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Effective way to do hike bench training?

I am a grand-masters age Laser sailor. I know many Laser sailors have hike bench at some point (either bought or home made), but not many people actually use it. And I am one of them. I made the bench 4 years ago based on Make Your Own Hiking Bench, but very quickly it went to the garage. But in this lockdown situation when we cannot go out on the water, I started trying it again. But the problem is: since the hike bench training is so hard, I could hardly do it 2 minutes. Since I could not do it for a meaningful amount of time, I was discouraged to do it… - Just a vicious cycle again. So, I changed two things: (1) I added rope (imitating mainsheet) so that I can get help from it if needed (please see the picture), and (2) I do it more interval way: 20 sec hike out, 10 sec rest, 20 sec hike, 10 sec rest,… With these, I can now do it 5min. But the reality is: I am resting one third of time and I am getting help from the rope most of the time. So, I am not sure how effective it is. Also, I am still not feeling the sense of improvement: It is still very hard, and doing longer than 5 minutes is very challenging.

So, my question is: is there more effective way to do the hike bench training so that I can continue it and get real improvement?
 

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Keso

175590
Toshi,

Upper end master sailer here. Your on the right track. It is challenging to do a static hike on the bench unless you do it every day for a long period. Plus it is boring without a distraction.

Set some short term length goals, maybe watch a race on Youtube while you are hiking, and simulate the hiking concurrent with the video.

I do a similar workout and just got off the water for the first time in 15kt wind since last summer. Just the little bit over two months made a remarkable difference.

One alteration I made was, I don’t use a rope, but use rubber workout bands to work the sheeting muscle groups while hiking. Keeps me distracted from the legs.

Hang in there!

Keso
 

Andy B

Member
Personally I think the hiking strap is too short and because of this you are hanging off your toes, in the long term this will stress your knees. I was advised by the Olympic Physio Frank Newton to make sure the strap is across both feet by the ankles, it worked for me as after a few problems in my early days I am still sailing my Laser over 30 years later.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Toshi, it looks like you're doing great :D Hiking on a bench is definitely harder than on a boat, and you just have to do it for shorter times at first. Keso had a few good suggestions, too.

Andy, if you have the strap closer to the toes, it takes some of the load off the thighs, which is a good thing. I feel that straight-leg hiking hurts my knees less as well. The problem is that it strains the ankles (no free lunch), but that gets better with training. Ideas about hiking have indeed changed over the last 30 years :rolleyes:

_
 

Andy B

Member
I found these clips informative
and
, my hiking bench has a calibrated spring scale so I can see how hard I am working, I found I that with a slightly looser strap as shown I could generate the same righting moment as a tight strap with less effort because I could move my body outboard. I would add I am only 5'10", it would be different if I was taller I would probably have the strap a little tighter .
 

Andy B

Member
This one is even better it explains why you can have knee pain, Steve Cockerill demonstrates by dropping his trousers.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
my hiking bench has a calibrated spring scale so I can see how hard I am working
:eek: Now this is getting high tech... pictures or it doesn't exist :D

Nice videos, anyway. (I have a bench exactly like that in the first one. It's been leaning against my living room wall for quite some time...)

_
 
Thank you very much Keso, Andy and LaLi for the comments and suggestions!
For the hiking style, it seems each sailor has a little different anatomy and preference, and so far rather tight strap style seems to better fit to my body, but I will experiment a little looser strap to see how it works for me.
Watching Youtube race video while the hike bench training seems great idea. I might also try replacing the mainsheet with rubber string.
I will try to do the hike bench training three times a week and see if I can extend my 5 min hike (in reality it is 2/3 of 5 min though) up to 10 min in a couple of weeks!
 

Riv

Member
Toshi, that's a really good picture. Most instructive. I've often thought of getting a hiking bnch and wondered if it would be any better to re purpose a broken laser so every min or so you could tack...
 

Riv

Member
Where I am Stripped Laser hulls come up quite often for free. I wonder if anyone has made a hiking trainer out of one?
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
There's one at the Severn Sailing Association (Annapolis MD), but I am not a member there.
And the place may be closed right now...
 

torrid

Just sailing
Toshi, that's a really good picture. Most instructive. I've often thought of getting a hiking bnch and wondered if it would be any better to re purpose a broken laser so every min or so you could tack...
Add some sort of auto-tacking counterweight contraption and you could practice roll tacks!
 

Horizon

Member
Where I am Stripped Laser hulls come up quite often for free. I wonder if anyone has made a hiking trainer out of one?
Yes, they have. Apart from the cut-up Laser in the link to the video I posted above, for as long as there have been derelict Lasers, there have been people making hiking benches out of them! Here is an extract from Beam Reach (the magazine of the ILCA before Laser World) from 1980 showing one such Laser turned into a hiking bench.

Beam Reach No 8 - 1980_20200430_0001.pdf

There have also been more professional endeavours in using complete Laser hulls as sailing simulators on land for training and research. See this extract from Michael Blackburn's book "Sailfit"

Sailfit_20200430_0001.pdf

And there are more details here:


Personally, I made a hiking bench, probably over 35 years ago and it is still going strong. I used the plans in Dick Tillman's book "Laser Sailing for Beginners and Experts" which he designed to simulate the dimensions of a laser cockpit.

Hiking bench plans_20200430_0001.pdf
 

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Riv

Member
Thanks, the Virtual Sailing link is really good. In the resources section they have a selection of papers that are worthwhile reading
 

Andy B

Member
Now this is getting high tech... pictures or it doesn't exist
Sorry to disappoint you but high tech would have been MEMs sensors wired to an Arduino with a Bluetooth module and a display on a smart phone. Instead it is a $5 fishing scale with a block and line from my oddments box. The first would have taken months the second took minutes and the output is the same.

I found the most important factor in righting moment was to get my butt out as far as possible, hiking out with a flat body induced dynamic forces as I threw my body flat but the static righting moment was almost the same after the dynamic pulse passed and hiking flat is much harder, and risks, a hernia.

The black marks are 20/30/40 Kilos and at a body weight of 69 Kilos hiking hard gives a static inflexion of 30 Kilos which can be increased to 35 Kilos in short pulses.

The deck dimensions and hiking strap are exactly the same as a Laser.
 

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Rob Hair

Active Member
Andy, your hernia comment is intriguing! Do you know of any evidence that hiking or flat hiking actually can cause a hernia? There was a question on this forum a few years ago by someone who wondered if hiking would be a problem for someone with a hernia repair. I answered that post by noting my own experience that it posed no problem for me (hernia repairs years before owning a Laser).
 

Andy B

Member
Its and age issue as your muscles become weaker and you have to bare in mind I have been sailing a Laser for over 30 years and I started sailing late and am a GGM! During this time I regularly went to the gym about three times a week (and still did until lock down) and did sit ups and crunches to strengthen my core for hiking. I could sit on the hiking bench or my boat and do 50 sit ups with ease. About 5 years ago I started to croak like a frog, after 2 years on medication they investigated and found a hiatus hernia almost certainly induced by too much strain from the sit ups, crunches and coming up from the flat position when I was hiking, you can see from the image of 160888 I used to have a short toe strap and lie flat. Stopped the exercises, modified my hiking style and was able to stop the medication and avoid surgery which is a last resort as the hernia is rather close to other organs.

This is an article which tells you which exercises to avoid.

While you are an apprentice master or a master you will be fine but once you reach grand master you need to think about the impact of sailing on your body so you can still sail as a legend, which is my aim!
 
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