It’s no secret truck drivers do not always get enough movement day-to-day. Sitting for long periods of time is the best way to develop blood clots and hypertension, which is not good! Please, proceed with caution, and do not perform the stretches while the vehicle is in motion. Following these stretches, along with our guide for upper body stretches, at least once a day will help you feel more refreshed and help relieve muscle fatigue and tension.
1. Calf Raises
Keeping both feet flat on the ground, shift your weight onto your tip toes and try to get as high up as you can. Hold this for as long as you can and repeat as needed. This helps your two calf muscles, the gastrocnemius, which helps propel you forward when you walk, as well as the soleus, which helps you point your toes in whatever direction you need.
2. Quad Stretch
Balancing on one foot, you’re going to bend your knee bringing your heel to your butt. If you can do this without the aid of your hand that’s great! If you’re like me, you can’t so feel free to grab onto your ankle and hold your foot in place. Hold this for as long as you can and then switch legs, repeat as needed. This stretch held work out your hip flexors, which are notoriously difficult to stretch.
3. Side Lunge
Standing straight up with both feet planted firmly on the ground you’re first going to step out with your left leg so it is now to the side of you. Keeping your right leg straight you are going to bend your left knee and lean into that side. This will stretch your inner thigh. Hold this for as long as you can, switch legs and repeat as needed.
4. Toe Touches
Keeping your feet on the ground and your legs together, simply bend at the hips and reach for your toes. Try to keep your legs as straight as possible (without locking them). This stretch is very easy to overdo, so be sure you are paying attention to how intense the stretch is, the lower you reach, the more intense the stretch. Doing this exercise focuses on your transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, and obliques, all of which are responsible for bending, lifting, twisting, and carrying items.
5. Leg Extensions
This last one requires you to be seated and have ample room in front of you. Sitting up straight in your chair, place your legs hip-width apart and your feet flat on the ground. Without getting up, slowly extend and raise one leg as high as you can, lower your leg and repeat, then switch legs and do it again. This will help relieve tension in your knees, which is typically a problem area for truck drivers due to the motion your foot makes pressing the gas and the break in your truck.
Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage. This list is not the end-all-be-all of stretches. Let us know in the comments what lower body stretch you like to do.
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