If there’s one thing that sets roustabout work apart from other construction jobs, it’s the constant physical strain and stress. Carrying and lifting heavy tools, equipment, and materials all day is exhausting on its own, but add in working outside in all kinds of weather with various elevation changes, and you’ve got a recipe for a physically challenging job. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stay in shape while doing roustabout work.
From drinking more water to pre-planning your meals, there are lots of little things you can do to help you perform better on the job site. And if you have access to a gym or yoga studio at home, even better! Physical activity is essential for staying healthy both mentally and physically; these 8 poses will help strengthen your body so you can persist through roustabout work without breaking a sweat.
Easy pose (also known as Shavasana) is a pose that’s frequently used at the end of a yoga session. While it can be relaxing and soothing, it’s also great for improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure. You’ll notice that many of the other poses on this list will stretch your muscles and increase blood flow to those areas. This pose is great for helping your body get ready for sleep as well as relaxing your muscles after a long day of work.
How to do it: Start off lying flat on your back with your arms by your side, palms facing up. Next, lift your feet off the ground and rest your legs on top of your torso. Your knees should be bent with your feet flat on your lower back. After that, lower both your arms and legs towards the ground until the backs of your hands and the tops of your feet are touching. Relax your head, letting it fall to the side slightly as you close your eyes.
This pose is great for increasing balance and core strength while also improving posture. If you’re concerned about falling on the job site or in the gym, this is a great pose to work on those skills. A strong core is essential for all types of physically demanding work, from loggers to roustabouts. Having the ability to keep your core engaged even when fatigued will help you finish projects with ease, and reduce the chance of injury on the job site.
How to do it: Stand with your feet underneath your hips, about two feet apart, and your hands by your sides. Inhale and raise both of your arms above your head, palms facing each other. Exhale and bend at the hips, keeping your back straight as you bend towards the ground. Focus on lowering your upper body towards the ground while squeezing your core. Make sure to keep your back straight as you do this. You should aim to get your upper body parallel with the ground. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds before straightening back up and releasing.
If you’re looking to improve your flexibility, this is a great pose to work on that. This pose is also great for people who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk during the day. If you feel like your hips or lower back are tight, doing this pose regularly is a great way to stretch and loosen up those muscles.
How to do it: Lie down on your stomach with your legs stretched out behind you. Next, rest your hands beside your head, palms facing each other. Inhale, and then exhale as you slowly lift your upper torso, keeping your back as flat on the ground as possible. You should feel your hips and lower back stretching. Focus on lifting your chest and upper back as well. Hold the pose for about 10 seconds, and then slowly lower back down to the ground.
This pose is a great way to build your core strength and improve your posture. Similar to the other poses on this list, it’s a great way to prepare your body for the physical demands of roustabout work. How to do it: Stand with your feet underneath your hips and your arms by your sides. Inhale and lift both of your arms above your head while squeezing your core. Exhale and bring your arms down to meet your hips while keeping your core engaged. Your palms should face your body. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds, and then release.
Warrior II Pose
Warrior II is a great pose to do on the job site to stretch out your lower back and hips. It’s also a great pose to do in the gym if you want to increase your heart rate and work on your stability. How to do it: Stand with your feet underneath your hips, about two feet apart. Turn one foot out 90 degrees, and the other foot in 45 degrees. Next, lift your arms above your head, palms facing each other. Inhale and bend at the hips, bringing your torso towards your bent knee as you lower your arms. Exhale as you turn your head to look over your bent knee. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds before switching legs and repeating on the other side.
Sumo squats are a great way to build strength in your lower body while also improving your flexibility. Whether you do them in the gym or outside on the job site, they’re a great way to help prevent injury while lifting heavy materials. How to do it: Start off by standing with your feet underneath your hips, about two feet apart. Next, widen your feet apart until they’re about twice as wide as your hips. Keep your knees slightly bent and toes pointed straight ahead. Inhale and bend at the hips, bringing your torso towards your knees as you lower your arms. Exhale and slowly return back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Tadasana (TD only)
Tadasana, or the mountain pose, is a yoga pose that’s meant to help calm the mind and connect the breath with the body. It’s a relaxing pose that’s great for decompressing at the end of a long day or even before bedtime. While it’s not a pose that’s designed to improve your strength or flexibility, it’s still a great pose to practice as a roustabout. It’s a great way to come back to yourself after a long day and help you relax enough to sleep better.
Roustabouts are put through a lot, both emotionally and physically, so it’s important to take care of yourself. If you find yourself getting tired or worn out, remember to take a break. Eating well and getting enough sleep can go a long way towards helping you stay healthy and happy. Roustabout work is challenging, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Stay hydrated, eat well, and do a few stretches throughout the day, and you’ll be well on your way to success.