Travel Workout resistance bands mother trucker yoga blog post

A Truckers Workout: Resistance Bands Exercises

Resistance Bands could be a trucker’s best workout.

Exercise comes in all forms and using resistance bands is one quick and simple way to stay fit!

Movement, working out, exercise, call it what you want, it and I (is that how you say it-the English language) have a very special relationship.

Movement is partly what saved me from a life strangling eating disorder. And when I’m not moving, long story short, it is often a slippery slope to the land of sorrows, depression, and anxiety.

And there is something so amazing about feeling strong, feeling alive, feeling in my body.

I love exploring movements, I love being creative and pushing myself in a way that can best serve my body.

But too much of anything can be a bad thing-even exercise. As I get older I’m more conscious of my joints, my bones, and trying to stay pain-free, not just trim and fit.

And about two years ago I took a very bad fall and it landed me a slow recovery and a body that felt like it was well into it’s 70’s or 80’s. Muscles wouldn’t let go of the trauma and I started to develop imbalances that were wreaking havoc on my body I fought so hard to keep living in.

Rediscovering resistance bands was one thing that jump-started my body’s recovery and really began to heal my injuries and imbalances without pushing it too hard (and I had no intention of being as big as the Incredible Hulk).

In my eye’s resistance bands are a very unappreciated piece of exercise equipment. So many get sucked into believing that the more expensive the better, and then never use it. But truth be told, bands are great, think of them as one step up from bodyweight exercises and super nurturing to your joints!

resistance bands easy workout guide blog post mother trucker yoga

10 Benefits to a resistance bands workout:

  • 1) They improve the quality of your exercises.
  • 2) They help to focus your control, form, and function.
  • 3) They recruit your stabilizing muscles.
  • 4) They’re fundamental for functional training.
  • 5) A great alternative to machines.
  • 6) They’re lightweight.
  • 7) They’re designed for compound exercises.
  • 8) You have control over the angle.
  • 9) They help you feel your muscles working or not working
  • 10) They work your muscles differently than the use of free-weights

Variety is the spice of life. Stop thinking you have to do the same old thing every day. You can easily add in a resistance bands workout that lasts 5 minutes and you can get an amazing workout in no time!

How do resistance bands work?

Unlike weights, resistance bands don’t rely on gravity. The more you stretch the bands, the more they resist your movement, want to work harder, increase the stretch in the band. That means that if you work with a free weight you can only go as far as your joint will allow, but with a band, create more resistance and you have just increased your workout. And I love resistance bands because you can get creative, way more creative than you can with weights.

Here are some of my current favorites when it comes to working with resistance bands.

Resistance Band Exercises

Foot Work with Resistance Bands

Place a tied resistance band about the length of your forearm and place it over the balls of your feet. Stretch the band just enough so there is no slack. Keeping a tall body (no rib thrusting or booty pushing), start to march in place. Really work to lift your knee without leaning back or tipping forward. March in place 30 times.

Next ground into one leg and keep a strong neutral rotation on the leg (pit of the back of the knee pointing back and on dumping into the hip), engage your glute, and press out with the opposite leg for a lateral lift. Think about kicking out with the heel, not the toes (almost like internal rotation). Do this 10-20 times on each side.

Resistance Band Arm Workout

Standing strong in neutral, feet grounded and no rib thrusting. Place your fists inside the tied off resistance band. First, anchor your elbows at your sides and press out with both fists (the movement comes from the elbow) on an exhalation.

Try this for 10-20 times. Next to keeping your upper body strong and stable pull one fist up and one fist down, like your arms, are marching in place. Do this 10-20 times. Finally, pull your fists diagonally and then back to center 10-20 times. Notice which arm is stronger and tune into making sure you don’t dominate the movements with that stronger arm.

 

Resistance Band Exercises for Hips and Glutes

This was a lifesaver for me because my left hip and hamstring weren’t cooperating and my right glute was weak (very unstable pulley system). Place the tied off resistance band around your ankles (shoes optional) and walk 30 paces forward and back in the following ways:

  1. Wide Monster Strides (pull the band as wide as you can comfortably and walk forward and back)
  2. Normal Walk (Walk in a normal hips distance and stretch the band with enough resistance when you walk)
  3. Diagonal Walk (Step to the right one foot at a time, then to the left, alternating forward and back)
  4. Sideways Walker (Create a slight squat and step foot to foot to the right, then to the left)

Leg Strength with resistance bands Mother Trucker Yoga blog

So many think their workout has to be at the gym in workout clothes and X minutes long to be “worth it”. But here’s the thing, I carry my bands with me in my car. Yes, I do a three-minute workout here or there and it all adds up! To step out of the box, you have to start to think out of the box!

And you might as well add resistance bands into that thinking too!

Don’t have bands? I got you covered! Grab this kit and join me! 

Want more great moves like these? When you buy our mini travel resistance bands kit you get: 

  • One Large Physical Therapy Grade Resistance Band (Medium or Heavy Resistance)
  • Two loop bands with varied resistance
  • Door Loop to attach your bands to your truck cab door or door at home for an easy portable workout
  • 13 Page Resistance Bands Guide for easy go-to workout ideas!
    Mother Trucker Yoga Resistance Band Travel Set - Medium

    Perfect travel workout resistance band set.

     

And after a great day of movement with your new-found love of resistance bands. Don’t forget to help your muscles recover with our exclusive pain relief cream made for drivers… STIFF Mother Trucker.

STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream for Travel

Plantar Fasciitis Mother Trucker yoga blog

What is Plantar Fasciitis & What to Do About It

What is Plantar Fasciitis & What to Do About It

 

I never had ANY issues with my feet until I was pregnant. Plantar Fasci.. Who? And it was right about that time that I began my journey of diving into the body. Not yoga poses. Not fancy exercises, but how the body moves and why it moves the way it does. How we are an adaptation of our environment over time and things don’t necessarily happen to us, they accumulate within us. 

 

To be honest, you don’t catch plantar fasciitis like you do an airborne virus. Your body moves or doesn’t move, it adapts to the environment you put it in and it responds. When your muscles scream, cramp, tighten, clench, sag, freeze they are responding. The question is, are you listening? 

 

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

 

But what IS plantar fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis means the inflammation in the muscular band around the sole, which supports the arch. It is the main reason for pain at the bottom of the heel. And that plantar tendon is then connected to your achilles tendon, which then connects in with your calf muscles, to your hamstrings to then your sacrotuberous ligament and so on (that was a mouth full). My point…everything is connected. Our bodies are not separate parts, we are not parts, we are whole. And when we are in pain, like foot pain, we cannot just look at the area screaming. We must step back and look at the entire canvas and how that canvas moves or doesn’t move. If someone was to be holding a gun pointed at another who would be screaming, the shooter or the victim? The victim is the bottom of your foot, the persecutor is the cause of it. 

