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Exercises You Can Do as a Passenger on Long Road Trips

Being a passenger during a long car ride can be boring. Why not work out?
Being a passenger during a long car ride can be boring. Why not work out? | Source

Exercises for Road Warriors

So you're going on another long road trip and are not looking forward to the hours upon hours of sitting there looking at the scenery go by. It all seems like a big waste of time, doesn't it? As beautiful as they are, even trees, clouds, and grass get boring after you've been staring at them for what seems like an eternity.

One of the biggest excuses people use for not exercising is that they "don't have enough time". Fortunately, long road trips are filled with nothing but time for you to put in a workout. These quick exercises can't make up for going to the gym but, since you'll have so much extra time on your hands, you might as well tone your body!

1. Dumbbells

Bring small dumbbells along for the ride. It's better to have ones that are cushioned with foam as opposed to the metal ones so that accidents don't happen (like dropping them on yourself or breaking a window).

  • Work out your biceps by doing curls. Lift both arms at the same time, or alternate back and forth for a change of pace.
  • You can also do tricep curls, or overhead tricep extensions. This is where you put the weights behind your head and lift upward using your triceps.
  • Concentration curls are done sitting down, so they're perfect to do in the car. This is where you sit forward and rest your elbow on your knee, then lift your dumbbell toward your shoulder without moving your elbow.
  • To work out your shoulders, do a few front raises. While holding dumbbells in both hands, raise your arms straight up so that they're parallel with the ground. Hold them for a few seconds and then lower them.

2. Isometric Exercises

Isometric exercises are great for car rides since you don't have to move your body all over the place in order to work out.

  • Press the palm of your left hand onto the left side of your head and "push" the two together for 30 seconds, then release. Use the other hand to do the same thing on the right side.
  • Another exercise to try is putting both of your hands on the back of your head and pushing the two together. Afterwards, try the same exercise using your forehead for resistance.
  • Clasp your hands together in front of you, pressing your palms together. Your elbows should be out from your body and your arms should be parallel with the floor. Next, push them together for 30 seconds or so, then release.
  • To work out your legs, press your feet together and hold, or press your knees together and hold.
  • You can also put the heel of one foot on the top of your other foot and push the two together. Repeat with the other foot.

What Are Isometric Exercises?

Isometrics are exercises that focus on strength training your muscles.

Instead of a high-powered, sweaty workout, these are done from a still position, using either the body itself, weights, or the surrounding environment.

If you're looking for a simple, gentle way to strengthen your body, isometric exercises are a great choice!

What is your favorite road trip exercise?

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3. Abs Exercises

Working out your abs while on the road is great since it can be done by passengers and drivers.

  • A simple but effective ab workout can be done by tensing your stomach muscles and then releasing them.
  • You can also lift your butt off the seat a little while tensing your abs and butt, then lower your body down. You'll be able to feel a nice burn even though this is a very simple exercise.

4. Stretching Exercises

These feel great, especially when you've been sitting in the car for hours on end. A few stretching exercises include:

  • Sitting up completely straight and stretching your neck,
  • Trying to "touch" your elbows together at your spine,
  • Holding onto your chair and twisting your body,
  • Slowly rolling your shoulders,
  • Clasping your hands behind your back (one arm coming from the bottom and the other coming from the top),
  • Lifting your toes without raising your heels off the floor.

One last leg exercise you can try may look a little silly, but it's effective. Quickly tap your feet on the floor in front of you and swing your arms as if you're running in place. When you feel the burn, you'll be too busy getting toned to be embarrassed!

10 comments

NornsMercy profile image

NornsMercy 2 years ago from Charlotte, NC Author

@janderson99 -- Thanks for reading and commenting. :)


janderson99 profile image

janderson99 2 years ago from Australia on Planet Water

Isometrics offers a good way to do exercises sitting down. Using a hand exercise ball as a pressure sensor is a good idea to sustain pressure.


NornsMercy profile image

NornsMercy 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC Author

@Glimmer Twin Fan -- thanks for stopping by :) I never thought about it either until I was taking weekly 4-hour road trips! I've actually seen results, too... Which is awesome! :D


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

I have to admit I've never thought about exercising in the car and we usually take a long car trip every summer. Gonna have to remember this. Interesting hub


NornsMercy profile image

NornsMercy 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC Author

@CarlySullens -- Awesome :D Sitting down so can literally kill people of any age, especially in this era of computers... :( I hope people use these exercises even when they're at home in their offices AND car rides!


CarlySullens profile image

CarlySullens 3 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

Great ideas here. These exercises are especially important for those who are older or more prone to blood clotting in the legs. The older I get the more I need to take breaks in my driving and walk, stretch etc. I will definitely be utilizing your tips.


NornsMercy profile image

NornsMercy 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC Author

@lisa42 -- Awesome! Glad to hear it. That's plenty of time to get some exercise! :)


lisa42 profile image

lisa42 3 years ago from Sacramento

Great suggestions! We usually drive to Disneyland about once a year, which is a 6-8 hour drive (depending on traffic!), so these tips are very helpful.


NornsMercy profile image

NornsMercy 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC Author

@ladydeonne -- Thanks for reading! You'll thank yourself for it after the road trip :)


ladydeonne profile image

ladydeonne 3 years ago from Florence, SC

Very helpful hub. As I am going on a road trip in July, I will put the exercises outlined in this hub to good use. Thanks for sharing.

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