Fishing: An Endurance Sport
It might seem like a stretch to call fishing an endurance sport, but just as there are plenty of different types of fish, the experience you have angling can be very diverse. Whether you enjoy a few casts off a pier here and there, or you spend hours pre-fishing for your big bass tournament, you need to be prepared for everything that fishing has to offer.
From the outside looking in, fishing can seem like it doesn’t pose much of a challenge to the body. Any amount of time fishing can take a toll on the body, but spending hours on a boat can start to really wear you down. The most noticeable points of fatigue will be in your low back, but as you cast over and over, your arms and shoulders take a brunt of the load as well.
If you wait until you feel sore to try to do something, you’ve taken the wrong approach. It’s much better to be proactive, than reactive. “What can I do to be proactive??” I’m glad you asked.
The first thing that you can do to help yourself is to stretch. You’ll want to spend some time doing dynamic stretches that really warm up your muscles. This can be done at home ahead of when you leave for your trip. The next thing that can be done is to start strengthening the muscles in your arms, legs, core, and posterior chain, so that when you reel that big fish in, you aren’t throwing your back out doing so. I’ll cover some good stretches in this post, but look for strength and nutrition tips in posts to come.
To start, here are 5 warm-ups you can do:
One arm at a time, move your arms in a circle. Start with your arm in front of you.
Your arm will then pass by your hip, and will then go up overhead.
Do about 5-10 rotations forward and back with each arm.
Starting with your arms extended out, swing your arms in and give yourself a hug. Note which arm is on top.
Next swing your arms back out and open up your chest. Your palms should be facing up with thumbs pointing to your back when your arms are extended.
Swing your arms back in, this time bringing your other arm on top. Repeat 5-10 times
Assume a lunge position with your forward knee over your foot and back leg extended behind you
Extend your arms overhead as you lunge then stand back up. Switch legs.
For a deeper stretch drop your back knee to the ground
Repeat with 5 lunges per leg
Starting with feet shoulder width apart, send your hips back and descend until your thighs are parallel (or as close as possible) with the floor
Keep weight back and on your heels, and knees pointing out over your toes
Keep chest up and back flat
If your back starts to round, don’t go lower
Perform 10-20 air squats
Lie on your back, legs extended in front of you.
Bring one leg directly up, then over your body and rest it on the ground
Repeat with opposite leg, holding about 10-20 seconds on each side
Hopefully these will be a good start for helping you warm up. These stretches can also be performed while you’re fishing to help loosen up muscles, as long as you don’t rock the boat too much!
In future posts, I’ll cover specific workouts that can be done to strengthen your legs, back, core, and arms.
Roman Kagan, CF-L1