 

In modern busy lives, one is always on his feet. Our heels are constantly under the pressure of our daily life hustles. This pressure ultimately damages or tears your foot ligaments resulting in pain and stiffness under the sole. And furthermore, the long bouts of sitting, tightening of the calves and hamstrings coupled with extreme fitness shortens and tightens those areas causing a pulling and aggravating pain. 

 

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

During the later months of pregnancy, women carry a lot of weight on their feet and are more at risk for Plantar Fasciitis.

 

Men and women between the age group of 40-70 years and majorly women among them are at higher risk for Plantar Fasciitis.

 

Obese individuals, due to high pressure on their heels and repetitive tensile overload from walking, standing, or squatting, are more prone to the inflammation of the muscle band around their heels.

 

Certain activities or exercises that include running, dancing on heels or ballet dancing, skating, aerobic dance, inadequate stretching, or walking long-distance without a proper pair of shoes, etc.

 

Pronation (walking in a way that your whole body weight tends to be on the inside of your foot) is one major cause of Plantar Fasciitis.

 

Long term sitting with minimal bouts of movement, stretching or activity. 

 

People with structural foot abnormality (Foot Mechanics) like flat feet, protruded, or extended heel bone or high arches usually suffer from Plantar Fasciitis. Weak plantar flexor muscles and intrinsic muscles of the foot are the bio-mechanic causes of Plantar Fasciitis.

Certain occupations that involve excessive use of feet or dynamic jobs like teachers, factory workers, police, labor, etc. are at higher risks.

Heel spurs were implicated as one of the causes of Plantar Fasciitis. It was later clarified that this is a very weak association and may not necessarily be a cause of Plantar Fasciitis.

 

Symptoms

 

Stabbing pain and tenderness in the heel is the typical symptom of Plantar Fasciitis.

The pain can be triggered by a long period of standing.

The pain generally kicks off after exercise as the pain flares up due to increased irritation or inflammation but doesn’t show any symptoms during exercise.

The nature of pain may vary from person to person. It can be dull or sharp, burning or ache in the heel.

The pain is commonly worse in the morning. You will feel a wave of pain the moment you take your first step out of bed. Climbing stairs would be the last thing you want to do as it aggravates the pain to a higher extent.

 

Management

 

Statistically, stretching is believed to give the best long-term results at home.

Calf and arch stretch

  1. Sit on the bed with straight legs.
  2. Take a folded towel (or a strap or belt)
  3. Hold the ends with both hands.
  4. Place the balls of your feet in the middle of the towel and pull back the towel/belt flexing the foot (place the towel over the ball of the foot).
  5. Hold this for 30 seconds with a rest interval of 30 seconds and repeat this 3 times. Or hold until tension passes.
Plantar Fasciitis - foot stretch mother trucker yoga blog

Seated Forward Bend with Strap to Stretch Arches, Calves, and Hamstrings

Downward Facing Dog

  1. Start down on all fours.
  2. Take a deep breath in and lift your knees.
  3. Without walking your hands back, press up through your arms and shoulders.
  4. Exhale and draw your belly in and lift your hips high.
  5. Let your heels sink towards the ground and “walk the dog” by alternating lifting and lowering each heel and bending the opposite knee. 
  6. If you are feeling tight, bend the knees (the goal is not to have straight legs, but to feel a stretch).
  7. NOTE: Try Half Downward Dog on the step of your truck. Does your truck step need an upgrade? In need of more grip? >Shop NOW<
Plantar Fasciitis Half downward dog mother trucker yoga blog

Half Down Dog on Truck Step

Plantar Fasciitis Downward Facing Dog Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Downward Facing Dog

Roll the arch on our Massage Roller Stick

  1. Keep a ball or our massage roller stick by your bedside.
  2. Roll your foot on the ball three times for 1 minute with 30 seconds of the rest interval.
  3. Do this exercise after waking up and before going to bed.
  4. NOTE: Your feet may feel tender due to wearing shoes too frequently and not stimulating the muscles in the feet often enough.

mother trucker yoga massage roller feet

Manual Stretch

Before taking your first step out of bed, stretch and massage your feet manually with the help of your fingers.

 

Treatment

  • NSAIDs
  • Stretching
  • Formal physical therapy
  • Night splints
  • Custom orthotics
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Platelet-rich plasma injections
  • Botulinum toxin injections
  • Fasciotomy
  • Topical Pain Relief Cream – STIFF Mother Trucker

Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream in Hand

 

Thank you to BUD & TONY’S TRUCK PARTS for being the sponsor of this blog.

Are you ready to try out Mother Trucker Yoga’s Half Down Dog on the step of your truck but you need an upgrade?

Bud & Tony’s Truck Parts got you covered! They have dozens of selections perfect for your rig!

See what they have waiting for your ride! 

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Mother Trucker Yoga Blog - The Benefits of Capsicum for Natural Pain Relief

The Benefits of Capsicum for Natural Pain Relief

The Benefits of Capsicum for Natural Pain Relief

 

When I set out to create my pain relief cream, I had a list of ingredients I wanted in my pain cream and a list of what I didn’t. For the past 20 years I have been using, searching, and sampling other peoples pain relief creams and some of them worked, some didn’t. But all of them had something I didn’t like about them (in the ingredients). I have been saying, “one day, I’ll make my pain relief cream” for nearly five years. But when you live in a small town in Wisconsin, when will you plan to meet a manufacture and a formulator and someone who knows how to create a legit product? 

 

But while assisting one of my mentors at a workshop and hearing what I do with Mother Trucker Yoga, the great question came out of their mouth, “have you ever thought about creating a product?” A few months later, after several samples, ingredient combinations, texture trials, container sampling, and label creation- STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream was born. 

stiff mother trucker pain relief cream blog

One of our favorite ingredients:

Capsicum or chili peppers are increasing their debut in the pain management department. You’ll find its chemical compound Capsaicin in many pain-relieving creams, gels, lotions, sticks, and sprays. Its topical formulation is an efficient pain management tool.

cap·​si·​cum | \ ˈkap-si-kəm  \

Definition of capsicum (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

1aany of a genus (Capsicum) of tropical American herbs and shrubs of the nightshade family widely cultivated for their many-seeded usually fleshy-walled berries

 called also pepper

2an oleoresin derived from the fruit of some capsicums that contains capsaicin and related compounds and is used medicinally especially as a topical pain reliever

What is Capsaicin?

Capsaicin was first isolated from chili peppers or capsicum in 1878 in crystalline form. Capsicum except bell pepper has its hot and spicy flavor from this little fellow, a remarkable health-promoting substance. It increases gastric secretions and stimulates nerve endings.

