Exercises for the confined long-passage sailor

Chart table - not much exercise here
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All yacht crew spend time on their feet, but, especially in a long passage, one can be confined for long stretches, without opportunity for normal exercise, particularly if your role is not a very physical one, eg. as navigator. The Triton has recognised this for professional crews, and has had strength and conditioning specialist Beth Greenwald, make some suggestions:

It is important to remember the need to stand up, move and stretch every 30-45 minutes, if possible. This helps to increase blood flow, increase energy levels, relieve tension, and decrease back and joint pain.

Following are some stretching exercises that you can do right at your seat. Try to get up out of your seat or off your bunk and walk a bit before and after performing the following stretches.

Perform 2-3 sets of the following:

Shoulder rolls

Most of us tend to slouch and our shoulders are a bit rounded forward, so it is important to focus on backward shoulder rolls. Dramatically emphasize the motion: forward, up to the ears, around to the back and down. Perform 15 repetitions.

Neck stretch

Begin with your ears in line with your shoulders and arms down at your sides. Slowly tilt your left ear to your left shoulder and hold for 10-15 seconds. Switch sides to complete 1 set.

Wrist circles

Hold up both hands and circle the wrists 10 times each clockwise and counterclockwise.

Open/Close Hands

Hold both hands up and open and close the hands 15-10 times. Make sure to exaggerate the movement.

Torso twist

Sit up tall in your chair, turn to the right and place both hands on the right armrest or side of the chair. Slowly twist to the right, keeping your eyes level and make sure to not slouch or round the back. Once you reach your furthest point, hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat on the other side to complete 1 set.

Shoulder stretch

Extend your right arm in front of you. Place the left hand on the right elbow and pull it directly across your chest to stretch the right shoulder, holding for 10-15 seconds. Repeat with the left arm.

Hamstring stretch

Sit up tall, on the edge of your chair and extend your right leg in front of you, keeping a slight bend in the knee and the heel on the floor. Bring the navel towards the thigh, without rounding the upper back to stretch the right hamstring. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat on the left side.

Calf Stretch

Start with both feet flat on the floor, toes pointed forward and knees directly over the ankles. Lift the heels off the ground as you raise your legs onto the balls of your feet and hold for 2-3 seconds. Repeat 10 times to complete 1 set.

Ankle rolls

Lift your right foot off of the ground and roll the ankle 10 times clockwise and 10 times counterclockwise.

www.thetriton.com!The_Triton is a monthly newspaper for the people who earn their living working on luxury yachts

The author, Beth Greenwald, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and conducts personal training sessions as well as group fitness boot camp classes. Contact her at bethgreenwald@hotmail.com.