How to Get Strong Arms Through Hang-Gliding

Everyone wants a firm, sculpted body, and getting strong amazing arms is part of that process. Apparently one of the best fitness options around is hang-gliding, as this video is showing.

Getting ready

Obviously no one steps off a mountain the first time! The instructor is showing how a simulator is used first to make sure that students understand the basics and are fit enough to continue. (It probably wouldn’t hurt to do some of those gym workouts first; strength training is an excellent preparation for any kind of outdoor activity, and perhaps especially for something like hang-gliding.)

Use a simulator

The simulator isn’t a machine; it’s an actual hang-glider so that students can get the feel of the real thing. What he’s done is put a glider on top of a rack, or alternately suspend a hang-glider with its back end up so that you won’t be going anywhere but you’ll still be suspended the way you will once you’re in flight. Your body will be elevated and you can practice flying that way. The point is to get the correct movements down so that you can rely on doing the right thing once you’re at altitude.

The instructor shows how he can be suspended in the simulator and explains that this particular demonstration is for upright flying (as opposed to flight when your body is straight out as though you were diving).  What you want to do is place your hands on what are called the “down tubes,” the two uprights that will help you keep your balance and guide the glider.

The need for speed

Once you’re flying, if you want to pick up speed, the way to do that (as in any aircraft) is to put the nose of the glider downward. The way to do that is to pull yourself forward. When you do that, the hang straps that are supporting your body move forward and as the center of gravity goes forward, the glider’s nose goes down and the glider picks up speed. “Speed is your friend in a hang-glider!” he says. If you go too slowly, you stall, and that’s a problem. Speed keeps you moving. Of course, if you need to slow down, you can relax back and that pulls the center of gravity back, the nose comes up, and you’ll slow down. You can practice in the simulator pulling yourself forward to speed up and relaxing yourself back to slow down.

If the air is calm (for example, in the training fields), there’s not much need for pressure. Light air requires less pressure: believe it or not, fingertip pressure is all that’s required! The machine will respond. Never push. If you want to slow down a bit, ease back, but don’t push. This will slow the glider down catastrophically and put it into a stall, and that’s how airplane accidents can happen!

Making turns

You turn the glider by putting the wing down in the direction you want to turn. If you want to turn left, you look to the left, you move your body weight on the strap to the left, and the left wing will go down and you’ll turn. It’s all pulling your hips and your feet over to the left. Always pull toward your target.