Do you commute daily and want some car exercises to do while driving?
No? just me…?
I know car exercises sounds ridiculous, but if you’re an 80s kid like me you remember that TV show Sit and Be Fit.
That lady looked amazing and you know it.
For those who have not seen it, it was an exercise show where a mature woman demonstrated exercises you could do almost exclusively from a chair.
And even yoga is not done sitting down, but it is a dynamic practice that can be done all from the small area of a mat on the floor.
So we know we do not need a lot of space to get in a quality workout that allows us to engage our major muscle groups.
Exercises that require minimal mobility are totally a thing!
Fitness Is What Cool Kids Do
Before we get into all the exercises, I want to just add a little note about how important fitness is for mental health and overall awesomeness.
It does not have to be a cool sport. You do not have to be an amazing dancer, or a fast runner.
The goal is just to move and have fun! An object in motion stays in motion, and the more consistent we are the easier it is to maintain an active lifestyle.
Starting your day off with activity is a great way to get your brain going in the morning, and why not on your commute and exercise in car while driving?
I used to get obsessive with working out. But today what I enjoy are hikes with my dogs and more leisurely scenic bike rides where I don’t have to stress about getting dropped.
Why Try Car Exercises?
We are all extremely busy people, right? So what exactly are some reasons to do exercises while in a car?
Car Exercises Save Time
I love multitasking and saving time.
I am always snacking in front of the computer instead of taking lunch, or doing squats while waiting in lines.
Instead of waking up 30 minutes earlier, you can save time and get your workout done while you drive!
Car Exercises Get You Healthy
Exercise is something that I really want to integrate into my daily routine. So why not pair it with another activity that I do daily?
Start your day off with a little bit of activity to get your blood flowing and positive energy going.
Any activities that help keep your joints and muscles loose and limber are going to keep you more healthy in the long run.
Car Exercises are SUPER Easy!
If you commute 15 minutes or more per day, then exercises you can do in your car are perfect for you.
You’re already there.
You’re not really doing anything else.
Your podcast does not mind if you cheat on it with some butt clenches.
Disclaimer: Cars weigh a million pounds and are giant death machines. Your priority in a car should always be driving, not being on your phone or trying to get a workout in. Exercise extreme precaution and be safe you guys.
Without further ado, let’s get my favorite awkward exercise out of the way first…
10 Car Exercises While Driving:
Side note: The reps and rounds are all suggestive. It’s nice to have a guideline to keep yourself from slacking, but these are all a million percent flexible.
You should workout based off of your skill level. It should be challenging but not dangerous.
Another side note: I am not a workout instructor and I have no kind of formal training in fitness whatsoever.
I am an awkward girl who enjoys being in shape and likes time economy and trying silly things.
Some of these car exercise descriptions are probably wonky, and I tried to research the actual names of exercises and stretches so it’s not all weird names from Alison’s imagination land.
Another-nother side note: These car exercises are listed in what I feel like would be a logical workout routine,. From top to bottom, working from one muscle group to the next in an ALL OVER TOTAL BODY EXPERIENCE.
1st Car Exercise: Kegels.
I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman, kegels have benefits for all!
And I felt like kegels was an obvious exercise you can do in your car while sitting so I had to mention it.
Kegels improve sexual functioning in women AND men.
If you’re pregnant kegels are important to prepare your body for contractions and also helping you not pee on yourself when you sneeze.
Win win. (Also true for aging woman.)
How to do a kegel: Tighten your pelvic floor muscles for a count of 8, then relax for a count of 10. Repeat 5-10 times depending on drive time so you get all your exercises in.
Not recommended if you need to urinate!
2nd Car Exercise: Clench Those Cheeks!
This is also super easy to do while sitting, so it’s a great exercise you can do in your car as well.
And who doesn’t want a toner booty?
Simply clench your glutes for a count of 8 and repeat 8 times.
Note: Duration and repetition can be adjusted to drive time for any of these.
3rd Car Exercise: Inner Thigh Squeeze.
Moving down your from you butt, there is a really easy way to exercise your thighs while in a car setting.
You can do this activity either by simply squeezing your thighs together or placing a tennis ball between your thighs and squeezing the ball.
Hold for a count of 10 and repeat for 3 rounds.
4th Car Exercise: Calf raises.
Calf muscle toning is a car exercise you can easily do while driving.
To execute this move raise your legs on the tips of your toes. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 8 times. Unless you have superman legs you will feel the burn pretty quick.
