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4 Quick and Simple Exercises with the Good-N-Tight Ratchet Strap Tightening Handle 

4 Quick and Simple Exercises with the Good-N-Tight Ratchet Strap Tightening Handle 

When you are a truck driver, time is of the essence. And either you have a lot of time, or you have none. But there are moments throughout your day where you can sneak in a few quick moves to help you feel better, wherever you are with your Good-N-Tight Ratched Strap Tightening Handle handy. The Good-N-Tight is amazing when you don’t want to throw out your shoulder or back tieing down a load and gives you three times the leverage. And as my husband always says, “work smarter not harder”. This is one tool you definitely want to get and have handy anytime you need to use a ratchet strap.

But this blog isn’t about how to use this tool for securing your load. It’s about how to double down and use this tool to help you feel better, whenever you are with small simple moves you can do it anytime, anywhere. These four simple moves are perfect for those in-between moments when to help reduce stiffness, bring a little energy back into your body, stretch, and strengthen so you don’t throw your back out getting in and out of the truck (it happens).

Here are 4 Quick and Simple Moves You Can Do With The Good-N-Tight:

  • Good-N-Tight Oblique Side Bend 

This is a great move to help tone your waist and both stretch and strengthen your lower back, hips, and obliques. 

  • Step your feet wider than hips-width apart. 
  • Point your toes forward and square your hips.
  • With your Good-N-Tight in hand reach your arms up overhead. 
  • Relax your shoulders down and soften your front rib cage down as well. 
  • Take a deep breath in and gently slide your hips to the right as you lean your upper body and arms to the left. 
  • Press your arms straight and reach through the Good-N-Tight, like you were to stamp it on the wall next to you. 

VERSION 1:

  • Hold this for 5 breaths, and on the exhale come back to center and repeat the opposite side. 

VERSION 2:

  • Inhale press your hips to the right and tip your upper body and arms to the left. 
  • Exhale return to center, pulling your hips back first and your upper body to sit on top. 
  • Repeat the opposite side: Inhale to lean, exhale to return. 
  • 5-10 times on each side. 

Oblique Stretch Tightening Handle

  • Good-N-Tight Triceps Stretch 

This is a wonderful stretch to combat all that drive time opening your chest, toning your upper back, and releasing your shoulders. 

  • Standing tall grab the Good-N-Tight with your right hand and extend your arm up overhead. 
  • Bend your top elbow and tuck your hand behind your head, laying the Good-N-Tight down your spine. 
  • Roll the top tricep inward towards your head, turning your triceps to face forward (this may be difficult, especially if your shoulders are tight or bulky).
  • Tuck your left hand behind you to grab the bottom of the Good-N-Tight and work to roll your left shoulder open, feeling the shoulder blade press inward towards the spine. 
  • Stand even taller and breathe calmly for 5 to 10 breaths. 
  • Repeat the opposite side. 

Good-N-Tight 1 Minute Moves Tricep Stretch - Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

  • Good-N-Tight Chest Expander

Slouching, leaning, hunching, driving, and carrying often leave our body hunched forward and frozen in place. This quick move gives your body a break and counterposes all that rounding forward. Breathe easy and feel your chest, pecs, and shoulders open as your core gets a little wake-up call. 

Standing tall with your feet at a comfortable distance grab your Good-N-Tight.

Tuck your hands behind you and grab hold of either side of your new exercise equipment. 

Roll your shoulders in towards your spine as you drop them down away from your neck. 

Inhale drive your hips and pelvis forward as you pull your arms down and back. 

Gently look up and stretch! 

Hold this for 5 breaths, and repeat 3 to 5 times. 

Chest Expander Good-N-Tight Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

  • Good-N-Tight Calf Stretch 

Your calf is the hydraulic pump for your lower body to get blood flow back up the heart. Restricted calves inhibit the calf to do its job, making the heart have to work harder. Tight calves also cause knee and back pain. Let’s give the body some relief with a quick stretch! 

  • Place the Good-N-Tight on the ground.
  • Standing tall, place the ball of one foot up on the lip of your new exercise equipment, keeping your heel on the ground. 
  • Square your hips and slowly inch your free foot forward until you feel a stretch in your calf. 
  • Stand even taller and press down into your stretching heel as you hold the stretch for 5 to 10 breaths.
    Repeat the opposite side and do this stretch 1-3 times each day. 