Capsicum blog mother trucker yoga

The Scoville Scale

However, its intense burning and irritating properties make it intolerable. Since it is a self-administered medicine, prescriptions are not required. Hence, to avoid the side effects from large quantity administration, a tool named Scoville scale was derived by W. Scoville which is used to determine the healthy amount of capsaicin in these medicinal preparations.

Pain Relief Stiff Mother Trucker Blog Mother Trucker Yoga

Uses of Capsicum for Topical Administration

The topical formulation of Capsaicin is absorbed well through the human skin. It is conveniently useful in the relief of:

  • Minor aches and pains from daily life
  •  Joint pains from age or injuries
  • Backache from long-term sitting or driving
  • Strains from muscle overuse, or muscle underuse coupled with jarring movements
  • Sprains from exercise, work-related injuries, or life!
  • Stings and bites from  bees and insects
  • Chronic pain from injuries, stiffness, and lingering pain
  • Pains like sciatica and piriformis syndrome

Indications of Capsaicin

F.D.A. Labeled Conditions
  • Arthritis
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Fibromyalgia
  • Musculoskeletal Pains
F.D.A. Non-Labeled Conditions
  • Neuropathy Postoperative complications
  • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Migraine
  •  Postoperative nausea and vomiting
  • Psoriasis

Stiff Mother Trucker for Hand Pain Relief

Mechanism of Action

Capsaicin works in topical administration, although its exact mechanism has not been elucidated yet.

Capsaicin is a neuropeptide-active agent that renders the pain-sensitive areas insensitive to the pain sensation by depleting and preventing the accumulation of pain impulse mediators (from peripheral to the central nervous system). With this phenomenon, painful sensations fail to travel to the Central nervous system’s pain-sensitive regions, which gives us temporary relief from the painful episode.

 

Precautions

Do not apply Capsaicin cream to the cuts and open wounds.

Wash your hand immediately after applying the cream to avoid unnecessarily touching the burn sensitive areas such as nose, eyes, or mouth, etc.

Always consult your physician for directions before using the cream to get desirable results.

 

Side-Effects

Like all other topical herbs, chemicals, treatments, and oils, there are precautions you wan tot take and things you want to consider when using. These side effects can occur due to excessive use or use in forbidden areas. They include:

  • Burning sensation
  • Itching or Irritation
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pain 

These side effects are often short-term and are often associated with improper use (IE- private parts, eyes, mouth). Some notice this with its first use, but they will gradually fade away after its continuous application. In our STIFF Mother Trucker formula, we are using just the right amount of capsicum combined with other soothing and cooling ingredients to give you the perfect combination for your muscles and skin. 

 

Read your labels on ALL your pain relief creams. Read your labels, many focus only on immediate cooling, but nothing to penetrate deep, nothing to do anything beneath the surface. That’s where STIFF Mother Trucker comes in. Let us be your number one solution for pain relief that hits you deeply! 

Ready to try the amazing benefits of capsicum and our other amazing all-natural ingredients??

Grab a tube HERE + get FREE Shipping + Free Stickers

Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream for Truck Drivers

Sciatica Relief Hope Zvara and Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

5 Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief

Several years ago I had sciatica for nearly a year straight. I was seeking sciatica pain relief in the worst way.

It hurt to bend, it hurt to sit, it hurt to stand, it hurt to sleep, it hurt to do just about everything. I thought to myself “is this how the rest of my life is going to be?” The worst thing was – I was a yoga teacher. Having never had any real physical injuries I began to seek relief and care. During my first visit to a chiropractor, we discovered that my pelvis was not level and probably for quite some time. Trying to put things back into place made for a very angry body.

Sciatica Relief Hope Zvara and Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

As someone early into teaching yoga I vowed to help others dissolve pain because no one should have to live with pain like this on a daily basis. Through improving my posture, building stability in my frame as well as building muscle and staying mobile slowly my sciatica disappeared. But over the years it tries to rear its annoying head and with my toolbox in place, I know exactly what to do to dissolve the symptoms and find relief once again.

If you have ever had it, you know it. That pain that can knock you off your feet. That pain can derail you dead in your tracks. That nerve pain that can be so excruciating that you are flat on the floor praying it will pass.

WHAT IS SCIATICA:

I think it is important to first describe what sciatica is and what it is not. Sciatica is a pain and nerve sensation that can travel through the glute down the leg, past the knee into the calf. Sciatica has a number of causes some of them being injury (to the lower back), ruptured disk, bulging disk, spinal injury, and spinal stenosis. Sciatica is most cases originates from the lower back, and most true sciatica cases are caused by spinal injuries or issues.

WHERE IS THE SCIATIC NERVE:

The sciatic nerve is a nerve that originates in the lower back on either side of the spine. It runs through the buttocks and into the hips before branching down each leg. In some cases, the sciatic nerve runs under or through the piriformis muscle.

This nerve is the longest nerve in the body and provides sensation to the outer leg and foot. Sciatica is nerve pain that runs through the buttocks, down the back of the leg and into the ankle or foot.

WHAT IS PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME:

Piriformis syndrome although it feels similar they are not. Piriformis syndrome often originates from the glute (hip buttocks) area, where sciatica originates from the lower back.

Piriformis syndrome causes sciatica-like symptoms when piriformis muscle pinches down on the sciatic nerve and causes pain just like sciatica: burning, tingling, shooting pain especially when sitting. However piriformis pain often does not travel below the knee, whereas sciatica will.

Both sciatica and piriformis are not a condition as much as they are symptom caused by another problem: a herniated disc, lower back injury, tight piriformis/hip muscles, pelvis or hip pain/injury, or misalignment. While most try to treat the symptoms it is critical to look to the root cause and try to find relief starting there.

Dr. Mark Kovacs, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, adds that the best way to alleviate most sciatica pain is to do “any stretch that can externally rotate the hip to provide some relief.”

5 STRETCHES FOR SCIATICA PAIN RELIEF:

KNEES INTO THE CHEST:

Knees into chest stretch sciatica MTY Blog

FIGURE FOUR STRETCH

Figure Four Stretch Mother Trucker Yoga

FIGURE FOUR STRETCH SEATED

Walking Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga

COBRA

Cobra MTY BLog Sciatica

STANDING CALF STRETCH

Calf Stretch MTY Blog Sciatica

SCIATICA PAIN RELIEF TREATMENT:

Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream is an excellent means for pain relief. Applying three to four times a day over the area of pain for immediate and long-lasting relief. The ingredients in Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream specifically target the affected area and provide cooling and warming relief, increased blood flow, and decreased inflammation. (Shop Now)

Stiff Mother Trucker Chart

Chiropractic care can be extremely helpful during a sciatica flare-up. When you find a good chiropractor he or she can help you realign your bones to give space for your body to begin to find relief. However, it is my own experience over the last 20 years working with thousands of people that chiropractic care alone will do very little for most. When the body is tight, stiff, and has created its own patterns in the fascia, resetting a bone using chiropractic practices can feel like a revolving door.

