Exercises You Can Do in the Car

Published on: 20/02/2021

Have you been stuck in a long ride or unbelievable traffic? There are exercises you can do to keep calm and comfortable.

Whether you are stuck in traffic or simply facing a long car ride, it can be tiring and stressful to be cooped up inside the car for an extended period of time.

Rather than dwell on the unfavorable traffic conditions or continue to experience driver’s fatigue, it is best to find ways to exercise and move about. The following exercises will not only help you stretch out those tired muscles, but they can also allow you to burn a fair amount of calories.

If you are the one driving, make sure you do these exercises while the car is parked safely. Decide when it is time for a pit stop so you can work on the movements without any risks.

Seated Side Bend

Bring your hands behind your head, and connect them by interlacing your fingers. Sit tall and keep the spine as straight as you can. Slowly bend to the right and feel the stretch on your left side body. Hold this for a few breaths before you come back to a neutral position. Do the other side and repeat for a few sets.

Calf Raises

With both feet flat on the floor, raise both your heels high. Contract the calf muscles and put the weight on the balls of the feet. Rock the feet back and place the weight on the heels, stretching your shins. If you want to add to the difficulty level, place a tennis ball under the ball of the foot. This will increase the range of motion, but because it could be a challenge to do both feet at once, you can choose to do this one foot at a time. Repeat for as many reps as you wish.

Seat Pushes

If you are the driver, then this one’s for your triceps. Hold the steering wheel and position your hands at 10 and 2 o’clock. Grip tightly while keeping your elbows loose and bent. Gradually straighten your arms and push against the steering wheel so your back is pushed more towards the seat. 

If you are a passenger, you can also do a variation of this exercise called a tricep push. Sit up straight and rest your feet flat on the floor.  Position your hands by your sides (near your hips) and keep your elbows bent. You will then straighten your arms and see if you can lift your bum off your seat. 

For either option, you can repeat these depending on your desired number of sets.

Inner Thigh Squeeze

With the help of a tennis ball (or a similar object you can find in your car) in between your knees, squeeze your inner thighs together.  Make sure you contract the muscles as powerfully as you can. Hold for a few seconds. Complete about 15 repetitions and start out with two sets. You can gradually increase the sets over time. 

Abdominal Hollowing

This exercise can also serve as a reminder for you to breathe properly. Abdominal hollowing entails contracting the stomach deeply into the spine as you exhale. You can then breathe lightly as you are holding the pose.

As you contract your belly slowly, make sure you are not moving your pelvis and chest. This allows you to strengthen your transverse abdominus muscle, which contributes to spinal support. According to a study published in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, this exercise helps you build muscle mass and avoid lower back pain.

With these exercises, you would be able to relieve those tired muscles from a long drive. If you are driving, you also might want to check your posture from time to time and ensure you have the optimal seat height and angle for driving.