The physical, technical and psychological demands of competitive sailing, from Olympic class to professional big-boat sailing, are high. And with the competitive nature of the sport increasing, the athleticism of sailors is becoming more apparent. Manoeuvres on-board most racing yachts are performed manually, without the assistance of electric power, hence the physical demands are high. The demands are largely dependent on the class of boat and the role of the athlete.
Off-shore racing, such as round-the-world races are gruelling endurance events requiring both mental and physical toughness. Where as in-shore racing, such as the prestigious America’s Cup, requires precision and power. Big-boat grinders are some of the most powerful upper-body trained athletes, with arm-crank peak power values as high as 1500 W.
The high incidence of lumbar spine, shoulder and upper-limb injuries,
suggests that appropriate strength training and prehabilitation exercises
be performed to prevent injury to these structures. Specifically, lower
back and trunk exercises, and dynamic whole body exercises such as,
Olympic lifts (i.e. hang cleans, front squat & push press, power snatch),
medicine ball and power bag throws.