Consider coupling this form of treatment with massage therapy, yoga, stretching, or physical therapy to retrain your body to move, sit, and hold in different ways.

Ice treatments can be helpful immediately after you begin to feel the pain. Icing the glute if it is piriformis syndrome or the lower back and hip area if it is due to a lower back injury causing sciatica. Try 20 minutes of ice on and off for the first three or four days.

Heat is acceptable a few days after the flare-up begins. Using heat immediately may cause more aggravation.

SCIATICA PREVENTION:

Some people are unfortunately nearly 40% of people will end up feeling the effects of sciatica than others, and many it can be reoccurring.

 “People who suffer from acute or chronic back pain tend to be more susceptible to sciatica,” says Dr. Jeffrey N. Katz, professor of medicine and orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. “Your risk also rises if you’re obese, if you smoke, or if you’re sedentary.”

An article from Bud and Tony’s Truck Parts on back pain stated that:

  • Awkward and uncomfortable sitting postures
  • Lifting
  • Repetition
  • Body vibration
  • Leaning, hunching, and rounding
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Poor posture
  • Lack of physical fitness

Bud and Tony's Truck Parts

It is not always possible to prevent sciatica. However, some lifestyle modifications, increase in regular exercise(s), improving core strength and movements throughout the day can help. In addition, regularly walking, using supportive devices for driving and desk work like BackShield and supportive sleeping can significantly help reduce a person’s risk of experiencing sciatica again.

In general, regular exercise and building a strong core may help prevent sciatica. Additionally maintaining a good posture while sitting and standing is important, and may make people less likely to develop sciatica than people with poor posture. Consider working with Mother Trucker Yoga to learn how to improve posture, exercises you can do directly from the cab and driver’s seat of your rig to help prevent and keep sciatica symptoms at bay. And inside our platform, you’ll get detailed step by step videos of the moves above!

 

travel exercise tips mother trucker yoga blog

Travel Exercise: Top Things You Need To Have

Over time many of us collect fitness favorites and pile them in a corner to pull out whenever you want when you spend most of your time at your home. But for those that travel a lot and those that live over the road like a truck driver or even someone living the RV life, it is essential to consider what you need to keep you healthy. 

If you are living out of a backpack, a suitcase, or the cab of a truck, that lifestyle choice does not make it any less important to find time for fitness. But it does make it a bit more challenging to decide what to bring with when it comes to a workout or fitting in fitness each day. 

A lifestyle that keeps you on the move all the time can leave you feeling like working out seems like a chore or too complicated to take on. That’s mostly because everyone assumes that you need a lot of equipment and time to get yourself fit. But the truth is, you need a few basic things to stay fit while you’re on the road. 

As a trucker, it can be quite challenging to take out time to hit the gym every day as you’re on the road most of the time, and let’s be honest, pulling in an eighteen-wheeler to a strip malls parking lot is not always an option. To ensure that you’re on top of your fitness game, keep some basic things on hand to exercise whenever you get the time. Here, you’ll find some basic yet essential things to keep with you to help you stay physically fit. 

When I travel, I try to consider how much space I have to pack extras, what is the area I will have to do something, and what do I want to spend my time doing? One of the things I teach our drivers at Mother Trucker Yoga is you don’t need to overcomplicate fitness to be fit. Others tell you that you need their fancy, complicated and expensive equipment to stay healthy, but I’m telling you that it’s as simple as one, two, three, and you are off to the races…well off to a workout when you work with us. 

Five Things You Need to Exercise While They Travel:

1. Sneakers

Sneakers are essential to exercising. You might think that you can get it done with any shoes on, but that’s not true. Make a habit of keeping a pair of sneakers with you in your truck at all times. This way, whenever you get the chance, you can pause and get your daily exercise in using the most basic equipment that you can think of. Ensure that the sneakers you choose are comfortable, fit securely to your feet, and aren’t full of foam. Yes, I said foam, it may seem like a great idea to wear a shoe all day long with pillows in the bottom, but our feel needs to feel the ground beneath us. They need to move and be stimulated when we walk. 

Wear your steel-toed boots when you don’t want something to drop and damage your foot. Wear flexible, bendable shoes when you want yourself also to be flexible and bendable. 

I personally love ASICS, New Balance, Merrell, Brooks, and Under Armor. And when buying a pair of shoes, make sure you can try them on, walk around in them, and how they fit. This is a device that will be carrying your body around all day long. Don’t you think it should fit, right?

 

2. Travel Yoga Mat

Another essential item that you will need to assist you in your workouts is a travel yoga mat. They’re lightweight and don’t take up much space at all. They’re essential as they provide you with the right surface to do your exercises on. Since there’s very little space for you anyway, you can take the yoga mat outside and start working out on it, without having to worry about hurting your body. There are all different brands of yoga mats to consider, and some of my favorites are Jade, you can get it in various lengths, widths, and they are made out of recycled materials. When traveling, because you don’t know what the surface you will be exercising or practicing yoga on making sure your yoga mat is heavy and has enough traction, it won’t slip. So you don’t slip. 

3. Resistance Bands

Can’t get yourself to carry weights around with you as you drive your truck around? Who wants to stuff a set of hand weights in their suitcase when they travel around? Well, guess what? You don’t necessarily need them. Instead, you can invest in some resistance bands that can help you keep your body in shape. Resistance bands are great for strength training and can help you maintain your physical health. You can find some excellent resistance band kits at Mother Trucker Yoga to help you keep yourself fit. 

Resistance bands are a great way to tone up, build muscle, and strengthen joints. Different than using weights, resistance bands build up the connection between muscle and bone, rather than focusing on building bulk. When shopping for resistance bands, make sure you get a high-quality material like one made for medical use or at a physical therapy quality level. Make sure they are cut to a minimum of 6-feet, so you can do endless exercises. And you’ll want to get a door loop so you can double the number of activities you can do right from the door of your ride. 

Not sure where to find that. No stress Mother Trucker Yoga has that all figured out for you! Check out our band kits in their convenient travel bag and get our 11 page PDF guide so you can get to moving ASAP. 

Resistance Bands for Travel Exercise with Mother Trucker Yoga

4. Smartphones

Smartphones are things that everyone has nowadays. They’re essential even if you’re not into fitness. So, all you need to do with your smartphone is to help you place reminders about when you should exercise. You will also be able to watch videos on YouTube or read up on exercises that you can easily do while you travel. 

5. Bicycle

Cycling is a natural and essential physical activity that helps you keep in shape. You can easily place a bike in your truck that you can use when time allows you to. Get your bicycle out and not limit yourself to only views of the landscapes you see. Go out and explore all the routes that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Not only will you get your exercise in, but you will also feel much more refreshed than ever. 

