Long-haul driving requires a driver to sit for extended periods, with the body in a relatively static position. Stretching exercises for long-haul drivers help keep drivers limber, prevent muscle tension, and keep their bodies adaptable to the changing needs of the job.
Hip Flexor Stretch
The most important stretching exercise for long-haul drivers is the hip flexor stretch. This dynamic stretch is designed to target the primary hip muscles that help with mobility. To perform the stretch, extend one leg straight in front of you while dropping the other one back behind you. From this position, step forward with the back leg while letting the hip naturally sink back. Reverse the motion and repeat the action, keeping the knee of the back leg pointed down at the ground as you move. Explore more hip flexor stretches to keep this muscle limber.
The next stretch that is beneficial for long-haul drivers is the shoulder stretch. This stretch helps keep the shoulders loose and relieves tension. To do this stretch, start by bringing your arm up over your head with your palm facing sideways. Bend your elbow, taking your hand behind your head, and grabbing the opposite shoulder with your palm. Next, pull your shoulder back to bring your chest forward and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat the stretch on the other side.
It is also important for drivers to perform quadriceps stretches. To do so, begin by standing up and holding onto a support. Place your foot behind your butt and reach down until you feel a stretch throughout the front of the thigh. Hold for 30 seconds and then do the other side.
Another stretching exercise that is very beneficial to long-haul drivers is spinal flexion. Spine flexion helps to loosen up the back muscles and improve spinal flexibility. To perform this stretch, lie down on your back or get on your hands and knees. Keeping the abdominals tight, round the shoulders and bend the spine forward until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold the position for 30 seconds and then relax.
Lastly, is the calf stretch. This helps to target the calf muscles to improve the range of motion and alleviate tension throughout the lower body. To do the stretch, stand facing a wall and step one foot forward with the leg slightly bent. Keep the back leg straight and press your foot against the wall to stretch the calf muscle. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.
These are just a few of the stretching exercises that can be beneficial for long-haul drivers. Regular stretching, in addition to good posture and regular breaks, can help keep drivers comfortable and alert while on the road.