As the 2017 NASCAR season revs in to form, drivers know they need to be in top shape to handle the grueling racing season—from February’s “Super Bowl of racing,” the Daytona 500, all the way through the NASCAR playoffs in the fall.
Strength, endurance, and total-body fitness are key for drivers to survive the 120-degree heat that pounds their cars through the year.
And to get that done, many NASCAR athletes hit the gym—hard. But plenty also make sure to stay active while biking or using the great outdoors.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. told Men’s Fitness ahead of Daytona he enjoys working out with a medicine ball, bench press, stationary bike, dumbbells, and free weights. His teammate Jimmie Johnson uses a road bike as a key part of his training routine. Recently retired star Carl Edwards—who was long considered the fittest man in NASCAR—told Men’s Fitness during the 2016 season that he liked to use jump squats, jump lunges, box jumps, explosive pushup drills, and MMA workouts to keep himself fit.
Here’s a look at the activities, exercises, and training that 15 NASCAR drivers use to stay in shape during the season:
15. Michael Waltrip, Premium Motorsports
14. Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing
13. Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports
12. Danica Patrick, Stewart-Haas Racing
Watched the 24 @disupdates while doing a slightly modified @prettyintensebydanica cardio – 20 min- 10 no push up burpees :30 run (10mph/1incline) :30 rest (right now week 4 of the workout program has a :60 rest) Finished with 4 rounds of – :60 air squats :60 super man push ups :60 butterfly sit ups No breaks. Good race! Happy Sunday!
11. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports
10. Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing
9. Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing
8. Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing
7. Ty Dillon, Germain Racing
6. Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports
5. Landon Cassill, Front Row Motorsports
4. Corey LaJoie, BK Racing
3. Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway Racing
2. Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports
1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush Fenway Racing