Are there ways you can mount your bicycle to your truck? We’ve seen some great ideas from drivers mounting kayaks, bikes, and more to their rigs so they can stay active. We know you can too!

Don’t miss out on your exercise just because you’re always moving. Try to come up with ways to make sure that you incorporate some activity. Hopefully, the next time you’re out and about, you’ll be able to get your exercise in without having to worry too much about the equipment! 

Stiff Mother Trucker - MTY Blog Post

Topical Pain Relief Just for Truckers

Topical pain relief just for truckers when they need it most.

Have you ever really looked at topical pain relief creams and noticed what they are made with? I have been in the health and fitness industry for nearly 20 years, and pain is one of the top complaints students have. When I stepped into the trucking industry it was no surprise that pain, physical pain were also a chronic issue for drivers as well. Except for a driver, stopping and getting out of their truck is not always the easiest or even possible.

Having swollen joints from arthritis, inflammation from an injury, or chronic stiffness from lack of movement can cause quite a bit of pain and limit your ability to move. Physical pain is a pain in the butt, and getting relief when you are a truck driver is not always the easiest.

You may already have tried over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, and other pain relief creams. However having used more than 30 different pain relief creams on and off over the years, I constantly found myself liking certain things about this one, and disliking certain things about that one. And don’t even get me started on the crappy ingredients some creams put in- why? Because they can.

Working with truck drivers it became very clear that there wasn’t anything specifically for drivers. And one of the number one complaints I hear from drivers is physical pain, stiffness, tightness, P-A-I-N.

What is topical pain relief?

Topical pain medications are absorbed through your skin. Most people are familiar with creams, gels, or sprays that are put directly on the site of the injury, pain, or joint.

Because the ingredients are absorbed through the skin, it is suggested that wherever you use the cream (gel) you rub in thoroughly and massage into the area of discomfort.

How often should a topical pain relief cream be used?

Harvard suggested that a topical pain reliever should be applied two to four times a day for the best results. And is best when applied near a joint.

Pain Relief with Stiff Mother Trucker Blog MTY

What ingredients are best to look for?

After countless searches, time, and time again Capsaicin (Capsicum) was noted as a front runner for topical pain relief. This was an ingredient I never came in contact with when it came to topical pain relief options in the yoga and fitness industry.

Capsaicin (kap-SAY-ih-sin) causes the burning sensation you associate with chili peppers. Capsaicin creams deplete your nerve cells of a chemical that’s important for sending pain messages. Capsaicin is most effective if used several times a day. When used topically you often feel a deep penetrating sensation that often lasts for what our testers said was hours. You may also notice a slight read area where it was rubbed due to an increase in blood flow.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine stated “Capsaicin is a powerful local stimulant that, with repeated applications, leads to persistent desensitization to pain. In each of these trials, the use of topical capsaicin produced statistically significant reductions in pain compared with the reductions in pain with the use of placebo.”

Peppermint has demonstrated anti-nociceptive and analgesic actions in multiple studies, especially with respect to its menthol constituent. For pain in a local area, the use of peppermint oil can aid in the relief of both pain and inflammation.

Arnica is a natural is a perennial plant found in the mountainous areas of Europe and North America that produce yellow-orange daisy-like flowers. Since the 1500s, the fresh or dried flowers of the arnica plant have been used for medicinal purposes.

A randomized study involving 204 people with hand osteoarthritis was published in Rheumatology International in 2007. It was found that daily arnica gel was as effective as daily ibuprofen gel, although neither treatment was compared to placebo. There also were minimal side effects with arnica.

Magnesium is an important nutrient. It has multiple functions within the body. These include:

  • regulating nerve and muscle function
  • supporting a healthy pregnancy and lactation
  • maintaining healthy blood sugar levels
  • maintaining optimum blood pressure levels
  • manufacturing and supporting protein, bone, and DNA health

One study done in the Journal of Integrative MedicineTrusted Source indicated that transdermal application of magnesium chloride on the arms and legs of people with fibromyalgia reduced symptoms, such as pain.

WebMD states that Menthol is a “medication” that is used to treat minor aches and pains of the muscles/joints (such as arthritis, backache, sprains). Menthol is known as a counterirritant. It works by causing the skin to feel cool and then warm.

These are just a few of the ingredients I researched and dove into knowing I wanted in my own pain relief cream. But more importantly, I wanted something natural, effective, and free of all the other junk.

When I started to dive into other topical pain relief creams, I really took notice of all the other “filler” ingredients, and working with a master formulated in the beauty industry she assured me that those ingredients do not need to be in there. And often those are used as “filler” ingredients.

Why should you have to read a label worried if junk ingredients are in there? Why should you have to worry that someone is poisoning you, or claiming something is “natural” when only one or two of their ingredients are?

You shouldn’t have to worry and you shouldn’t have to doubt.

First-Ever Topical Pain Relief Cream Just for Truck Drivers.

Mother Trucker Yoga is proud to introduce you to the first-ever Stiff Mother Trucker Topical Pain-Relief Cream made for truckers.

The perfect formula for pain on the go with no junky ingredients. But don’t worry you don’t have to be a trucker to use Stiff Mothe Trucker, everyone can benefit from our signature formula designed for those who need fast and immediate relief alongside long-lasting penetration.

Want to grab your bottle today?

Get FREE shipping for a limited time only and free samples to share with fellow drivers!

Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream MTY Blog

For more articles on pain relief, check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s recent article on back pain: https://mothertruckeryoga.com/2020/02/18/put-back-pain-in-your-rear-view-mirror/

And check out Bud and Tony’s article on back pain contributed to:

https://www.budandtonystruckparts.com/truck-driver-back-pain

Truck Driver challenge with RoadPro and Mother Trucker Yoga

Going the Distance Challenge for Truck Drivers

Going the Distance Truck Driver Challenge starts July 27th! 

Truck drivers are one of the largest underserved communities. And with truck drivers’ health continually at risk, something needs to change. Other challenges have been displayed to drivers before and mostly they focus on weight loss. And although many drivers could serve to lose weight, that doesn’t mean they are healthier. It’s about the small building block changes that build the biggest results.

For truckers, that number is 14%. Why do truckers suffer from diabetes at a rate of ost 50% higher than the rest of the American population? They have more risk factors, according to physicians. Drivers smoke more; about half of truck drivers smoke compared to 19% of other adults.

The CDC stated that:

By law, drivers of commercial vehicles and trucks are permitted 14 hours of duty per day worked. They are required to take a mandatory 10-hour break before they can drive again for work. As a result, long freight delivery routes often require them to sleep away from home. Life on the road makes it more difficult to live healthy because of:

  • irregular schedules
  • long hours
  • little physical activity
  • limited access to healthy foods on the interstates
  • stress

And that has left our drivers with issues like heart disease, obesity, hypertension, nd diabetes. HOWEVER, most drivers hearing this is nothing new. And it is my belief that we must FIRST address the underlying causes of these issues which are: Air, Food, Water, Sleep, and Movement all in small bite-size practices.

