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Wilderness Sports > Paddling > Paddling Strength Training

Medicine Ball Oblique Twists

Paddling Strength Training

Kayaking, rafting, and canoeing rely heavily on the strength endurance and integrity of the muscles around the shoulder joint, including the pulling muscles of the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, rear deltoids, and biceps as well as the core muscles (abdominals, lower back, and obliques) and forearms (for gripping). Arm movements provide fine motor control in the boat, while the larger muscles in the torso and trunk provide stability. Avoid focusing solely on the biceps, triceps, and forearm muscles; include them in a well-rounded program that incorporates the chest, shoulders, back, obliques, and abdominals. The lower body provides a balanced and stable base from which to paddle. It is also needed during significant portages to, from, and between waterways. If your trip includes any long portages, investigate options for transporting your gear such as strap-systems or portage wheels. Whether you carry or pull your craft and gear, you need at least mild backpacking conditioning (see www.bodyresults.com/hiking-training.asp for more information and appropriate training) in order to handle the additional weight. For details about putting together a periodized strength training program for yourself, refer to The Outdoor Athlete, Chapter 12.

Strength Exercises beneficial for Paddling
Standing Lat Pull Downs, Torso Rotation, and Shoulder Endurance Exercises
Medicine Ball Exercises
More Medicine Ball Exercises
Plank Core Variations
Core Training for Sport
Cable Deadlift
Seated Core Exercises
Alpine Core Exercises
Dirt Digger
Corner Reverse Pushouts
Floor Pullups
Progressions and Variations for Pushups, Pullups and Situps

Also see Programs and Tips for examples of how you can put these movements together in a suitable personalized training program.

Back to the Paddling Training Overview Page


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