Weight Lifting While Driving

Feb 22, 2012 by

Weight lifting while driving? You can do that?

Of course! But can you do that safely?

If you are a good, solid no-nonsense driver and think you might be able to handle it safely, keep reading. If you think I’m crazy for even posting this, then maybe you should stop here.

Hand Weights

This works for only two types of commutes – a long, straight and uninteresting commute without much other traffic, or a lot of stop and go traffic, emphasis on the stop part. And only during daylight.

I have a long commute sometimes – about an hour. And last year, I wanted to find a way to use that time more efficiently. I was already listening to fun post-apocalypse fiction on audio books (better than checking out my favorite blogs on the smart phone, don’t you think?).  Then I found some hand weights while out garage saleing… and a new exercise plan was born.

I started with wee little weights, at 2 pounds.  That lasted like… 3 days, before I moved up a pound. I’ve been moving up a pound ever since, whenever the weight I’m using starts to feel too light and too easy.

Healthy Choice Soup Cans As WeightsWhat if you don’t have weights?  Try soup cans! They’re a good place to start.  If they are too light for you, try bigger cans.  But bigger cans are a little harder to hold onto while driving, and I would advise you hunt down some good free or used weights on Craigslist or Freecycle.

How do you exercise while driving anyway?

Carefully. If you are in stop-and-go traffic, exercise only at stops. If you are have a long lonesome commute, exercise only when there are no other cars within 10-15 seconds of you. Above all, be safe. If you don’t have a commute where you can do this safely, make time elsewhere in your day. Try in the shower while you’re shampooing your hair, or the other hand while shaving (OK, I’ve never shaved, I have no idea if that’s a realistic suggestion.. but it sure sounds amusing!).

If you decide to try this while driving (at your own risk, I might add), use only one hand at a time. If you’re at a long red light, maybe two hands.  Use your cupholders to hold the weights when you aren’t using them, or if you have weights that are too big, your passenger seat.  My car’s cupholders can hold weights up to 8 pounds, then they just don’t fit well anymore. The cupholders prevent the weights from sloshing about if you have to make a sudden stop. The passenger seat does not. And yes, I speak from experience. Sigh.

I have a few different routines I try, depending on my mood and the length of that particular commute, but they are fairly routine hand movements. The curl. The across-chest curl. The “over the shoulder lift” (I hit the ceiling pretty quickly in my car though).  I added a few after my last trip to the gun range with Snake Eyes. I was shooting his 1911 45, fully accessorized… and am ashamed to say that after the second clip, my arm was wobbling from the weight of his gun. Sometimes being a girl has its downsides. So I decided that day to make my arms, my wrists and my hands stronger, because if it happens with his gun, it would happen with mine eventually.  Sidenote: I love how, on TV, there are always these climatic moments where the hot chick heroine points her gun at the bad guy and then they proceed to talk for 5 minutes, all the while she’s holding the gun out straight, with two hands.  Yeah.  Sooooo not realistic. That, or she has a lot better arm strength than most people. Try holding your arms out in front of you – even just holding a soup can, man or woman. Most folks can’t do it for a full minute without visably wavering considerably, much less for 5 minutes holding a gun on someone.  And besides, you shouldn’t point and then talk.

Back to the car exercises!

I practice with my arms straight out (almost to the windshield) and do “wrist curls”, right-side-up and up-side-down, and just holding it straight out.

For some basic hand weight exercises for women, visit Livestrong.com. But really, search YouTube for hand weight exercises. There doesn’t appear to be a single video related to working out in the car (liability concerns probably..), but if you ever find one, by all means let me know. Or maybe I’ll make one one day!

Try it sometime, if it’s safe. If you have a long commute, it might be a way to make more efficient use of your travel time, and give you both the satisfaction that comes from self improvement, and from doing something prepper-related in your daily routine. But remember. Safety is paramount.


  1. Gritty Gramps

    I’d caution against doing anything that distracts you from driving. Driving should be your number one focus. Here in Minnesota, we have signs along the freeway that simply state “Concentrate on Driving.”

  2. Anonymous

    good to see i’m not the only one who works out on the road

  3. Mandy

    Thanks Sandy! Good idea. I spend have my commute in stop and go traffic and think I could do this safely at stoplights. I’m gonig to give it a try this week.

  4. Anonymous

    Soup cans don’t really work. They’re hard to hold onto unless you have big hands, and as an older woman, I find actual handweights easier to hold onto. They are part of my regular exercise routine, but one I do in the house before breakfast, or while I’m on the phone. Whenever I can squeeze them in.

  5. Senad

    In the car, can you find the time to work out for a half hour a day? That’s what you need to get the best bang for your buck. Time and perseverance and you’ll succeed, even if you are driving.

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