Going the distance truckers health challenge 5 elements mother trucker yoga blog

Interested in learning some tips to feel better while on the road or at home? If so, join us for Going the Distance Health Challenge. This is a 1-month completion challenge for professional drivers. The St. Christopher Truckers Fund has teamed up with Mother Trucker Yoga to show you how making small, simple changes in your daily routine can result in big health benefits. The challenge is based on five elements needed for survival: water, food, sleep, air, and movement.

How is this health challenge different than those you may be familiar with?

First, it is a completion challenge. Each person who stays engaged in the challenge for the full month is a winner and will receive prizes from various sponsors. Second, it is a two-part challenge. The first part consists of a short 5-day challenge. Everyone who completes the 5-day challenge is eligible to move on to the 2nd challenge. This challenge lasts four weeks and each week will have a specific health focus.

What are the benefits of joining this challenge?

We will explain why each task (drinking more water, eating healthy foods, incorporating daily movement, breathing with intention, and getting adequate sleep) is beneficial instead of just telling you to do something. We will offer real support and accountability. We will provide a place where you can ask health questions and get answers. We will cover the five key elements of survival and how to utilize them successfully. We want you to not only survive but thrive!

Who is running this challenge? 

Hope Zvara of Mother Trucker Yoga who has worked with thousands of people just like you over the last 20 years reclaim their physical, mental, and emotional health through yoga and other mindful practices and now primarily focuses on the trucking community. With her expertise in functional movement (everyday movement and lifestyle) and pain, he is a powerhouse of knowledge and inspiration.

“I believe anyone can show you exercise in front of a truck. That anyone can tell you to do this or that, but changing your health has to be more than that. It must take you back to the beginning and show you how to make real change. Help you understand why behind what you are doing and are asked to do and then show you the way.”

And Julie Dillon of the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund. Julie is a TNC (Total Nutritional Counselor), her knowledge on food, nutrition and lifestyle will aid this challenge to inspire and help drivers build a knowledge base as to why we need certain foods and what happens when we eat or don’t eat them. Julie’s ability to break this process down into bite-size pieces will help every driver participating make great strides at the end.

Trucker Challenge with Mother Trucker Yoga

What is the investment for joining this truck driver challenge? 

This health and wellness challenge is absolutely free! Joining our challenge, our accountability group, and learn alongside experts in the natural health, fitness, and wellness arena cost you nothing. Other challenges require you to buy their product or join their subscription. Not here. We are 100% here for you and all you need to do is say YES!

How can someone register for Going the Distance, and when does it start?

Registration will start on July 6th. Phase 1 of the challenge is July 27-31. Phase 2 is August 3rd-28. Participants can register below. You must be a truck driver to win any prizes during the challenge.

What’s Next?

After registering, please join our Facebook Group, for daily/weekly engagement. This is where most, if not all, the information will be shared. If you do not currently use Facebook, create a “mock” profile for yourself and delete it after the challenge is over. While not mandatory, it is crucial for your success in this challenge to have a Facebook account.

We are encouraging everyone to have a buddy to sign up along with him/her to offer support and accountability.

Prizes will be provided by Road Pro Family of BrandsTA Petro, and Mother Trucker Yoga. STIFF Mother Trucker, Bill Weaver Music, Chrome & Steel Radio, Jacks Chrome Shop 

If you have any questions about the truck driver challenge?

Please contact Julie Dillon at:

Julie @ truckersfund.org or Hope Zvara at hope @ mothertruckeryoga.com

strong abs with mother trucker yoga blog post

Best Core Exercises for Truck Drivers

Best Core Exercises for Truck Drivers when they don’t have a lot of time.

We have all heard how important it is to strengthen your core, but the only problem is most people are still doing traditional core work. 

What is traditional core work?

Traditional core work in my experience is exercised flat on your back, where you flex your body (crunch) up off the floor. When movements like these are coupled with flailing fast and furious body parts, you feel out of breath and hurt for the wrong reasons. Yet there we are calling “sit-ups” an excellent core workout when there is a better way. 

Times have changed and so has how we move, with the average person sitting 13 hours a day that’s enough if that’s not enough to consider moving more, I don’t know what is. And if you average in 8 hours of sleep on average, a person gets, that 21 hours PER DAY people are sitting. 

The stats don’t lie, we sit way to much!

On top of all of that sitting at work, and for meals and commuting, the respondents:

  • Sit another 1-2 hours while watching TV (36 percent)
  • Game another 1-2 hours (10 percent)
  • Lounge for 1-2 hours for things such as reading (25 percent)
  • Use their home computer for 1-2 hours (29 percent)” (PRNewswire)

And truck driver or not- we Americans sit WAY TO MUCH! 

So when you choose exercises to try to improve your health, fitness, and overall well-being, we want to make sure we are selecting movements that aid us in our everyday life.

Why Not Sit-Ups?

The traditional sit-up is done flat on your back; when core-based exercises are all performed this way, we lose the opportunity to use our back muscles (which are a part of our core). So if you are concerned with the health of your back and spine, it is best to opt for other movements when focusing on your midsection. 

Sit-ups also focus primarily on flexion, and for someone who spends most of their day sitting, this is not helping you. All of that flexion encourages the chest, pec, and neck muscles to stay short and tight, and the upper back and neck muscles to continue to be overstretched and strained. Think about your driving position (or if you are in an office, how you sit at your computer), after a few hours you end up with your head sinking forward and your shoulders and chest collapsing forward over the steering wheel. Like you would yank and pull on your upper body during a sit-up. 

Finally, those good-intentioned sit-ups only work a small portion of your core, and the movement you are choosing to do shortens the abs rather than lengthens them. And if you are going to work on your back, make sure you are finding what is called “neutral.” A place where your lower back is not pressed flat into the floor nor overly arched. 

So when you choose the best types of exercises to strengthen your core as a truck driver, choose movements that:

  1. Focus on form and function.

     Gone are the days that huffing and puffing, yanking and jerking your body all over the place and calling it a good workout are over. Core exercises or not, challenge yourself and see how well you can hold a move or move slowly and control how you move every step of the way. 

  2. Focus on movements that extend more than flex.

    The extension works the body 408% (roughly 10x) more effectively than flexion does.

  3. Focus on movements that include working your back muscles.

    When all we do is “front core” exercises or what many of us call “ab” exercises we actually leave our back vulnerable for injury. By inadvertently over strengthening our front core and neglecting our back muscles (which are a part of our core) we can sometimes do more harm than good. (Read more about neck issues what exercises to do to help)

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), core training is an essential part of any personal fitness routine. Your core helps transfer force and power from your lower to upper limbs. The stronger your midsection is, the safer you’ll be during exercise, plus when you have a stronger core, you are less likely to injure your back.

