Top 10 fitness tips for sailing from Garmin 

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As any sailor knows, it is incredibly important to keep fit in order to the make the most of your experience on the water. Sailing requires strength and endurance, and how you train off the boat is just as important as how you train on the boat.

So whether you are a beginner or someone who wants to up their game, Garmin, the global leader in satellite navigation, gives us some top tips on training for sailing, to make the most of every moment on the water.

Hit the road or the gym

Sailing is certainly not a ‘sitting down’ sport! It is just as important to hit the gym as it is to train on a boat regularly. Running, cycling and swimming are all great ways to keep your general fitness levels up and make sure you can endure long days on the water. Cycling and swimming are good in particular as they work the legs while remaining low-impact.

Interval training

This involves short bursts of high intensity exercises mixed with a rest. Anyone who has done interval training will know that this is a highly effective way to build endurance and very similar to the kind of peaks and troughs of activity that you’ll experience when sailing.

Weight training

Strengthening muscles, tendons and ligaments not only keeps you strong but protects your joints, which will in turn helps prevent injuries. Deadlifts, squats and pull-ups are all great ways to strengthen your muscles while using correct technique and resistance – but don’t forget about exercises like burpees and planks to really push your endurance.

Yoga and Pilates

Slow and controlled movement is great for balance, flexibility and building core strength – all key attributes when you are putting your sailing skills to the test and really need to pull out all the stops. These exercises also help to strengthen the whole body and reduce the risk of injury.

Partner exercises

A great way to motivate yourself and push yourself harder is to train with someone at a similar fitness level. Mentally this can keep you going when you think you have nothing left to give.

Team challenges

Many race teams will tell you that it’s a good idea to take part in team challenges and competitions in the gym, where you are all working towards the same goal. This can really help when you need to pull together and thrive in a team sailing environment.

Warm-ups and cool-downs

As with any sport, preparation is key to avoiding injuries. Make sure you are taking the time to warm-up your body and mobilise your joints before any workout or sailing, and take the time to recover afterwards with stretching and other methods such as foam rolling.


As with any training regime, it is key to plan in some down time and give your body the opportunity to recuperate and adapt. Resting is time for your muscles to get stronger and get ready for the next training session. You may be able to train for two or three days in a row without resting, but consider a rest day after that – you don’t want to push it too far and put any unnecessary stress on your physical health.

Fuelling and recovery

Make sure you start your session hydrated and with enough energy through intake of fluids and carbohydrates. For shorter sessions just water will be sufficient to stay fuelled. Ensure your body gets enough protein after hard training sessions to support improvements in strength.

And last but not least… get out on a boat as much as possible!

Getting out on the water as often as you can is just as important to condition your body to the real movements and physical demands of sailing. So keep yourself fit and healthy and above all, enjoy yourself! Garmin is an official supplier for the British Sailing Team. For more information on Garmin, please visit