What you need to do (and what not to do) to avoid breaking your back in the boat


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In boating, one wrong movement can ruin the cruise. Here are tips for making less effort and avoiding backbreaking.

How not to break your back in the boat

If you are cruising with a group of friends who are inexperienced or even on their first boating experience, the first thing you need to teach them is how you need to move around on board and where you run the risk of getting hurt. Because boating is beautiful, romantic, fun, but full of pitfalls especially for novices.

Here then are some tips for doing the movements in the best way by straining only the necessary muscles. In the photos below you will find three of the most common situations, caulking the winch, hoisting a halyard, and retrieving a tow. Follow the advice and the cruise will be less tiring (and you won’t break your back)…

Movement 1. Retrieve the tow or anchor

To retrieve the anchor or tug, it is easy to lean out from the pulpit and, keeping your legs well stretched out, grab the chain by fully extending your arms. Thinking of doing it faster overloads all the lumbar muscles giving yourself a good backache. Best to recover by standing apart from the sickle cell, with legs spread apart and knees bent.

back strap movements

You pull with alternating hands and assist the movement with a slight rotation of the torso to work all the muscles of the trunk, back and arms.

Movement 2. Hoisting a sail

If you hoist with two hands and with your knees outstretched, you end up working only arm and shoulder muscles, causing pain in the arms, neck, and lower back.

movements hoist the sail

Best with legs just apart and knees bent, unbalancing the weight back to help with the movement without causing overload and pain in the lower back.

Movement 3. Acting on the winch

If you work sitting down, you end up using your arm and shoulder muscles. With the risk of upper limb soreness and neck and shoulder stiffness.

movements act on the winch

Better instead to stand, with legs spread apart and slightly bent assisting the movement with a rotation of the torso and a shift of weight from one leg to the other.



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