Stretches and Exercises to Keep Your Body Healthy on the Road

  • Stretches and Exercises to Keep Your Body Healthy on the Road

    Stretches and Exercises to Keep Your Body Healthy on the Road

    One of the biggest concerns for commercial truck drivers—especially those regularly on long haul routes—is staying limber. It is very tough on the body to sit in the cab all day. Your body gets stiff. Your back and joints can get sore. Your muscles can become atrophied from lack of movement. Repetitive stress injuries are common in this industry because drivers tend to forget about taking care of their bodies.

    The good news is there are some simple stretches and exercises you can do to help prevent stiffness and other long-term health problems. Some of these can actually be done while driving. Others can be done during breaks, before bed or before you start the day behind the wheel. 

    Neck Rotation

    The neck is often one of the stiffest parts of the body after a long drive. You can roll your neck gently to keep it loose while driving. Another good exercise is to reach over the top of your head and grab the opposite ear. Pull it toward the opposite shoulder and repeat this stretch on both sides. You can also try a chin tuck stretch by tucking your chin into your chest and then raising the back of your head. This is great for the neck, but don’t push too far beyond your comfort level.

    Wrist Bends

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common problem for truckers because of repeated hand positions on the wheel, shifting and other repetitive tasks. Brace your fingers on the steering wheel and bend your wrists backward and forward. This exercise will be good for your wrists, fingers and forearms. You can try a prayer stretch as well. Put your hands together in front of your chest like you are praying. Then, pull both arms downward gently and as far as you can go to really feel it in your hands and forearms.

    Lunges and Leg Stretches

    A great stretch to start and end the day with is a classic lunge. Take a large step forward with one leg and bend your front knee as deep as you can. Hold it for a few seconds and repeat on both sides several times. Lunges are great for your legs and lower back. You can also try deep knee bends, squats and touching your toes to keep your legs limber. 

    Shoulder and Arm Stretches

    There are numerous stretches you can try to keep your shoulders and arms loose throughout the day. An arm rotation will have you holding one arm fully extended straight out from the shoulder. Rotate it a few times gently, in both directions. Another good arm stretch can be done next to your truck. Take your palm with fingers pointed upward, and place it on the side of your cab. With your arm slightly bent, you will then rotate your body away from the truck. You will feel this one through your arms, shoulders, back and chest. Repeat on both sides several time for a deep stretch. 


    Never underestimate the power of walking, especially if you’ve been sitting in a truck cab all day long. The above stretches—along with many others you can try—are great for helping your joints and muscles. However, you also want to get some cardiovascular activity whenever you can. Take a few laps around the rest stop or just around your truck before bed and when you get up. Maybe even try a light jog if you are up for it. The key is to get your body moving and blood flowing. This will be good for your health and make all these other stretches even more impactful.

    For more truck driving tips and resources, including truck driving training programs near you, check out the America Truck Driving School website and blog.

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