Our Physical Therapist, Amy Alcorn, once again brings a fantastic program utilizing a Gym ball for various movements, range of motion, stability work for spine and shoulder, core work and stretching. She incorporates proper breathing and discussion on how to properly perform within your ability certain ranges of motion.
This video is approximately one hour in duration. This is accessible for all fitness levels and feel free to modify as needed. As always, contact your physician first before beginning any exercise program. Enjoy this exercise program!
While I have never been a truck driver, as someone who works with truck drivers I believe that I understand some of the demands involved. A lot of the drivers that I know are hard working guys who find little time to sleep let alone get in a workout, but their jobs are physically demanding. From the demands of taking care of the truck to the over use injuries that can result from driving for long periods of time, truckers are vulnerable to becoming injured which can prevent them from doing their job. For this reason, and because drivers need to maintain their health to pass their DOT Physical exams, I recommend drivers start an easy to perform exercise program, that they can do on a regular basis. In particular I recommend 3 different exercises. I recommend drivers do cervical retractions, lumbar bridges, and go for short walks.
Neck injuries are common for truck drivers. This is often due to the position that they sit in for long periods of time and the vibrations of the road. To combat neck injuries cervical retractions strengthen the seldom used deep neck musculature. The great thing about this exercise is you can do it while in your truck. To perform sit up straight. While keeping your head in an upright position tuck your chin in as much as you can. Hold this position until you feel mild fatigue then release. Perform 3 sets of this exercise in a row.
Low back injuries are also very common to truck drivers. Again this can be due to being in the seated position for long periods of time and the road vibrations. Strengthening the muscles of the back prevents injuries to the area. Glute bridges are one of the best exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the core and low back. To perform Lie on the floor, bend your knees, and place your feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms by your sides. Engage your glutes and lift your hips off the floor until they form a straight line with your knees and shoulders. Hold until you start to feel the onset of muscle fatigue then relax. Repeat for 3 sets.
Go for a short walk at least once per day of driving
This is the simplest exercise but does take a time commitment. I recommend walking at least 10 minutes a day and more optimally for 20 minutes. Walking while simple is very effective at maintain mobility. The longer you maintain mobility the better off you will be. This decreases your risk of developing injuries and can help you stay pain free. In addition walking does benefit the cardiovascular system. It can help to keep healthy, despite its simplicity.
While the foam roller is commonly used for releasing soft tissues (ex "rolling out the hamstrings"), our Physical Therapist Amy takes you through many more uses including stability and mobility work in addition to "loosening" various soft tissues. Give these a try. There is so much more to a foam roller!