Outdoors blog


How to train for kayaking?

If you are starting your kayaking journey, then you need to be trained for it properly so that you can have a wonderful and safe experience.

There are different kinds of exercises when training for kayaking. In the case of paddling, there are exercises for upper body strength. For pedaling, exercises for muscles of legs are more common.

Here are a few things training for kayaking helps with.

  • Increases strength

Training exercises help in increase strength in core muscles allowing you to generate more stroke power.

  • Builds endurance

Shoulder, arm, and leg muscles are in constant motion during stroking. Training helps build more endurance in these muscles.

  • Improves balance

Training exercises help you maintain your balance so you can paddle or pedal smoothly and efficiently.

Things to remember while training

A few things to remember while training are:

  • Warm up

Always warm up for 5 to 10 minutes before you start the training exercises.

  • Modify exercise if needed

If your body hurts, you can modify an exercise or even skip it to avoid injury. It is better to rest for some days as well.

  • Move at your own pace

If you are a beginner you should be going slowly at first, increasing the pace as you get better.

Training Exercises

Here is a brief description of a few of the exercises that can train you for kayaking.

  • Open Book Exercise

This exercise is ideal for improving strokes. Generating strokes requires a lot of flexibility in the torso. This exercise enhances the range of core rotation and eventually makes you flexible enough for a full rotation with knees held together.

  • Kneeling Chop Exercise

Ideal for improving forward strokes, this exercise improves core rotation by working on upper and lower abdominals and obliques, as well as glutes and upper leg muscles. You should feel fatigued at the end of this one.

  • Kneeling Lift Exercise

Also called the “reverse chop”, this lift exercise helps improve backward strokes. It enhances core rotation by strengthening upper and lower abdominals and obliques along with glutes and leg muscles.

  • Pull-Down Exercise

Shoulders are in constant motion while paddling and it can be an exhausting process. The pull-down exercise helps you build up the endurance needed to handle long stretches of forward strokes and constant paddling.

  • Book Grab Exercise

While Paddling you use the muscles of your forearm constantly to grip the paddle while generating strokes. This exercise helps with building up the endurance of forearm muscles.

  • Crunch and Twist Exercise

To be able to kayak properly you need to be able to constantly rotate your core so that you can paddle efficiently. This is an ideal exercise for developing core strength as well as endurance by engaging the obliques and abdominal muscles. You can make this exercise easier or harder by adjusting how far you rotate to each side and also by choosing how high up you raise your body.

  • Single-leg Squat Exercise

This exercise is ideal for maintaining balance and providing the body with stability as well as strengthening core muscles. The squat in this exercise engages core muscles with hip muscles that balance the weight of the body. You can adjust its difficulty by adjusting your squat’s depth.

  • Row Exercise

Bicep and lat muscles are in constant use during a kayak stroke. The rowing movement helps build up endurance in these muscles

  • Skater with Uppercut Exercise

The uppercut motion of this exercise increases shoulder strength and the side-to-side skater motion gets your blood circulating. This is a great exercise for building up rotational power and balance because it engages glutes, quads and abdominal muscles.

These training exercises can help you get trained in kayaking in no time at all. Even if you are strong physically, if you do not know the proper techniques that are involved in kayaking you will not be able to kayak properly. Instead you strokes will be poor and your ability to feel comfortable and paddle far will be hindered so training for kayaking before you start your kayaking journey is very important.

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