truck driver workoutWorking out on the road is much easier said than done. Trucking isn’t a 9-5 job where you can find ample time to exercise during the evenings and on weekends. Truckers are out on the road for days, sometimes weeks at a time, which can make finding the time or ability to exercise very difficult.

That’s not to say that exercising while on the road is impossible. Just check Instagram or Tik Tok and you’ll see dozens of truck drivers sharing their workout tips. So how are these OTR and regional drivers able to work out while on the road? There are a few different options for truck driver workouts you can do.

Bodyweight Exercises

Becoming a master of your own body weight is one of the best feelings out there. These exercises center around using either no equipment or the equipment around you (or on your truck) for support.  

1. Pushups

Pushups are the most well-known bodyweight exercise and for good reason. They’ve been used for centuries to help people build up the muscles in their chest, shoulders, and arms.  

Pushups can easily be done in a parking lot or even in your sleeper berth. If you do plan on doing them in a parking lot, a rubber exercise or yoga mat is a good investment, so you’re not digging your hands into the asphalt.  

2. Bench Dip

Bench dips are great exercises for working out your triceps. This exercise involves placing a bench or stationary bar that can support your weight behind your back and holding on to it with your arms fully extended at shoulder width. Keep your legs extended forward as well and bent at the waist, so you’re in an “L” shape. Then, slowly lower your body by bending your elbow until your arms are close to 90 degrees. Using that same motion, bring yourself up again and repeat.  

In a gym setting, these can easily be done on a workout bench. For a truck driver on the road, bench dips can be done on the steps leading up to your cab or at a bench you find at a rest stop.

3. Planks

Planking is more than a short-lived internet fad from the late 2000’s. It’s a great exercise for burning fat and stabilizing your core and ab muscles.

You start by lying face down on the ground. Next, put your forearms and toes on the ground, while keeping your legs and torso in the air. Your body should be straight (like a plank). Now, you hold this position for a designated amount of time. You can start off by doing it for 15-20 seconds, and then work yourself up to a minute plus once you get the hang of it.  

Just like pushups, planks can easily be done in your sleeper berth or in a parking lot. You can even do a modified version called a “side plank” that works out your external obliques.

4. Shoulder Shrugs

Probably the easiest exercise on this list, shoulder shrugs are great for strengthening your neck and shoulder muscles while releasing tension. Lift your shoulders up to your ears as if you’re saying, “I don’t know.” Hold the position for a few seconds then release. Perform 10 to 15 reps and repeat for however many sets you want to do.  

Try this exercise while stopped at a red light, waiting on a shipper, or just taking a break.

5. Running/Jogging

If your goal is to burn calories, there’s no substitute for a good run or jog. The bad news is that this isn’t always an option while on the road, since most parking lots aren’t ideal for running in. But there are ways to get around this. Check your maps app to see if there’s a nearby park or trail that’s within walking distance of the stop you’re going to.  

While running is great for you, it’s not the easiest exercise to get into. If this is the case for you, practice high intensity interval training (HIIT) running. This is just a fancy way of saying that you run for a certain amount of time, maybe a minute or two, then you walk for a designated amount of time. You do this repeatedly until you’ve reached your time or distance goal.

As you get more comfortable, you can up the amount of time spent running and decrease the time spent walking. It’s a much easier way to start off than trying to run non-stop. 

Light Exercise Equipment

While bodyweight exercises are great, keeping a bit of spare room in your cab for some light exercise equipment will give you a whole new range of workouts to do.  

6. Grip Strength Trainer

Grip strength trainers are great for working out your forearms and increasing your hand dexterity. The awesome thing about grip strength trainers is that you can use them while you’re watching tv, looking at your phone, or just relaxing before bed.  

7. Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are the Swiss army knives of working out. They can be used in any number of exercises that work out your arms, legs, chest, abs and shoulders. Resistance bands come in a few different types that are usually color-coded, with red or black usually having the hardest resistance.  

While there’s dozens of exercises you can use resistance bands for, some of the most common are squats, triceps extensions and chest press.  

8. Dumbbells

While you probably won’t want to put an entire set of dumbbells from 5 to 100 pounds in your cab, just having one or two can be great for drivers looking to do some light strength training while on the road.  

Even better, consider getting a pair of adjustable dumbbells. These lock into a base, and you can move a notch to select your desired weight. You can find more information on these here.  

Bicep curls, triceps extensions, lawnmower pulls, and shoulder presses are just a few of the exercises you can do with a pair of dumbbells.  

9. Find a Gym

While most of the exercises you’ll see for truck drivers center around things you can do with your own bodyweight or equipment that can fit in your cab, it’s easier than you think to find a gym if you really want it.  

Take Planet Fitness for example. There are thousands of locations across the country, and with their black card membership, you can access any one of them. The great thing about these gyms is being able to use all the fancy exercise equipment like treadmills, circuit machines, and free weights.  

Now, the caveat with going to a gym is of course finding parking. If you’re going late at night, the staff may let you park in the lot, but that’s a very big maybe. Aside from that, you could keep a bike in your cab and bike from the nearest truck stop to the gym.  

As you can see, going to a gym as an OTR or Regional trucker isn’t the easiest thing to plan out. That’s why this option is usually better for local drivers, or drivers who have a dedicated route and have learned all the do’s and don’ts of their local gym.  

This doesn’t mean that OTR or regional drivers have to give up on the idea of going to a gym. There are some truck stops and rest stations that offer gyms specifically for truck drivers. Pilot Flying J and Travel Centers of America are two such companies. 

10. Bonus Tip – Healthy Eating

If you’re really looking to change your lifestyle and get in better shape, you can’t overstate the role healthy eating plays. You can have the best workout regimen around, but if you’re still eating poorly, getting fit is going to be an even bigger uphill battle.  

