We face different levels of stress in our everyday lives. Stress can come from a medical condition; lack of sleep; on the job pressures or even just dealing with the symptoms of a common cold. Whatever the case, adding exercise to your lifestyle can minimize your negative reactions.

Regular exercise helps the body remove the byproducts of the stress response.  Exercise allows the body to return to homeostasis faster and reduces the physical impact of stress. Finding room to exercise can be frustrating but with some forethought, you can be successful.  If you are working in a small or confined space, you can often find common items in your work space area to improve or maximize your workouts.  You don’t have to have gym equipment to improve your health and fitness.  You can condition your cardiovascular system and build muscular strength and endurance without space consuming equipment.  To begin incorporating cardiovascular and strength exercises into your daily activity start with the series of exercises below. They can provide you the same benefits as a gym workout.

The Physical Readiness Office provides Sailors with 30 dynamic warm up exercises that could be done before any command PT or PRT.  Theses dynamic warm up exercises allow the body to warm up the muscles before strenuous exercise during drills. The purpose is to get the blood flow and heart rate raised to the levels needed to sustain the muscles during activity.

Cardiovascular exercises

Jump jacks

Quick feet, high knees

Cross Country Skiing

Lateral Shuffle 3 steps to the right touch the deck

Lateral Shuffle 3 steps to the left touch the deck (once mastered, pick up speed)

Strength Training Conditioning –Lower Body


Step ups

Walking lungs

Wall Squats

Calf raises

Strength Training and Conditioning – Upper Body and Abdominal Muscles

Push ups – depending on your fitness level do them feet on the floor facing a wall, on the floor with your knees bent or on the floor with your legs straight and toes touching the ground.

Seated Row – Sitting on the floor with your legs straight, wrap an old t-shirt or exercise band behind the soles of your feet. With one end in each hand squeeze your shoulder blades together by bringing your elbows behind you while stretching the t-shirt or band.

Dips – With your hands on a chair, scoot your rear end off the end of the chair, bend your elbows lowering your body, and then straighten your arm to return to starting position.

Shoulder raises, Lateral raises, and Bicep curls – If you do not have dumbbells, use plastic milk jugs filled with water to use as dumbbells.

Do not neglect your abs, get your crunches in.  Always end your exercises with stretching. Daily exercise will make you feel better – physically and emotionally!

Important note, always start your workout with a 5 to 10 minute warm up.  Perform the exercises slow and in a controlled manner, repeat each exercises until you feel fatigue in the muscles being worked.  Be sure to stretch upon completion of your workout and remember to breathe while performing exercises. Remember quality over quantity.

About the Blogger:

Lisa Domengeaux-Marrero is Fitness Specialist with the Navy’s Physical Readiness Program.  Lisa holds a Masters in Exercise Science and Health Promotions, and a certification through National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as a Corrective Exercise Specialist.  Lisa runs with the Memphis Runner Track Club and has ran 11 marathons and 12 half marathons.

2 thoughts on “Exercising in Small or Confined Spaces

  1. I’m a truck driver and I was researching how to increase my heart rate in a confined space (truck cab). Thank you for writing this…I have enough space for 8 of the 14 exercise. Normally I’d exercise outside but when it’s in the negative digits I prefer to stay in. Haha.
    Thank you again 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s