Pilates for Sailors

What the Experts Say

Katherine Knight on the Performance Penguin website
Pilates focuses on the body’s core, joining the power generated through the arms with that generated by the legs. Traditional exercises often focus on working the arms or the legs in isolation. In sailing single body parts are hardly ever used in isolation, the body is used as a whole to generate movement and power.

Videos for Pilates for Sailors

Before embarking on a fitness program you should get advice from a doctor or trained professional, especially if you have an injury of some description.

This channel has some useful short Pilates routines for people wanting to try this type of exercise.

Here's a collection of full length Pilates workouts if you want to have a browse for one that suits your needs.

Here's a couple of full length routines:

Of course, there are loads more workouts available...

Books with information on Pilates for Sailors

Sailing Fitness Toolbox by Katherine Knight

DVDs with information on Pilates for Sailors

There are no DVDs on Pilates specifically for sailors (at least that I could find), but these DVDs are all highly rated by Pilates experts and cover a range of abilities and needs:

Pilates Core Challenge
10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results Pilates
Pilates For Beginners & Beyond Boxed Set
Classical Pilates Technique: The Complete Mat Workout Series
Pilates Workout for Dummies
Pilates - Beginning Mat Workout
STOTT PILATES Intermediate Matwork 3rd Edition (6 Languages)

Websites and online articles for Pilates for Sailors

This is a good description as to why Pilates is good for sailors

Got 7 minutes to spare? Why  not try this Pilates workout? There's loads more information on the same website.

Here's a Masters Radial champion that uses Pilates in his workout

What We Learned...

There isn't very much information online that is specific to Pilates for sailors, especially for dinghy sailors. But here's a few things we've found out, both from a bit of research and from personal experience:

  • Pilates is great for core strength, and this is vital for regular sailors - both to help be competitive on windy days and to prevent injury.
  • Pilates helps with flexibility and fluidity of movement. This can be invaluable with boat-handling, and is also useful on lightwind days when smooth movement is great for boatspeed.
  • Pilates works well in combination with more sport-specific routines. One or two Pilates classes a week, coupled with workouts for strength or aerobic capacity will leave you in excellent sailing shape.

A lot of sailors develop back and knee problems over time, and Pilates can help with these issues. But, better than that, if you start early enough, it can help prevent them. The good core strength and posture that it promotes help improve hiking style, damaging your body less and improving your hiking effectiveness too.

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