4 Exercises for Truckers to Strengthen Their Core:

Exercise #1 – Weighted Extension:

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

  1. Find a place to sit on your sleeper, the ground, or your floor at home.
  2. Bend your knees (optional place a pillow or small ball between your knees to squeeze for lower body stability. (If your tail bone is sensitive place a blanket under your tailbone)
  3. Grab your weight (1 lb – 10 lbs) and place it at your chest.
  4. Keep a straight spine (no rounding in the shoulders, upper back, or lower back).
  5. Inhale and exhale to prepare.
  6. Inhale slightly tuck your tail bone under and lean back to 45 degrees (do not go all the way down).
  7. Exhale and with control draw your body back up sitting tall and press your arms overhead/weight.
  8. Do not round your upper body when pressing up overhead. If your shoulders are tight press the arms to a 45-degree angle.
  9. Repeat this 10-30 reputations working on form, function, and control.

Weighted core full extension truck driver core workout mother trucker yoga blog post

Exercise #2 – Oblique Weighted Twist

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

  1. Find a place to sit on your sleeper, the ground, or your floor at home.
  2. Bend your knees (optional place a pillow or small ball between your knees to squeeze for lower body stability. (If your tail bone is sensitive place a blanket under your tailbone)
  3. Grab your weight (1 lb – 10 lbs) and hold it in front of your chest (imagine there is a pole keeping your hands in front of your chest).
  4. Keep a straight spine (no rounding in the shoulders, upper back, or lower back).
  5. Inhale and exhale to prepare.
  6. Inhale slightly tuck your tail bone under and lean back to 45 degrees (do not go all the way down).
  7. Inhale and work to rotate to the right, really pay attention to your spine and rib cage rotating (not your hips and pelvis).
  8. Exhale and return back to center (stay at 45-degree angle).
  9. Inhale and work to rotate to the left, go as far as you can without rolling onto one hip or rounding your spine.
  10. Repeat this 5 to 20 rep each direction.

Oblique Weighted Twist Core Exercise Mother Trucker yoga Blog Post

Exercise #3 – Plank Oblique Twist

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

  1. Start on your hands and knees on the sleeper, ground, or your floor at home.
  2. Drop to your forearms and place your elbows and fists a forearm’s width apart.
  3. Step one foot back at a time until your body is in one straight line.
  4. Press your fists into the floor to help activate your core.
  5. Drop your tailbone between your legs and press your lower abs and hip bones into your lower back.
  6. Draw your shoulders back and breathe.
  7. Now rotate your hips and lower body to the right.
  8. Press your hips up slightly to activate your obliques.
  9. Hold for 5-20 breaths, then repeat the opposite side.

Plank Oblique Twist Best Core Exercises for Truckers Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Post

Exercise #4 – Plank Oblique Twist

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

  1. Start by lying down on your sleeper, the ground, or the floor.
  2. Adjust your pelvis so it’s level, do not press your lower back into the floor, imagine a small arch in your lower back.
  3. Draw your legs up to a tabletop position (optional: put a mini ball or pillow between the knees and squeeze for more stability) and flex your feet (you can opt to keep your feet on the ground OR do a few reps with one leg, and then switch to the other).
  4. Grab your weight (optional) and extend it up overhead. Turn the folds of your elbows towards your nose (shoulders move in external rotation).
  5. Inhale and exhale, work to stabilize your core, remember only go as far as you can keep your back and ribs from arching and pulling up towards the ceiling.
  6. Inhale, and begin to lower your legs towards the floor and your arms overhead.
  7. Reach through your fingers to stretch the shoulders.
  8. Exhale and draw your arms back up and knees back up over your hips.
  9. Repeat this 10 – 30 times moving mindfully with your breath. This is not a race.
  10. To make this more of a challenge (as long as you can keep your back from arching) once your heels meet 1 inch off the floor, press your legs long and engage your glutes and inner thighs.
  11. You go this!

Weighted core full extension truck driver core exercise mother trucker yoga blog post

weighted core full extension for truck drivers mother trucker yoga blog post

Strengthening your core is extremely important regardless of your physical state or your age. When implemented correctly, you can experience a decreased risk of injury, better stability, and performance during workouts. A strong core improves the quality of life for everyone and reduces the chances of severe injury.

Age, mobility restrictions, or past injuries shouldn’t prevent you from strengthening your core. You can get all these benefits by performing these exercises safely and effectively. Focus on proper breathing and posture first and ditch the sit-ups. You’re bound to notice better balance and stability and may even see a reduction in back pain. But they won’t do anything for you unless you allow yourself to start today with 5 minutes of simple core work. 

Got Pain?

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Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream for Truck Drivers

banish stress instantly for truckers mother trucker yoga blog

4 Poses to Banish Stress Instantly While Traveling

Stress can be overwhelming and even debilitating. It can cause headaches, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, and irritability. Obviously, we all know that stress isn’t good for us physically or mentally. So, how do we banish stress in our every day lives?

As a yoga teacher, I encourage others to live a life where they can stay grounded, focused, balanced, and content. Yoga has helped me a great deal with handling stress and the side effects of stress. It helps to relieve tension by keeping me focused on my breath rather than all the thoughts racing through my heads.

Whether you are at home, work, or somewhere in between, yoga is a great way to find stress relief. So, to help you on your journey of finding ways to banish stress, here are three of my favorite yoga poses.

4 Poses to Banish Stress Instantly While Traveling

Heart Opening Pose Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Heart Opening Yoga Pose – Shoulder and Upper Back Stretch

This pose not only relieves pain in my upper back and shoulders; I can feel my mind and emotions melt when I do this. This heart-opening pose is one of my go-to poses after a stressful day when I can’t sleep or help relieve the tension of carrying life on my shoulders. As I work to widen my knees slowly, I feel relief to feel such space (even if it doesn’t look like it). The freedom of my body letting go into the safety of the floor for a few minutes is all I need to feel more like myself.

Constructive Rest Pose Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Constructive Rest Yoga Pose- Reduce Back Pain

Constructive Rest pose is a simple pose to relax and separate from the day. It diminishes back pain and can ease the immediate discomfort mentally, emotionally, and physically life can bring about. Lying on your bed, widen your feet slightly wider than your hips and let your knees fall together and completely support each other. If your knees do not touch naturally, then place a pillow or rolled towel between them so your legs can completely relax. Do this pose on your bed or the floor and focus on your breathing or listen to some relaxing music or guided meditation.

