You’re probably familiar with the phrase, “Hurry up and wait.” With all the rushing you have to do to get to your kids’ schools and practices and your lunch dates with your friends… only to sit there and wait? It’s time to put a kibosh on your car’s function as your personal sitting machine.
Instead, turn that rolling heap of metal into a go-everywhere gym. Each of these moves can be done in and around your car in a matter of seconds. Follow the whole circuit to grab a workout while little Susie finishes cello practice, or pump out an exercise or two while running errands. Even a minute here and there can help fight against sedentary activity, so get started today — gym attire optional.
1. Driver’s door quick feet
Open the driver’s door to use the edge of the interior as a makeshift step. Place your hands lightly on top of the car for balance (or on the car door if you have a truck or SUV), and start jogging in place, tapping each foot on top of your “step” as you go. Hop your feet up and down as fast as you can for 60 seconds.
2. Car squat
The car squat is performed just like a wall squat, but you use the side of your car for support. Lean against your car, and step your feet forward so they’re several feet in front of your body. With your weight in your heels, slide your body down into a seated position so your knees form a 90-degree angle. Tighten up your core, glutes, quads and hamstrings to hold the position for 60 seconds.
3. Car climbers
Open your trunk to use the interior edge as a makeshift platform. Place both hands on the edge, your arms extended, then step your feet back until your body forms an angled push-up position. Keeping your core tight and your body straight, draw one knee as high up into your chest as you can, then switch legs quickly, so your opposite leg is drawn into your chest as you return your first foot to the ground. Continue this mountain climber movement as fast as you can for 60 seconds.
4. Trunk push-ups
Still using the interior edge of your trunk as a platform, return to an angled push-up position with both hands on the edge of your trunk, your arms extended and your body forming a straight line from heels to head. Bend both elbows and begin lowering your chest toward the trunk. When your chest is just shy of touching the trunk’s edge, reverse the movement and press yourself back to start. Continue the movement for 60 seconds.
5. Single-arm row
Identify where one of your car’s interior ceiling handles is and open a door to access the handle from the outside. Grasp the handle in one hand with an underhand grip and step your feet out wide, your toes just under the car so your body is flat against the car’s opening. From this position, lean back, keeping your body straight, until your arm grasping the ceiling handle is straight. Engage your back and biceps and pull yourself back to a standing position. Continue for 30 seconds before switching arms.
6. Hip extension
Open one of your car’s doors to use the interior edge as a step. Step up onto the edge and place your hands lightly on top of the car for support. Shift your weight to the left and lift your right leg from the edge, allowing it to “hang” off the edge of the car. Point your right toe and engage your glutes and hamstrings to extend your hip, lifting your right leg behind you as far as you can. Hold for one second, then return to start. Continue the movement on the right leg for 30 seconds before switching sides.
7. Calf raises
Using the interior edge of your car as a step, shift your weight to the balls of both feet, allowing your heels to sink down off the edge. Place your hands on the car’s roof for support. When you’re set, press into the balls of your feet, lifting your heels as high as you can while engaging your calves. Return to start and continue for 60 seconds.
8. Trunk dips
Open the trunk of your car to use the edge as a platform. Sit on the edge of the trunk, facing away from your car, and grip the edge with both hands, placing them just outside your hips. Step your feet out in front of you, your legs fully extended and your weight on your heels. Press through your palms and lift your butt from your car, shifting your weight slightly forward. Bend both elbows straight back and slowly lower yourself toward the ground. When your elbows form a 90-degree angle, reverse the movement and return to start. Continue for 60 seconds.
9. Seat sit-ups
Sit in the front seat of your car and lean the car’s seat all the way back to a fully reclined position. Sit tall and cross your arms over your chest. Position your legs so they’re slightly extended, hip-distance apart, your heels engaged with the floor. Engage your core and begin leaning back, keeping your torso straight. Just before you touch your back to the car seat, reverse the movement and return to sitting. Continue for 60 seconds.