A few tips to slip in a little exercise on your way to work, even while you’re taking a break or stuck in traffic. Steve Roberts writes
EACH DAY, the average Australian spends nearly an hour getting to and from work – and less than 20 minutes at the gym. In fact, the average Aussie spends no time at the gym, and the fitness freaks drag up the curve for the rest of us.
All that commuting adds up to more than 20 days on the road every year just getting to work, let alone as your occupation as a driver. If you spent that time exercising instead, you’d have Chris Hemsworth’s ‘abs’, and Margot Robbie’s arms, according to news.com.au.
The solution? Exercise on your way to work or during your travelling holiday. Here are 10 simple exercises you can do on the road:
1. CLASSIC COMMUTER CRUNCH
• Can be done from the seat of a bus, train, or plane (or a car if someone else is doing the driving) • Start by sitting in a neutral position, with your feet hip-width apart and flat on the floor • Keeping your shoulders and neck relaxed, contract the lower abdominal muscles • Hold the lower abdominal contraction and engage your upper abs • Gently round the lower back and move your ribcage down toward your hips • Hold the contraction for 8 to 10 seconds, breathing normally, and return to a neutral sitting position • Repeat 8 to 12 times or until muscle
2. CHEST BOOSTERS
• Work your pecs, which should also
be done sitting down • Put your arms on your lap and
interlace your fingers • Try to touch your elbows to one another, while keeping your shoulders back and your chest lifted • Squeeze and contract the chest • Hold the contraction for 8-10
seconds, breathing normally • Release and repeat 8 to 12 times or
until muscle fatigue.
3. PRESS THE ROOF
• Focus on shoulders and posture while you’re stuck in traffic or sitting at a light • Place your hands against the roof or your car, push up with your arms and squeeze your abs at the same time • Hold for 10 seconds and release • Repeat as many times as possible • The dual action of pressing up with the arms and shoulders and squeezing the core creates a static hold that serves to strengthen the arms, shoulders, back, and core all at the same time • Try lifting one or both legs off the floor to engage your core even more.
4. ARM STRENGTHENER
• While seated (and not moving). • Open your driver-side window and, assuming there is no passenger in the seat next to you, straighten both arms to the side • With your left palm up and your right palm down, start to switch your palms from up to down. Your arms are straight out to the side, left palm up right palm down and switch, left palm down right palm up • Do this for sets of 50 • Rest for 10 seconds and repeat. Just the action of holding your arms out becomes a challenge and the toning benefits of holding that position and switching the hands is undeniable.
5. BELLY BUSTERS
• While driving, pretend you are trying to zip closed a tight pair of skinny jeans • Pull your belly button in towards your spine as you try to pull your lower belly away from the waistband of your pants • Hold here, engaging your abs, or, for a more intense workout, breathe out 20 times quickly • As you breathe out, contract your lower abs even harder to pulse your abs in and out.
6. SEATED TWIST
• Sit in your seat with your feet planted firmly on the floor, arms resting beside you • Peel your back off the back of the chair, and take a moment to connect the crown of your head with your pelvic bowl • As you inhale, allow the crown of the head to reach toward the ceiling without lifting the chin • As you exhale, draw the belly in, and twist to your right, placing your left hand on the arm rest to your right • Repeat on the other side.
7. SPINE STRETCHING
• While in traffic, hold onto the steering wheel with your hands at 10 and 2 and round your back • By pulling on the steering wheel and rounding your back, you’re stretching the area in between the shoulder blades and mid-back • Take a breath here and then release • Repeat 8-12 times.
8. TENSION TACKLING
• While stuck at a red light, tilt your right ear down towards your right shoulder • Relax your shoulders and breathe into the left side of your neck, stretching the left side of your neck • Hold for 10 seconds • At the next light, repeat on the other
9. CALF RAISES
• Take advantage of your time at the
bus stop or the plane • Get on your toes, hold, and come
back down • Aim for 100 and you’ll feel your
calves the next day.
• While waiting, stand on one leg, while lifting the other one as high as possible to your hips or chest • Hold and balance to increase the strength in your legs and to engage your stomach.
Scan here for Commuter Workout Video on YouTube