Mast(er) of Resistence Workout

Life on the open sea, a way of living that so many enjoy. The freedom to travel the globe, explore new places and indulge in an endless array of new experiences. For a lucky few of us, yachting is a way to make that a reality.

As with any dream, there will, unfortunately, be drawbacks. One of the main ones when it comes to life on a yacht is fitness. No matter how relaxing cruising the oceans may be, endless hours sat on board with a limited amount of space for physical activity are destined to hurt our health and impair our fitness. This doesn’t have to be the case, however. Using a little know-how, you can execute an effective workout with minimal space and even less equipment.

This workout is part of a series of articles. We’ll show you full-body workouts you can utilise at different times, so you’ll be able to keep in shape.

Today we’ll start with one that can be done whether at sea or in port. We’re going to make the most of the space we have on deck, with the bonus of enjoying the fresh air while we train.

Text by Steve Burden, Dream Sails
Photos by Nayeem Chowdhury

Equipment & Notes

We will be using limited equipment to preserve as much of our limited storage space as we can:

  • Set of resistance bands
  • 50 foot length of rope

With a set of resistance bands weighing next to nothing and taking up no more space than a briefcase, they are the perfect sort of kit for our needs; as is a rope, a stock item on most ships.

Now that you’re fully kitted out, it’s time to get to the workout itself. There are five exercises that between them will work our entire body. They will incorporate both strength training as well as cardiovascular conditioning. Find yourself a sturdy, vertical support, such as the ship’s mast, to secure your equipment around.

There are also a few important final notes you should keep in mind while doing this workout:

  • It will take you roughly 45 minutes
  • Rest for 45-60 seconds between sets
  • Ensure there is tension at the starting point on all resistance band exercises

If you make sure to follow all of these, you are guaranteed to have your workout go swimmingly. Now we’re ready to go!

#1 Resistance Band Rows

4 sets, 10 repetitions per set

Muscles Targetted: Lats, Traps, Biceps

Our first exercise is a seated resistance band row, designed to work your back and biceps.

  1. Sit with your legs out in front of you, with your back straight, so your body forms an “L” shape.
  2. With arms extended out in front of you, grasp the handles on your band slightly above waist height.
  3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the handles into your waist using just your arms.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position, keeping the rest of your body entirely still throughout.
  1. Repeat 9 more times. That’s 1 set!
  1. Rest for 45-60 seconds, then repeat from step 1 for the next set.
  2. Repeat 4 sets from step 1.

#2 Resistance Band Chest Press

4 Sets, 10 repetitions per set

Muscles Targetted: Pectorals, Triceps

For this second exercise, we’re working your chest and your triceps.

  1. Stand with your back to the mast or securing point, and grip a handle in each hand, just outside of shoulder-width, at chest height.
  2. Bring one foot forward to give you a broader, more stable, base.
  3. Keeping your shoulder blades together, push both handles forward by squeezing your chest and bring them together in front of you.
  4. Now slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
  1. Repeat 9 more times. That’s 1 set!
  1. Rest for 45-60 seconds, then repeat from step 1 for the next set.
  2. Repeat 4 sets from step 1.

#3 Resistance Band Crunches

4 Sets, 10 repetitions per set

Muscles Targetted: Abdominals

Our next exercise is resistance band crunches, which work your core, especially your abs.

  1. Kneeling with your back to the mast, place your feet against its base for support.
  2. Grip both handles together, just behind your head, with your elbows at 90 degrees.
  3. Keeping your arms and legs locked in place, crunch forward by bending at the abdomen.
  4. Hold the tension for a second before rising back to the starting position.
  1. Repeat 9 more times. That’s 1 set!
  1. Rest for 45-60 seconds, then repeat from step 1 for the next set.
  2. Repeat 4 sets from step 1.

#4 Resistance Band Squats

4 sets, 10 repetitions per set

Muscles Targetted: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteals

Our last resistance band exercise of this workout is squats, which are designed to work the legs.

  1. Stand on the band with your feet wide enough apart that it is at maximum tension when you are in the upright position, with hands at shoulder height.
  2. Gripping the handles tightly, with elbows tucked in to your sides, squat down as low as possible.
  3. Hold the tension for a second or two before pushing back to a standing position.
  4. Keep your back straight and your heels on the floor throughout.
  1. Repeat 9 more times. That’s 1 set!
  1. Rest for 45-60 seconds, then repeat from step 1 for the next set.
  2. Repeat 4 sets from step 1.

#5 Battle Ropes

4 sets, 30 seconds per set

Muscles Targetted: Deltoids, Biceps

Our last exercise of the day uses the other piece of equipment, the rope. This will work out your arms and shoulders, as well as being an intense cardio workout.

  1. Take one rope in each hand and position yourself with bent knees in a half squatted position.
  2. Raise and lower the ropes at speed, maintaining your stance with your elbows at roughly 90 degrees.
  3. For the first 10 seconds, you want to alternate arms, so one is going up as the other is coming down.
  4. For the next 10 seconds, switch to doing both hands simultaneously.
  5. For the final 10 seconds, switch back to alternating.
  1. That’s 1 set!
  1. Rest for 45-60 seconds, then repeat from step 1 for the next set.
  2. Repeat 4 sets from step 1.

Final Thoughts

This should be plenty to keep you fighting fit and ready for life at sea.

Let us know in the comments, on social media, or by email how it goes for you.

Feel free to share any of your own suggestions for great exercises and workouts to do at sea, in port, or even ashore.

Check out the equipment on Amazon (we may get a little commission too)