Tokyo-bound Indian sailor Vishnu Saravanan revealed how he pulled a car tied to him to improve his back and core strength ahead of the Olympic qualifiers. The sailor, along with three others qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics last month, during the Mussanah Open Championship in Oman.
Vishu Saravanan is one of the four sailors to have qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, along with Nethra Kumanan, Varun Thakkar and KC Ganapathy. It was Vishu’s father who introduced him to the sport, with the former set sail for the first time on the open waters of the Arabian Sea off the Mumbai coast.
However, as the years passed, he took up the sport more seriously and landed him a youth national title in 2016 and the senior crown a couple of years later. It was last month that the sailor qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, in the Laser Standard Class, during the Mussanah Open Championship in Oman.
Sailing is a sport that demands physical strength of the highest order, with a lot of load on legs, core, back and arms. Due to this, back, knee and shoulder injuries are very common and the sailors work on it, with ‘explosive workouts.’
“Sailing puts a lot of load on legs, core, back and arms. We need extreme core strength to hang from a position. Stamina is very important also because you need to push on Day 6 just as hard as you did on Day 1,” said Vishnu Saravanan, during an interview with mintlounge.
“All the joints – knees, back, ankle – have to be very strong and mobile. Back, knee and shoulder are the most common injuries in sailing. We always try to work on it. Sometimes we also need the anaerobic capacity to move and jerk quickly. So we do explosive workouts to get the fast-twitch fibres firing,” added the athlete.
While most of the athletes had faced difficulties during the lockdown, the pandemic break helped Vishnu get in his best shape ahead of the Olympic qualifiers. He was in Malta during the lockdown for training; however, there was a period where he did not get into the water. During that time, he had undergone extreme physical exercises, like pulling a car tied to him to improve his back and core strength.
“I did that to improve my back and core strength. But the car was too light. My coach had to keep applying the brakes (to increase resistance). Maybe next time I can try it with an Army truck!” revealed Vishnu.