Best exercises if you do manual labour. Many, many years ago I spent my summer working in a drapes manufacturing plant. I remember how exhausting it was. Not only were we were on our feet all day, but we were also constantly lifting heavy rolls of material. It was “back breaking” work. I can’t even image how people with actual manual jobs must feel. The key is to get your body limber and your blood flowing first thing in the morning, so that you are prepared to go to work. Now, before you dismiss this post because you think that you don’t do any manual labour (I’m guessing most of you don’t work construction), if you do a lot of gardening or occasionally have to move some boxes then this applies to you.
BEST EXERCISES IF YOU DO MANUAL LABOUR
Roll it out. Your best friend will be a foam roller. First thing when you wake up, take a few moments to roll out your quads, calves, glutes and back.
Hip stretches. Lunge. You can do this stretch with one knee on the floor as well. Either keeping your hands on the floor or elevated in front of you, go into a deep lunge. Watch your form on this one, as it’s easy to move too far forward. Your lead knee should only go as far as your toes. Cross-over. Lying on your back with your right leg straight on the floor, take your left leg and cross it over your body, gently pressing your thigh down toward the floor. Repeat on the other side. Hold each side for 20 seconds. This stretch can also be done in a seated position.
Glutes/Piriformis (supine pigeon prep). Lying on your back, place your right foot on the floor and cross your left ankle over your right thigh. With your left hand reaching between your legs, pull them toward you. If you don’t have the flexibility to hold this pose, simply place your right foot on a wall at a 90 degree angle to the floor. For the second part of this stretch, place one hand on your knee and press it gently away from you as you pull your ankle toward you. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Straight leg dead lift. Be really careful when performing this exercise. Start standing in front of a barbell with your toes under the bar, feet hip distance apart. Bend forward keeping your back straight, abdominal muscles engaged. Pick up the bar, hands slightly wider than your legs and slowly straighten to a standing position. Repeat 15x.
Cable rotation. This great exercise, just like the real world, operates on many planes of movement so it’s perfect match for anyone needing “real world strength”. Standing sideways to a cable machine or workout band, feet hip distance apart, knees slightly bent, grasp the cable (or band) in both hands in front of you. Keeping your hips straight, engage your abdominals and rotate your body away from the cable machine. Focus on using your torso and make sure that your upper body, arms and head move together. When you’ve rotated as much as you can without breaking form, pause for a second and then return to your start position. Do 15 reps on each side.
Side step squats. Targets: glutes, quadriceps, calves. Similar to explosive lunges, but this time you’ll start standing with your feet hip width apart. Step out to one side with your right leg, bending your knee into a lunge position. Do 15 reps on each leg. For a greater challenge, try landing your working leg on a BOSU ball.
If you have a job that requires a lot of manual labour, it’s best to have a trainer help you create a total body workout specific to your needs, but there are certain similarities in any physically demanding job and you should absolutely be thinking about all over strength, mobility as well as endurance.
What are some of your favourite stretches after you’ve been working hard?
For more don’t forget to join me on INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST
Latest posts by Caroline (see all)