plan.

This post offers three step-by-step workout routines for truck drivers, shared by fellow drivers — all Team drivers, who face the toughest time challenge — that can kick start your initiative to discover a workout routine that works for you.

I’m a physical therapist with Atlas who works regularly with Schneider drivers, but as with any exercise, we recommend consulting a physician before beginning a new truck driver workout routine.

Workout 1: Gravity resistance and cardio

Truck Driver Walking Lunge Exercise

Here is a truck driver exercise routine performed and provided by a male Team driver.

Challenge level: Moderate to intense
Environment: Outdoors preferred, with several exercises possible in the cab
Equipment: None necessary, but enhanced with added weight or resistance bands

Warm up

  • Jog in place (20 seconds)
  • Jumping jacks (20 seconds)
  • Windmills (20 seconds)
  • Jogging in place (20 seconds)

Pushups

  • Choose your difficulty level, 5 to 50 repetitions:
    1. Beginner: Hands on the side of the truck, standing
    2. Intermediate: Hands on the bunk or truck step
    3. Advanced: Hands on the ground

Walking lunges

  • Choose your difficulty level, start at the nose of the truck and alternate left and right lunges to the end of the trailer
    1. Beginner: Without weight
    2. Advanced: Hold weight

Squats

  • Choose your difficulty level, 5 to 20 repetitions
    1. Beginner: Hold onto the truck for stability
    2. Advanced: Squat without arm support

Dips

  • Choose your difficulty level, 25 repetitions
    1. Beginner: Use the ICC bumper on the trailer on the trailer with knees bent 90 degrees
    2. Advanced: Use the cab steps with knees extended

Knee Highs

  • Raise knee to hands at waist level, alternating with the left and right knees for 30 - 60 seconds

Planks

  • Hold for 20 seconds

Workout 2: Mobility, toning and cardio

Female truck driver exercising

Here is a workout routine for truck drivers performed and provided by a female Team driver.

Challenge level: Moderate
Environment: Can be performed in cab, with walk/jog performed outdoors
Equipment: Resistance bands

Warm up (repeat 3 sets of 30 seconds per exercise)

  • Stretch down toward the ankles, then upward to the sky
  • Jog in place
  • Jumping jacks
  • Punches

Exercise (repeat 3 sets of 40 seconds per exercise, followed by 20 seconds rest)

  • Bicep curls with resistance band
  • Situps / crunches
  • Squats
  • Triceps overhead with resistance band
  • Trunk side bends (lean trunk, alternating from left to right side, reaching fingertips towards the calf muscles)
  • Step back lunges

Walk / Jog, 6 minutes

Workout 3: Flexibility, strength and cardio

Male truck driver pushup exercise

Here is a workout routine performed by and provided by a male Team driver.

Challenge level: Basic
Environment: in cab or at a fuel pump, with walking performed outdoors
Equipment: Resistance bands

Warm up

  • Neck rotations (2 sets per day, 5 reps left and right per set)
  • Swimmer stretch (2 sets per day, 30 seconds per set)
  • Hand/forearm stretch (2 sets per day, 30 seconds per set)
  • Gentle back hands (2 sets per day, 10 reps per set)
  • Squats (5 sets per day, 20 reps per set)

Resistance training

  • Pushups (5 sets per day, 20 reps per set)
  • Bicep curls with resistance band (2 sets per day to the point of fatigue)

Cardiovascular

  • Walking for 20-30 minutes, weather and safety permitting

Pro tip: How many laps around a tractor-trailer is a mile?

If you’re looking to track a specific distance, 32 laps around a tractor-trailer equals 1 mile.

Looking for more tips to establish a healthy lifestyle as a truck driver?

Truck driver exercise is only part of the equation to a healthy lifestyle. We’ve written on a variety of health and wellness topics, including healthy eating, snacks for the road, quality sleep, tools and more.

See All Health and Wellness Blog Posts

Do you have any workout routines for truck drivers you’ve developed? We’d love to hear about it. Comment below.


About the Author

Darin Flannery IMG

Darin attended Indiana University and has been a physical therapist with Atlas at the Indianapolis Schneider facility since 2006. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.

See more posts by this author


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