Simple changes like packing your own healthy lunches before hitting the road, and limiting the amount of sugar you take in will work hand in hand with exercising to help you see results quicker

While exercising as a truck driver isn’t the easiest thing to do, it’s by no means impossible. Whether you’re looking to get in better physical shape, lower your risk of disease, or just feel better about yourself, there’s nothing stopping you from doing it while on the road.

two men in a truck

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As a truck driver, you spend most of your time on the road, making it a challenge to stay fit.  Your time is limited and access to equipment is a problem.  Here are 5 quick exercises you can easily perform on the road without any equipment:

Hand Stretch

Hand stretches can help relieve some of the stiffness or pain related to steering all day.  When you stop to refuel or take a break, rotate your wrist left and right or in a circle. Stretch your wrist by placing the fingertips of one hand on top of the steering wheel. Gently press your weight into your hand and hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other hand.

Abdominal Crunch

Strengthen your abs while you’re on the road. Squeeze your abdominal muscles and hold it for the entire length of your favorite song, podcast or news report. If you are unable to squeeze your abdominal muscles for that long, then aim to squeeze them for at least one to two minutes. Repeat at every red light or for every favorite song that comes on the radio.


Plank exercises help strengthen your back, arm and leg muscles, as well as your core. Find a spot where there is room to stretch out, start off the exercise by getting on your hands and knees. Place your forearms and hands onto the ground with your palms facing downward. Kick back your legs so that you are placing your weight on your toes. Your entire body should maintain a straight line. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Shoulder Shrugs

Help relieve the stress and tension from your shoulder area with shoulder shrugs. Try this exercise while stopped at a red light, waiting on a shipper or taking a break.  Lift your shoulders up to your ears as if you’re saying “I don’t know.” Hold the position for a few seconds then release. Perform 10 to 15 reps throughout the day whenever you are feeling tensed or stressed.


Strengthen your arms and chest with some push-ups.  You can do regular push-ups keeping your legs extended behind you and your arms slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.  Mix things up with a diamond push-up where your hands are placed in a diamond shape directly under your chest.  Or, increase the degree of difficulty by propping your feet up on the bumper of your truck.

Photo courtesy of Men’s Health.


The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

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truck driver heat exhaustionSummer means everything from beautiful drives to unbearable heat exhaustion for truck drivers. To usher in the new season, we’ve gathered a little information on healthy eating and exercise tips for the summer.

Taking care of yourself in the heat is not just a matter of health, but a matter of safety. Consider these tips from The Healthy Trucker:

Exercise in the morning or evenings if possible, avoid the hottest part of the day.

  1. Get acclimated. If you are used to exercising indoors or in cooler weather take it easy at first, give your body time to adapt to the weather change.
  2. Know your fitness level. If you are just beginning a workout regime you may have a lower tolerance to the heat.
  3. Drink plenty of fluids! Dehydration is a key factor in heat related illnesses. Keeping well hydrated helps your body sweat & cool down.
  4. Dress appropriately. Wear light weight, light colored clothing.
  5. If possible, always consider moving your workout indoors to avoid the heat, especially in extreme temperatures.

Keep an eye out this summer for problems like heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

  • Heat cramps are painful muscle contractions.
  • Heat exhaustion occurs when your body temperature rises above 104 degrees F. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headache and cold, clammy skin.
  • Heatstroke can be life threatening. Symptoms include confusion, irregular heart rhythm, dizziness, nausea, visual problems and fatigue.

When you’re done exercising or when you’re on the road, here are a few snacks that can keep your energy up even under the summer sun as Trucker News shared:

  1. Pumpkin seeds
    Lightly roast them before a trip and keep them stored in a plastic storage bag or other container, and you’ll have a high protein snack at hand for your trip.
  2. Roasted chickpeas
    Chickpeas are a great source for protein, with just one cup of chickpeas offering 39 grams of protein, according to the USDA.
  3. Greek yogurt and granola
    Add granola to Greek yogurt, which has about 10 grams of protein for every 100 grams, and you’ve got a delicious high protein snack.
  4. Hummus dippers in a jar
    In a Mason jar or similar container, add hummus to the bottom and then add cut-up carrot sticks and celery sticks. Put the lid on and store it inside your cooler or your truck’s refrigerator. Depending on the amount of space in your cooler, you could make a few of these up before a trip to have on hand.
  5. Mixed nuts
    Toss some of your favorite types of nuts in a plastic food storage bag and you’ve got your own personalized trail mix for the road.

How to Protect Yourself from the Sun Over the Road as a Truck Driver 

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As a truck driver, your body experiences strain as a result of having to sit so long. Often, your neck can be the most affected by these long rides with no movement. It hurts to swivel your head to monitor traffic. It gives you painful headaches.

Matt D’Aquino, The Healthy Trucker, writes of the neck-pain challenge and offers a few exercises to bring some relief.

Some simple stretches can quickly help lessen pain, especially if you do them on a regular basis (even you’re your neck isn’t hurting). Regular stretching helps prevent tightness from happening in the first place.

These following exercises, which target all directions, can be done for a few minutes every day outside of the cab for a much looser, more mobile neck.

  1. Turn your head left and stick your hand out at a 90 degree angle. Switch directions, and complete again.
  2. Pull your head down, hold for up to 30 seconds. Push your head up, again holding up to 30 seconds. Do so gently .
  3. Move your head slowly side to side and in circles.
  4. Place your hand on one side of your head, placing pressure, while also pushing your muscles in the opposite direction.

We hope these neck stretches will help make driving a bit more pain free. Have some useful stretches to share? Connect with us here and tell us!


The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.

Download the Guide Now