Fishing & Fitness: Exercises to Help You Out on the Water

Fishing Lodge in Saskatchewan

When you say you’re going fishing, most people have a leisurely picture in their head of what it entails. They might imagine you lounging in a boat or a chair on the shore, relaxing carelessly until you feel a bite. Then you casually reel in your catch or have to briefly stand up and give it a little tug. Once the fish is in your hands, you either toss it in a cooler or back in the water, and then you’re back in your seat breathing easy. But anyone who has ever gone fishing knows that this couldn’t be further from the truth!

While there’s definitely some downtime on the water, fishing is a much more physically demanding activity than you might think. Working out on a regular basis will help your game and improve your stamina, so you can enjoy longer (and hopefully more lucrative) trips. If you’re not sure where to start, here are the major muscle groups you should focus on and a few exercises you can try for each!


Core strength is a crucial, but often overlooked, asset to a fisherman. Fishing involves a lot of holding yourself up for extended periods of time. To do that, you need a core that will help you balance and maintain good posture for the long hours spent sitting and waiting for a bite. You don’t need to have washboard abs, just enough muscle to provide some stability when you’re reeling in a big catch! You can start core workouts with just your bodyweight, then work your way up to using weights as you get stronger.

Exercises to try: crunches, sit ups, planks, medicine ball twists, bridges, side bends

Arms & Shoulders

Between casting, holding your reel up steady, and pulling in feisty and trophy-sized fish, a fisherman must have a lot of strength and control in their upper body. Fishing engages your arms, chest, and shoulders more than almost any other muscle group. This is doubly true for fly fishermen. Building strength in these areas will help prevent strain, injury, and improve your ability to cast and then reel in a catch.

Exercises to try: push-ups, pull-ups, tricep dips, chest press, bicep curls, rows, deadlifts, kettlebell swings


Your back may be the one part of your body that does more work than your arms and shoulders out on the water. People who have never fished before are often surprised at how much it works your back, even those who are already in shape. Your back also happens to be one of your most vulnerable muscle groups, so it’s especially important to train it to handle the demands of angling. Plus, working your back will also help your posture, making it easier to stand or sit up straight for those seemingly endless hours of waiting for a bite.

Exercises to try: pull-ups, rows, good mornings, deadlifts, lateral pulldowns

Legs & Glutes

Having a strong upper body is great, but it won’t help you much if you don’t have strong legs and glutes to hold it up! Fishing has you constantly moving your upper body, so your legs need to be able to support and keep you in place. Leg work is another group that overlaps with core, balance, and overall stability. If you’re a wader, strong legs will make it much easier for you to push your way through dense water and strong currents too.

Exercises to try: squats, lunges, deadlifts, wall sits, donkey kicks, farmer’s walk

The best way to make sure all of your sweat and tears at the gym are paying off is to put your muscles to the test out on the water! Lawrence Bay Lodge is the perfect spot for anglers of all experience levels and muscles of all sizes. Our guides are there to help you master the basics, learn new techniques, and use your body to maneuver the waters like a pro. If you’re looking for a real challenge, you’ll find our trophy-sized northern pike to be formidable opponents.

Contact the lodge today to book the ultimate fishing experience!