Note: Be careful doing this exercise on your right side because, you know, you’re driving. Mind your pressure on that gas pedal. You should be able to tense your calf without slamming on the pedal, kay?
5th Car Exercise: Mini Crunches.
We’re obviously not going to lie down for this, but you can flex your abs pretty tight and lean into a bit by crunching towards your steering wheel.
Sit up straight in your seat. Engage your core, and feel your belly button. Then imagine pulling it towards your spine.
Tighten your abs as hard as possible, hold for a count of 8 and release.
Take a deep breath and crunch again. Repeat 10 times.
6th Car Exercise: Abdominal Rotation.
Of course your range of movement will be limited, but you can still rotate from side to side at the waist without removing your hands from the steering wheel.
You can use your grip to get a little extra movement.
7th Car Exercise: Bicep Curls.
You’re not going to have weights for this. I mean, you can, if you want.
But you don’t need them.
Simply curl your bicep by bending your elbow and making a fist, bringing your fist towards your chest.
Clench your fist as if you are lifting a weight. Really tighten your bicep as much as possible for maximum effect.
Do 3 sets of 15 curls on each side.
8th Car Exercise: Forearm Squeeze.
Use a tennis ball to strengthen the muscles in your forearm.
This muscle is used for so many day to day activities.
Squeeze the tennis ball in your hand for 1-2 seconds, and release for a second. Repeat 15 times and aim for 2 sets of this activity.
9th Car Exercise: Deltoid Rotations.
If your car is really small it might be tight for you.
This exercise is performed by stretching out your arm, it can be in front or to the side, straight out parallel to the floor and rotating your straight arms in small, quick circles. Switch directions for variations.
Do 3 sets of 15 rotations on each side, and alternate directions.
10th Car Exercise: Shoulder Raises.
This one is also super easy for an exercise you can do in your car.
You don’t even have to take either hand off the steering wheel. Simply lift your shoulders to your neck, tightening your shoulders and neck muscles as much as possible.
This will get some upper back, too.
Do 30 shoulder raises.
Ease tension when you’re done by rolling your neck from side to side and stretching those muscles back out.
10 Simple Car Exercises!
There you have it.
10 movements so you exercise in your car while driving!
Just to reiterate that driving is your priority in the car and you should keep your eyes on the road.
Please be smart if you’re going to try to get a little exercise on the way to work, and happy crunching!
Don’t Forget To Stretch After Exercising In Your Car!
I once heard that stretching is 80% of your workout.
Now this seems a little silly to me because if it were that high of a ratio why workout at all, right?
But arguments aside, stretching is really important after a workout.
If you have ever felt sore after a difficult exercise, chances are a lot of that soreness could have been eliminated by stretching it out a bit afterwards.
A lot of the lower body stretching is just going to have to wait until later,
Make sure to take 2 minutes after you park to touch your toes and stretch your legs.
But we can at least stretch our upper bodies while trying to exercise in our car while driving.
1. Side Oblique Stretch
You can do this exercise simply by stretching your arms over your head and reaching towards the other side.
This stretches your side abs. That’s the scientific name. Side abs.
Hold for a count of 20 on each side.
2. Tricep Stretch
Put your right arm up over your head, bent at the elbow, and grab your right elbow with your left hand.
Gently tug your elbow down until you feel the stretch and hold for a count of 20.
Repeat on both sides.
3. Neck Stretch
Gently bend your head to the right side and put light pressure on the top of your head, pulling down towards your chest.
Hold for a count of twenty and repeat on the left side.
4. Shoulder Stretch
Raise your right arm up straight, and then across your chest.
Pull the right arm as close to your chest as possible with your left arm.
Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on both sides.
Next Steps After Car Exercises? Fitness + General Wellness
I know this post might seem…very silly.
But many of us are so incredibly busy that even the small act of becoming more conscious of ANY movement is significant!
I used to bicycle long distance 3 or 4 times.
Now-a-days, I focus my time on other things (like car exercises), which I feel totally okay with…as long as I maintain balance (which I currently lack…)
This post is an effort to regain balance.
To become more mindful of movement.
To do *something* to keep my muscles active and engaged. And I really believe its better than nothing!
Something else I did recently along this same line was create a useful checklist around self care, mental fitness, and helping ease the stress of life for others around.
Within the checklist I delve into four parts of different life aspects:
- Basic Self Care
- Workplace Self Care
- Spiritual Self Care
- Emotional Self Care
The Self Care Checklist is totally free, and has been helpful to many people in help create an environment of less stress, and mental freshness.