It’s too late now for pre-season training but here are some exercises to help your paddling strength, endurance and power.  Most rowing and paddling endeavors rely heavily on strength, endurance and integrity of the muscles involved around the shoulder joint, including the pulling muscles of the lats, rhomboids, and biceps, as well as the core muscles (abdominals and obliques, the muscles that allow us to rotate and twist through the torso) and forearms (involved in gripping). The muscles that tend to be under-trained or somewhat neglected are the pushing muscles, including the pectorals and triceps, the lower back muscles, crucial to core health and integrity, and the forearm extensors.

Exercise #1 – PUSHUPS

The old standard of pushups has many variations but is a great exercise for the muscles needed for paddling sports.  It requires no equipment and can be done anywhere, anytime!

Exercise #2 – BENT-OVER ROWS

Bend over at the waist with your arm supporting your body weight on a chair back or table and knees slightly bent (to protect the back).

Hold a small weight in your free hand and let it hang down toward the floor.  Then pull it back bending the elbow  and repeat.


Sit on the edge of a chair or on a stool or box so you have free space around you.  Hold 2 paddles or oars for added weight and simulate paddling.  Start with 1 minute of paddling and progress to build up your endurance.  You can also add weight to build more strength by using something attached to the paddle or a weighted pole.

Stay cool and have fun!!!

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