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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A question for those of you who don't sail year-round and/or fitness buffs: Are there any specific strength training routines or balance exercises you recommend to get ready for the sailing season?
 

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I do some 12 oz curls after each sailboat race.


They are trying to put me up on the bow or mast on the boat I race on but I am too old and too fat to be that far forward on a boat. I have been doing some yoga at home. While it has not made me any skinnier or younger yet, I am feeling a bit more flexible, agile is still a work in progress.
 

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... I have been doing some yoga at home. While it has not made me any skinnier or younger yet, I am feeling a bit more flexible, agile is still a work in progress.
I have friends who swear by yoga. There are yoga on boats DVDs out there.
 

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rowing against resistance and wind, pull ups... mebbe lift a perkins 4-108 out a hole 8 ft over head or something......curls, yes.... mebbe double curls, heavier weights, make it a guinness or two....or a pair of ballenas here in deeeeeep southland....
lift a ragbag of a cold limp 17 pound cat out of deeep water in darkness...
 

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Specifically for the sailing season, no. But, it sure doesn't hurt to stay active year-round doing whatever. I ski in the winter and hike a lot year round, bike, run, and just generally try to be out doing, and not sitting. I doubt that helps me be a better sailor, but it does help me lead a healthier, more enjoyable life.
 

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I'm scarcely an expert sailor, but I've found that yoga helps a bit. It makes your overall body stronger and gets you used to standing/crouching/twisting in unusual positions. It helps with balance too.
 

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Hey,

Well, in the off season there is always this exercise called 'maintenance'

I 'work out' by
-holding a sander against the hull in all sorts of strange positions. You get to stretch to reach parts of the boat that are forward, crouch to sand other parts and crawl to do the keel. It's a great workout.

-When the sanding is done my next 'work out' routine is to move a paint roller back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. This is great for strength, balance, flexibility and stamina. Sometime I like this so much that I do two coats of paint. This is twice the workout!

To really work on my flexibility I like to crawl into the tight spaces on my boat. Things like lazaretts, engine compartments, and inside lockers. To add some strength training I will occasionally pull wires or hoses from one end of the boat to the other.

To work on my coordination I wax and polish the boat. You need to move the polish rag in multiple directions. For a real challenge try using a rag in each hand!

My next routine is done when the boat gets splashed. For speed and flexibility I do the 'leak test'. The marina drops the boat in the water and I run around the inside as fast as I can opening up lockers and crawling into tight spaces looking for signs of water. Try it - it's great fun. Next up come strength and balance exercises: First is the Boom Lift where you move a 100 lb 12' aluminum bar from inside the boat to outside the boat. You get to balance the boom while trying to attach it to a great piece of fitness gear called the 'goose neck'. Next up is the Sail Bend where you move a 100lb sail from basement to car to boat to mast. I like this one so much that I do it twice. The second time is even more fun because the 'headsail' is bigger and heavier than the mainsail.

Once the boat is all ready for sailing I keep fit by 'rowing' to the boat, pulling on all sorts of ropes, and staying hydrated!

:)

Barry
 

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Walk 6 days a week for 30 minutes. push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups - as many as you can 3 days a week. Buy a dumbbell you can just lift over your head one-handed 10 times and do that 3 times a week, you can also do curls with it and one arm rows by bending at the waist supporting your body weight with your opposite arm braced in the seat of a chair. You can do squats (one or two legs at a time) sideways in the chair by touching your bottom to the chair seat and steadying yourself with one hand on the seat back. Adjust difficulty level by increasing repetitions or number of sets and by reducing the rest interval between exercises. Squat thrusts are also a good exercise which you can blend in push-ups while in the front leaning rest position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey,

Well, in the off season there is always this exercise called 'maintenance'

I 'work out' by
-holding a sander against the hull in all sorts of strange positions. You get to stretch to reach parts of the boat that are forward, crouch to sand other parts and crawl to do the keel. It's a great workout.

-When the sanding is done my next 'work out' routine is to move a paint roller back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. This is great for strength, balance, flexibility and stamina. Sometime I like this so much that I do two coats of paint. This is twice the workout!

To really work on my flexibility I like to crawl into the tight spaces on my boat. Things like lazaretts, engine compartments, and inside lockers. To add some strength training I will occasionally pull wires or hoses from one end of the boat to the other.

To work on my coordination I wax and polish the boat. You need to move the polish rag in multiple directions. For a real challenge try using a rag in each hand!

My next routine is done when the boat gets splashed. For speed and flexibility I do the 'leak test'. The marina drops the boat in the water and I run around the inside as fast as I can opening up lockers and crawling into tight spaces looking for signs of water. Try it - it's great fun. Next up come strength and balance exercises: First is the Boom Lift where you move a 100 lb 12' aluminum bar from inside the boat to outside the boat. You get to balance the boom while trying to attach it to a great piece of fitness gear called the 'goose neck'. Next up is the Sail Bend where you move a 100lb sail from basement to car to boat to mast. I like this one so much that I do it twice. The second time is even more fun because the 'headsail' is bigger and heavier than the mainsail.

Once the boat is all ready for sailing I keep fit by 'rowing' to the boat, pulling on all sorts of ropes, and staying hydrated!

:)

Barry
Great advice! I suspect that there are a lot of sailors doing the exact same routine! :laugher
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Interesting comments about yoga. I just started occasionally attending yoga classes over the past few months. It's a LOT more difficult than I expected and forces working on balance. I should attend more classes while waiting for the snow to melt and the ice to thaw.
 

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This looks like it would be good exercise.

 

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Same issue I had to deal with.
Overall muscle fitness will help you the most, as opposed to focusing on particular muscles.
A few activities come to mind that do require localized strength: hauling a mainsail up, raising the anchor by hand, rowing a dinghy and grinding a winch. They require some upper arm strength and also work the rear shoulder and back muscles. Pull-ups are good for those. But it doesn't work to just exercise those groups. You need a strong core and strong legs for strong arms to do you much good.
I resumed sailing, singlehanded, in my late fifties in terrible shape and I found it exhausting. Just sitting still on a constantly-moving boat requires more work than we realize. What's helped me the most has been regular, ongoing overall workout with weights or machines, and losing excess weight.
After I started working out regularly at the Y and I lost 35 lbs (permanently--5 years later), sailing singlehanded became quite easy. And I found that my sailing goals provided year-round motivation.
I think that to limit yourself to a few workouts in the weeks before season won't help as much, unless you're good shape to begin with.
John V.
 

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I have friends who swear by yoga. There are yoga on boats DVDs out there.
That is what i have. I downloaded some videos and play it on my TV at home. That way I don't have to embarrass myself in public and can do it every day. I also have it on my pad and can do it while on the road.
 

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You should transform yourself, as much as possible, into the spitting image of Dennis Connor, America's greatest sailor, even if that means gaining 100 lbs. and sleeping on the sofa every chance you get.
Obviously you have not seen him in a while. While he still races and wins, he does not do much heavy lifting except for himself on and off the boat.
 

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The absolute best strength training you can get is the very act of being aboard the boat. Keep in mind that the boat is in constant motion, and your inner ear is constantly communicating with your brain, which tells your body to maintain it's balance. Consequently, your muscles are constantly flexing, all your muscles, to maintain that balance, even when you're sitting in a helm seat. After living aboard for six months, my weight dropped from 220 to 177, my arms and legs never got tired from performing mundane acts, my agility improved 1,000-percent and I slept like a log every night on a rocking boat.

Almost forgot to mention, I'm an old codger, but when it comes to zipping around the boat, from the bow to the stern, my friends think I'm pretty damned young again.

Hope this helps,

Gary :cool:
 
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