Seated Forward Bend Traveling Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Seated Forward Bend – Complete Stretch from Foot to Forehead

 

Stress - Version 2 Seated Forward Bend Yoga pose Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

This pose is often used in yoga therapy to help manage depression. It is also known to soothe headache and anxiety and reduce fatigue. The feeling of bending forward eases the mind. Try to deepen your breathing during this pose and hold for one to five minutes. This pose brings me full circle to the simplicity that I am okay the way I am something we all can benefit from when stress steps in.

Be gentle to yourself so that life can be gentle back to you. Never force yourself into a forward bend, especially when sitting on the floor. With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso slightly, with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. If you are new to this pose, it helps to hold a strap around the feel. If you are incredibly tight, place a rolled-up blanket under your knees for added support. The more you relax in this pose, the more naturally your body will open up.

You Are Worth It

Don’t overthink it. Sometimes you don’t have the time or the mental discipline to jump up and get a workout in, or strike a yoga pose. I get it. However, what I have discovered is that if you do make the time for yourself, you will see how yoga can help you physically, mentally, and emotionally. You are worth it and you owe it to yourself to make time for you. It can feel that if we work ourselves into the ground that we will somehow win an award. But the only award you will be winning is one of disability and mental uneasiness. I am telling you that it is OK and vital that you take care of you, and you can do that starting with just a few minutes a day right in the cab of your truck. 

If you want to get professional, inspiring, functionally-safe classes all in the comfort and privacy of your own rig. I invite you to check out Mother Trucker Yoga Online Studio Platform. No stress, no hassle, no sitters, and no fuss. This is not just another fitness program showing you moves from their gym where you try to figure out how to make this work in your truck.–it’s a fresh approach all done in and around the cab of the truck! I know that I know you will enjoy it. 

If you are experiencing stress right now, here are some other helpful resources:

10 Steps to Setting Goals as a Truck Driver

Benefits of Meditation- Simple Ways to Start Meditating

The 13th Step of Addiction Recovery 

3 Stretches for Wrist and Hand Pain Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga

3 Stretches to Improve Hand Mobility While Driving

Pain can halt any job dead in its tracks. But when you are a truck driver the last thing you need is to come to a dead stop. Having a good grip is one of the number one things a truck driver needs. Why? Because controlling that 18 wheeler while out on the open road requires several things, one is gripping the steering wheel. Having good hand mobility includes your fingers, wrists and arms.

Sure it may seem insignificant, but not being able to grip the steering wheel, ratchet down your load, or open your truck door all require your hands to work properly.

If you find daily tasks difficult to do because you suffer from stiffness, swelling, or pain in your hands, the right exercises can help get you back in motion.

Repetitive strain injuries are not just for those who type on a computer or hold a hammer. Continuously holding your steering wheel in a particular way can also cause pain and discomfort. And the lack of having full range of motion regularly is a big part of the problem with anyone with hand and wrist issues.

Taking a time out and stretching your fingers, hands, and wrists is one of the best ways to keep pain and discomfort at bay and increase hand mobility and function.

Below you will find five commonly recommended exercises for hand and wrist problems. However, if your hand condition is painful or debilitating, it’s best to get exercise advice from a physical therapist. All exercises should be done slowly and deliberately, to avoid pain and injury. If you feel numbness or pain during or after exercising, stop and contact your doctor.

FINGER  AND HAND STRETCHES:

Most of the time the only way we are moving our fingers is into flexion. AKA curling them into the grip. When you repeatedly do something over and over you create a pattern. Like driving a dirt bike on the grass over and over, you eventually create a dirt path within the grassy ground.

TRY THIS: Open and outstretch your hand as wide as you can. Look at it from the side and see if all of your fingers straighten up. Is it hard to do? When is the last time you stretched (extended) those joints? Did something that didn’t require you to “grip”?

PRO TIP: Twice a day stretch your fingers, you can pull back on each finger one at a time. Or you can also use the steering wheel and stretch each finger again the wheel. Try to hold the stretch for at least 10-20 seconds each.

Finger Stretches Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

WRIST AND HAND STRETCHES:

Most of us have jobs where we use our body by folding inward. Bending forward. Rounding forward. Gripping. Internally rotating. Not only does this create patterns in our body to where we start to stand, sit, move and exercise with those patterns, it also plays a negative role in how we feel. Closing off the chest, can increase anxiety, depression and decrease breathing.

When it comes to the wrists we need to reverse it. if you want to increase hand mobility and if you suffer from tennis elbow, wrist strain, or even shoulder strain, a little extension in the wrists could bring relief.

TRY THIS: Next time you are standing next to your truck, a wall, or even use the steering wheel, turn your forearm up and stretch your palm/wrist out. Try to keep the fold of the elbow facing upward and if you are using your truck, lean your elbow into your body to brace the stretch. If you are in your truck create a full extension on your elbow and keep the eye (the fold) of the elbow facing upward.

PRO TIP: Do this at least twice a day and try to hold this for 30 seconds to one minute. You may notice a ripping like feeling. Don’t be alarmed, that is the fascia of the body stretching and releasing. Think of it like fuzz melting off. If you haven’t melted the fuzz in a while, it’s going to be sticky!

Wrist Stretch Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Wrist Stretch in truck mother trucker yoga

SHOULDER & UPPER ARM STRETCH:

When there is physical pain, oftentimes those in pain only look to where they “feel” pain as the culprit of the pain. But when it comes to the shoulder, elbow, and wrist, any one of the three just listed can cause another pain. So next time your wrist or hand is giving you grief, look up a little higher to the shoulder. Tennis elbow? Could be the shoulder to blame. Hand mobility doesn’t just mean you have a hand issue, neighboring body parts can be to blame.

TRY THIS: Next time you are waiting to load or unload, have a little downtime or are on break, try this quick and easy shoulder and upper arm stretch. Simple cross one arm in front of your chest and latch it in with the other, hugging it tightly. Try to straighten the arm that is laying across your chest to increase the stretch. Hold it for at least 30 seconds. And then repeat the opposite side.

PRO TIP: While stretching, it is important to try to relax your shoulders and breathe deeply. Hold the stretch until the initial pain drops at least in half. Look towards the stretching arms side to get the neck involved as well.

Shoulder Stretch Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Don’t let pain be the reason you stop doing what you love. Or keep you from your job. Taking preventative measures is one of the best ways to keep your body working with you and not against you. Regular stretching not only is good for the body, but it releases endorphins to the brain and leaves you happier and healthier.

The next time your wrists and hands start calling a TIME OUT, remember these simple easy stretches you can do no matter where the open road takes you.

And don’t forget about our Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream, perfect to use after you stretch your hands, wrists, and arms. Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream was specifically formulated for professional truck drivers to meet their body’s pain in contact. We believe that every driver can feel better wherever they are with simple easy stretches and practices, one of them being pain relief cream.

No matter where you are, on the road or at home, remember there are simple and easy things you can do today to start to feel your best.

 

Want to read more from Mother Trucker Yoga?

10 Tips for a Functional Body Blog