So, you know how to paddle. You go for a few sessions, and realise one thing; your arms and shoulders are killing. I had the same thing with both kayaking and surfing.
My paddle strength was just not good . And, that meant not paddling adequately (especially when trying to catch waves) and not paddling for long enough (on whitewater). I got tired quickly.
Here are a few exercises you can do to increase the strength and power of your paddle.
For all exercises, we’d be looking at sitting in the 14-18 reps range. That helps to achieve a nice mix of strength and stamina.
And, for each exercise we’d be looking to do 3 sets, at least once a week.
If you can’t manage this amount, the weights you are using are too heavy. If you are managing more reps than required, the weights you are lifting are too light.
And, if you plan to do any of the exercises more than once per week, make sure you leave at least 3 days’ rest.
This will allow muscles to repair. If you don’t allow them to repair, all your hard work will be wasted.
The Best Exercises To Improve Paddling Strength For Kayaking
1. Front Raises
Front raises help to improve your forward stroke. You’ll lift dumbbells from your side, so they are above a 90-degree angle with your body.
If you’re not keen on a full-on workout just so you can go kayaking; once a week will be fine for front raises.
2. Tricep Pushdown
I first started doing tricep pushdowns when I got into surfing. And, they made an enormous difference. They allowed me to catch waves I couldn’t before, and I’m 100% sure they help with forward strokes when kayaking too.
If you’re on a budget, you can use a gym strap. Wrap it somewhere above your head and pull down. Make each movement controlled.
Jerky movements will make the exercise easier, and that’s going to mean important muscles are missing out on a workout.
If you’re not on a budget (or have access to a gym), it’s going to be a little easier.
3. Bicep Curls
Another easy exercise that can be done with a set of light dumbbells.
Start with the dumbbells by your side and lift them (but don’t strain) as high as you can go.
Now – Let’s Eat.
You’ll feel the full benefit of the workout if you eat a protein based meal within an hour of your workout.
When you work out, muscles will tear. When they repair, they’ll come back stronger.
And, protein helps to rebuild and repair muscles; fast.
Some reliable sources of protein include:
- Lean meat
- Cottage cheese
Go build that paddling strength!