After hitting the half-way mark last week, it’s time to get stuck into Former Ultimate Fighting Championship athlete and Clipper 2015-16 Race crew member Dan Hardy’s third exercise episode.

Dan, who took part in the opening leg of the Clipper 2015-16 Race on board GREAT Britain, has created four exercise episodes to help crew condition and strengthen their bodies for the challenge of racing across the world’s oceans.

As the Clipper Race crew is made up from people from all walks of life and aged between 18 and 74, Dan has made sure the exercises start easy, though there are progression options.

Before beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician or healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.

Elastic, Kettlebell

Exercises: Front Stretch Wrap

The Up and Over

Double Wrap

Seated Twist

Advanced Seated Twist

Knee Slide Sit-up


The Plank

Plank Arm Raise

Plank Leg Raise

Dan Hardy says:

"Depending on the weight of the kettlebells that you have access to can dictate how many sets and repetitions you choose to perform. If you have a light weight for example, higher repetitions will be good for building endurance, coordination and base level strength. Always a good place to start, and also a good warm up before moving on to heavier weights. This can be done by choosing sets and reps, such as four sets of 25 repetitions per side, or you can time yourself, working one exercise for a minute or more before taking a short break. This can also be repeated for several sets.

“If you are ready to work with a heavier weight then either of the above methods can be used but the time or number of repetitions would be decreased. When I am working with a heavier weight I prefer to do sets of ten and doing up to five sets of ten per side. The most important thing is the technique. If you like, you can choose one exercise a day to start with. Challenge yourself to do a number of repetitions and take as many rests as you need to complete the chosen number. Over the following days and weeks you will notice how quickly you will adapt to the exercise and will need to make it more difficult to feel challenged.

“Kettlebells are very accessible now and are a very versatile tool for whole body conditioning. I also like that it uses momentum to challenge the stability of the whole body, and the core is always activated, which is essential for sailing. The handle grip on kettlebells proved very useful when moving around the boat in rough seas. Many types of strength and conditioning methods don't develop the grip and forearm strength like kettlebells do - something that I was thankful for at times during my race. They can be picked up from most sports shops, and even supermarkets, or ordered online. Start off light and build up gradually, especially if you haven't been consistently active over the last few years.

“Good luck! And remember, the better you prepare now, the more you will get out of your Clipper Race experience."

Feeling inspired? There are still limited spaces available for the Clipper 2017-18 Race and applications are now also open for the 2019-20 edition. If you think you have what it takes to be like Dan Hardy and race across the world's oceans, then apply here.

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