How To Exercise On A Sailboat

How To Exercise On A Sailboat | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

February 19, 2020

Sailing
Health & Fitness

Learning how to exercise on a sailboat is a necessity if you are planning to spend a lot of your time sailing. Believe it or not, you can actually get a great total body workout on a sailboat. This is important because if you are planning to live on a sailboat for any length of time you are going to need to find ways to keep in shape.

While sailing provides some exercise, you'll need to do more than just operate your sailboat if you want to maintain a high level of fitness. Staying fit is important, and when you are living on a sailboat it's even more important. On a sailboat, you'll be in an environment where you'll need to be able to move quickly and have sufficient upper body strength to deal with any challenges that come your way. That means that you are going to have to train to get stronger as well as to benefit your heart and lungs.

When you stay in a home there is any number of home gyms or pieces of exercise equipment you can use. You can also decide to join a gym. When you live on a sailboat going to the gym is out of the question, and packing your boat with a lot of heavy weights isn't going to work either.

Fortunately, you can learn how to workout on a sailboat, and once you understand how to do it you should get fantastic results.

Table of contents for this article

When Living On A Sailboat Bodyweight Exercises Are Your Best Option

The most obvious obstacle that you'll have to overcome when learning how to exercise on a sailboat is finding ways to engage in resistance training. Resistance training should be the foundation of any workout program that you undertake. Why is that? It's because resistance training builds muscle. More muscle gives you more strength, improves your appearance, and raises your metabolism making it easier to lose weight and keep it off.

Since you can't carry a lot of heavy equipment on a sailboat you'll need to find other ways to engage in resistance training. Fortunately, there are a lot of different bodyweight exercises that you can do that will give you a great workout that helps you to build lean muscle. Here are a few examples:

  • Pushups. Pushups are one of the most basic types of exercises that you can do to build muscle and strength, and it's also one of the most effective ones that you can do. Pushups strengthen your chest, arms, back, and abdominal muscles, making it an exercise that works your entire upper body. You can do close grip pushups to focus on your inner chest and triceps. Or, you can do wide grip pushups to focus more on your outer chest muscles. The best thing about pushups is that they are an exercise that you can do in a small space, making them ideal for the deck of a sailboat.
  • Sit-ups. Sit-ups are another basic exercise that just about everyone has done at one point or another. The only challenge you'll face when doing sit-ups on your     sailboat is finding a way to secure your feet in place. There should be plenty of places where you can tuck your feet under on your boat so you can knock out a few sets of sit-ups. Sit-ups work your entire core and will help to give you flat and toned midsection.
  • Yoga. Yoga is an amazing total body workout that will help you to build strength, improve flexibility, burn fat, improve mental focus, and build muscle. Yoga is practically made to be done on a sailboat since you only need a small amount of space to do it. Imagine being able to get up in the morning and do a yoga routine out on the water, that's a great way to work out while also enjoying some peace and solitude outdoors.
  • Squats. Squats are a great lower body workout that you also work well in an area where there is limited space, like the deck of a sailboat. When most people think of squats they probably picture the kind that you do with weight on your back. But, you can get an effective lower body workout without weight, it's all a matter of increasing the reps that you do.

More Bodyweight Exercises That You Can Do With A Small Piece Of Equipment.

There are several other exercises that you can do on a sailboat using only your bodyweight if you have the right setup or equipment. Now, carrying a lot of heavy equipment on a sailboat isn't an option. But, there is a small, lightweight, and inexpensive piece of equipment that you can buy that is ideal for a sailboat. That piece of equipment is called a suspension trainer.

A suspension trainer is basically a durable band with handles. You connect one end to the mast of your sailboat, then you can hold onto the handles and suspect your bodyweight from it. Using a suspension trainer allows you to do different variations of pushups, butterfly presses, and arm curls.

What About Cardio?

While resistance training should be the foundation of your sailing workout program, you can't forget about cardio. Doing cardio will help you to burn off body fat while strengthening your heart and lungs. This is another instance where many of the options that you might consider doing at home aren't available to you when you are on a sailboat. Fortunately, there are options you can consider that will work well for you. One great option is hiking, power walking, or jogging. No, you probably don't want to do laps around your boat deck, but what you can do is go out for a little excursion when you are at aport somewhere. This is a great way to get out and see some new sights, while also getting in a great workout. One very obvious option to consider is swimming. If you are on a boat, and the water is nice, then why not go for a quick swim to get in the exercise that you need?

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