Com­muter work­out

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

Owner Driver - - Owner/Driver - Steve Roberts is an ac­cred­ited ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist BSocSc, GDipEd) liv­ing in Toowoomba, Queens­land and the owner of Taurus Trainer, a health coach­ing ser­vice aimed at help­ing men in their 40s and 50s (or older) re­set their bi­o­log­i­cal clock. Steve wel­com

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

fa­tigue.

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

side.

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.

10. BAL­ANCE

• 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

STEVE ROBERTS

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