Calf Stretch Good-N-Tight Mother Trucker Yoga BLog

Pushing yourself in a quick workout is important, but you should never allow yourself to just sit there because you think you need fancy equipment. Make sure you’re choosing quality over quantity. And look around your truck, what do you have laying around. What could be multi-purpose? And remember instead of thinking you need all sorts of crazy fitness in your life, think movement, where can I get more movement in? Along with your new Good-N-Tight moves get out and walk for an added boost to your body, mind, and spirit. Happy moving!

This blog post is in partnership with Bud and Tony’s Truck Parts! Bud and Tony are on a mission to give back to the trucking community and by teaming up with Mother Trucker Yoga, they are doing it, one move at a time. Check out more about Bud and Tony over on their site: www.BudAndTonysTruckParts.com

bud and tony's truck parts logo

How To Take Care Of Your Veins As A Trucker

How To Take Care Of Your Veins As A Trucker

Take care of your veins truck drivers

Pexels- CC0 License

The human body is supposed to move continually. Even when we sleep, we toss and turn, and fidget endlessly. 

 

The reason we do this has to do with how fluid moves around our bodies. We actually have several circulatory systems. The biggest is the blood, but there’s also one for lymph and another one for brain fluid. 

 

These systems can work while the body is sedentary. But they have movement built into their design, meaning that to function at their best, they need you to activate your muscles. 

 

Most workers have no problem doing this. Even office workers have to get up for a cup of coffee or a meeting every now and then. 


For truckers, though, it’s a different story. You often can’t stop and take a break to stretch your legs, particularly, if you’re caught in traffic. 

 

And that’s a problem because it can lead to damage to your blood vessels over time. 

 

So what can you do about it when there are thousands of loads available and you have to work your socks off? 

 

Move Your Legs Around

 

Many truckers develop problems such as varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis. It’s not just down to “getting older.” Instead, it’s a consequence of how blood pools while you drive. Over time, it applies pressure to the inside walls of veins, causing them to lose their elasticity and balloon outwards. When this happens, it’s almost impossible to get them to return to their original shape. 


The trick here is to move your legs around often. Just moving them at the knee can be enough to get the blood moving. When you come to a traffic stop, try pushing both your toes into the floor and then releasing, repeating several times. Again, this will encourage the blood vessels in the legs to get to work and return blood to the heart. 

 

Stop Every Hour Or So

Truck Drivers taking care of their veins while driving blog post

Pexels – CC0 License

 

While stopping every hour or so isn’t always possible, you should try to do it whenever you can. Stopping and moving gives your body a chance to pump blood around your system, relieving vein problems in your legs. You’ll notice that you feel so much better after a five-minute walk and stretch than if you just carry on driving. Plus, it will help reduce the chance you’ll develop vein dysfunction in the future. 

 

Wear Compression Stockings

 

The idea of wearing compression stockings might sound a little strange. But studies seem to indicate that they work. 

 

Stockings compress muscles. This process, in turn, causes the blood vessels inside them to work harder. Evidence suggests that they can reduce blood clots by a significant amount. 

 

You can buy compression stockings in most drug stores. They’re also a great investment if you do a lot of flying. 

 

Flex Your Foot At The Ankle

Another strategy is to flex the ankle, something that medics call dorsiflexing. The action moves the foot up and down, helping to pump the muscles and improve overall blood flow. It’s also great if you drive in a cramped seating position.

Neck Pain: 7 Ways to Drive Pain-Free

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Neck pain can be a royal pain when it comes to driving. And when you are a professional truck driver a pain in the neck can absolutely put a halt on your plan to keep rolling.

Neck pain has an annual prevalence rate exceeding 30% among adults in the US; nearly 50% of individuals will continue to experience some degree of chronic neck pain or frequent occurrences. Says Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research.

The causes of neck pain can be vast from trauma, injuries, poor sleep position, medical conditions, whiplash, stress or muscle strains or pain and even nerve-related issues. When it comes to being a truck driver dealing with a stiff neck can often be a daily concern you just learn to “deal with” day in and day out. Getting stiff neck can often revolve around holding your head in a particular position for a long period of time, or even using one or both arms for long periods of time. Even having your torso rotated a certain way and when it comes to truck drivers, the constant impact of your driving conditions can and does play a large role in neck pain and discomfort.

