Kayaking Exercises: 3 Essential Moves To Improve Paddling Strength

David Welch
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The Best Exercises To Improve Paddling Strength For Kayaking

Here are 3 of the best exercises to improve paddling strength for kayaking. These are climbing practice, swings, and rope climbs.

Climbing Practice

Some kayakers may argue that climbing the boat up the beach step or wall is not really an effective practice. Well, it’s not as effective as the purposes of paddling movement. But it’s most excellent for giving your arms strength for paddling.

Simply go up and down the boat a few times. With this, you are also training your endurance.


Swinging the paddle is also an excellent way to train your arms for improvement of paddling. If you have spare canoe paddles at home, you can use it for training.

Another way to get this training is as simple as walking with the paddle in your hands. Make sure that you are not swinging it in a way that can knock someone on the head.

Rope Climbs

If you have the chance to climb a rope, you can do it while standing at the end of the boat. But, never ever attempt to do it in the water while you’re still in the boat.

For the longest time, the idea of climbing rope was an effort reserved for the most hardcore of athletes. It was a demonstration of overall upper body strength and power.

Front Raises

This is a great exercise that focuses on using your upper body to help pull the paddle through the water. Start by kneeling in front of the kayak, with your blade firmly placed on the water. Firmly hold both sides of the kayak.

First, raise your arms parallel to your body. Keep your arms rigid, and raise them just until they are even with the shoulders.

Stop at the shoulders, and do not throw your hands directly in front of you.

Then repeat.

This will build excellent strength in your upper body, and better control over your paddle.

Tricep Pushdown

The tricep pushdown is performed by placing one hand in a stable position, usually on the kayak hull, while the other hand grips the paddle. Slowly push down on the paddle while extending your arm and rotating your body away from the hull. Return to the starting position without letting the paddle touch the water.

Bicep Curls

Bicep curls are a good warm-up move for exercise. As a matter of fact, this exercise helps to reduce the chances of injury while paddling. You may not start with this exercise because it is difficult and it requires you to be seated in the kayak.

To perform this exercise, get into a kayak and get a paddle at the ready. Put your hands on the arms of your kayak. Then, you pull the arms down while you hold them in place. This is repeated for ten times.

While doing this exercise, you may find that the paddle slides away as you start performing the biceps curl. To prevent this, tighten your grip. As you continue pulling down, take the paddle close to the kayak.

The next exercise protects your back muscles from injuries when paddling. It is called the back muscle exercise and involves placing your arms back.

To perform the exercise, ensure that your kayak is in place. Then, bend forward, pulling your arms to your center. Pull your arms towards the back. Hold it in position. Your elbow should be pointed to the sky. Repeat it a few times.

It is important to tell you that the next move is even harder than the bicep curl. This exercise is called the tricep kick and involves kicking and moving the paddle back.

Now – Let’s Eat.

The most essential exercise that you must experience prior to your actual sea kayaking adventure, is to carry your kayak in and out of the water. Yes, it’s this straightforward.

Simply take the kayak out of the water, and carry it on the land. How far do you think it’s feasible to carry your kayak? Well, I constantly carry a Kayak more than 75 yards.

Doing this is not a trick, but it is likewise not easy. This is an indispensable exercise for you to build stamina, and besides, you never understand what you’ll require in the water. That is the best approach to be fit.

Have a decent grip on the kayak: Squeeze the kayak and take it on. It’s simply the correct way to grasp the kayak.

Have a decent grip on your paddle: In the event that you have longer paddles, this is likely the obvious approach to get the most from your paddling.

Engage your abdominal muscles to guarantee a decent hold: On the off chance that you’re not strong in your stomach muscles, gradually endeavor and be patient. It takes time to build up them up.