Did you ever think of the amount of core strength required to wrestle an anchor?  It requires leg strength, arm strength, knee strength, and more. Power boating does not require as much physical fitness as other types of boating, but there are times when being in shape can make a world of difference.  Keeping in good condition is not only good for you but it is also good for your boat and crew. Captains have to be in charge when it comes to anchoring, throwing lines to a dock mate, cleaning the boat, and much more. Physical and mental strength are essential.

Strength training can be accomplished by using free weights (dumbbells or barbells), weight machines, resistance bands and your natural body weight.  Dumbbells, resistance bands and calisthenics are highly recommended because they are versatile and do not require a gym membership. On the other hand, if you have gym membership, take advantage of it because the gym is a place where you can get good ideas from the fitness-savvy members.

The following exercises have been developed to assist boaters with sometimes gruesome, always uncomfortable boat maintenance tasks.

Coffee table crawl

Lie on your stomach at one end of the coffee table, and crawl under the table and out the other end. This simulates crawling into the engine compartment to perform routine maintenance. Advanced routine: Do while holding a toolbox off the floor to simulate not scratching the teak deck.

Kitchen drawer extensions

Place marbles on the bottom of a kitchen cabinet underneath a drawer. Remove the drawer. With the cabinet door closed, reach through the drawer slot to pick up the marbles. This exercise simulates retrieving a small part from the bottom of the bilge.

High-jacked car wash

Take your car to a service station with a hoist. Have the car raised to the top. Proceed to wash and wax your car while standing on a wobbly ladder. This simulates a typical, hull-waxing position.

High-flying jumbo lift

Lean a rickety ladder against your house. Carry overloaded laundry baskets, grocery sacks and boxes to the roof, and then bring them back down. This exercise simulates loading your boat while it’s still on the cradle.

Boating requires a tremendous amount of physical fitness from start to finish.  Think about the strength needed to get your boat situated on the trailer to transport.   Think about an anchor being pulled out of the water for departure.  Think about hoisting sails.  Think about reeling in a large fish.  Physical strength is paramount.   Find that perfect balance and get those arms and legs conditioned for your next boating experience.

Source: “Think Boating Doesn’t Require a Little Fitness? Think Again.” National Women Boaters Association. Web. 19 Nov. 2012. “Fitness for Boaters.” Fitness for Boaters. Web. 19 Nov. 2012.

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