Does a hosepipe ban mean your car has to be dirty? “Absolutely not!” is our answer, because the latest craze which is sweeping the nation is the car wash workout and it’s just in time for summer, so you can get your body into shape as you make your car all shiny and clean without using a hose. Carnauba wax are also good in cleaning leather seats of your car.
All you need is a bucket of warm water, some car shampoo, two sponges and some old stretchy clothes. Try to pick a time when it’s not too hot – as the sun may dry your car too quickly and it will go streaky – put a radio on and off you go (but don’t forget to warm up your muscles first if you’re going to do the car wash workout vigorously and remember to breathe steadily throughout).
Roof top muscles – wash the car roof using large circular movements of both arms, similar to swimming the breast stroke, as you move around the car. Start the circles small and make them bigger as you go. It’s great for the bingo wings (triceps), your chest (pecs) and shoulders (deltoids) and will really get your heart rate up. Do three sets of ten repetitions (reps) with a slight rest in between.
When you feel strong and confident you can combine the roof cleaning with Carf raises as you lift up to the roof (yes we know it’s calf, but there’s a theme here). Stand facing the car and raise onto your tiptoes as you do your arm circle reps – then lower back down when you finish a set.
Remember to tighten your stomach muscles (abs) and keep a good posture. Don’t overstretch your arms, but move around the car to get all areas clean.
Side car squats – to clean the sides of the car (and to exercise your bottom, thighs and calves) stand facing your vehicle with your feet shoulder-width apart, tighten your abs and then, with a sponge in each hand and keeping your heels on the floor, bend your knees to 90 degrees. If you can stand the burn clean the windows and the side panels. Keep your back straight, don’t bounce in the lowest position, and then lift up under control. Repeat as you move around the car.
Shiny bonnets = firm abs – to tighten those stomach muscles (and to get a clean car front) stand facing the bonnet with feet shoulder-width apart, knees nice and soft (no locking). Hold on tight to your sponge (and your abs) then push the sponge from the bottom of the bonnet to the top using two hands, then slide it back down again. Make sure the movement comes from your waist and not just your arms and if you’re tall, you’ll need to stand a little further away from the car to feel the full effect. Repeat this all over the bonnet or for 3 sets of 15 reps with 30 seconds rest between each set.
The Final Rinse Down – once your car is dirt free you’re ready to rinse – but there’s some great upper body exercises you can do first.
Buckets Up! – here are two exercises for the arms (biceps), shoulders and neck (deltoids and trapezius). First, get a clean bucket of water, half full initially, stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, tight abs and straight back. Hold the bucket handle in front of you with both hands (over handle-grip, palms facing down) and lift the bucket slowly to you chin, then lower it under control in an upright rowing movement. Repeat this for 12 reps, three sets and then throw the water over the car (to rinse the suds away). If you have a large car you may need to empty your bucket after each set, but remember to refill it before you start your next set.
To exercise the biceps take up the same posture with your bucket of water, but this time hold the handle with an under grip, so your palms are facing you, then lift or curl the bucket gently towards you and then back down to the start position – three sets of 12 reps. As you progress with your car wash fitness regime you may wish to do your curls with single arms and a heavier bucket, but remember to do three sets of 12 reps for each arm. And, of course, don’t forget to periodically (but not excessively – there is a water shortage after all) throw the contents of the bucket over the car to rinse.
For a really professional finish you may wish to use a shammy leather to buff off the excess water, but if you are too exhausted after your car wash workout, you could always get in, drive the car around the block and then go and have a well-earned rest.
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