When your truck is your workplace, home and vehicle learning how to prevent and treat neck pain can dramatically improve how you feel day today. Here’s how to reduce stress and neck pain so you can get back on the road feeling better than ever.

Neck Pain: Staying Pain-Free on the Road

Posture and how you sit in the driver’s seat play a large role in how your neck and back feel day in and day out. The constant stress caused by driving, gripping the steering wheel, leaning on the driver’s side door or only using one hand or arm for daily tasks associated with driving can contribute to neck pain. Adjusting your body and posture while driving can and will reduce pain and get you back on the road feeling relief.

Start with a good driving posture.

The best angle for the back of your seat is at 100 degrees, which is just shy of straight. Place your hands in the 3 and 9 o’clock positions on the steering wheel and elbows comfortably on the armrests.

Forawrd head for truck drivers blog post mother trucker yoga

  1. Reposition your head.

    From the desk to the driver’s seat, the forward-head position is a major cause of neck tension and pain. Think about your ears being over your shoulders. Making this adjustment is not so much a tuck down with your chin as it is sliding back. Check out this video on neck stretches to help you reduce the pain of postural changes.

  2. Use back support.

    No matter how nice your truck seat is, rarely are they truly made for ideal lumbar support. Sinking back into your seat in your lower back rounds back like the letter “C”. Our spine is meant to be like the letter “S” to help absorb impact and better support what is on top (our head). And if you are a truck driver impact is your constant enemy while driving. I absolutely love BackShield (use the link for 10% off and FREE shipping) back support, which puts your spine in the right position and also protects your back upon impact. Plus BackShield doubles as traction support to lay on after a long day.

  3. Adjust your mirrors.

    Move your side mirrors so you have the widest field of vision so you can minimize awkward movements with your head at sudden notice. Pay attention throughout the day if you adjust your mirrors for your ever slumping posture as the day goes on. You may need a mid-day stretch to get you standing and sitting tall somewhere along the route.

  4. Avoid eyestrain and impaired driving.

    There are many reasons you may be straining to see. If your vision is to blame, please seek proper professional aid to receive the proper support. But poor vision can lead to eyestrain while driving, which can cause you to lean forward and slide your head towards the steering wheel while driving. This forward head position puts major pressure and strain on the muscles of the upper back and neck. And also tightens and shortens the muscles of the front of the neck and chest. Use sunglasses if driving in bright light, and use the proper eye protection at night if night lights strain your vision.

  5. Take a break.

    If you start to get a stiff neck, are feeling neck pain, or better yet want to prevent it, pull into the next rest stop. Do some stretching and walk off the kinks.

  6. Ditch the pillow.

    After driving all day to consider going pillowless, even for just a few minutes or hours. When it’s bedtime our body recoils into it’s most comfortable position-meaning how we spend our time most. Head forward and knees tucked in and fetal like. Stretch out and lay flat. Slide the BackShield under your back for spinal relief and start to respond to your body properly rather than react continuously.

  7. Stretch.

    Yes, it’s not fancy, but stretch your muscles, moving your body in different positions than what you do on a daily basis can and will help you reduce pain and strain. Simple easy stretches just a few minutes a day can and will leave you feeling your best on and off the road. Try this one from our Fitness Minute at Instagram:

    Check out what Mother Trucker Yoga can help you with while you are out on the road. During this difficult time, we want you to enjoy a FREE 30 days with Mother Trucker Yoga. Simply use the code: CORONA2020.

Truck drivers are the heroes of our highways and we so appreciate everything you do. But it is vital that you take care of yourself. Living over the road for weeks on end may not be ideal or “typical” but with a little prep and self-care, you can keep your health and physical body in check with as little as 5 minutes a day. You can avoid driving with neck pain by maintaining good posture and making the necessary driving adjustments that can and will take the strain off your neck.

 

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Enjoy this post? Check out some of our other blog posts here at Mother Trucker Yoga

  1. Put Back Pain in the Rear View Mirror  
  2. Benefits of Meditation