5 Ways to get in Shape for Spring Paddling
5 Ways to Get into Shape for Spring Paddling (or at least squeeze into your wetsuit)
Forget about squirming into a pair of tight black skinny jeans. There’s nothing worse than breaking into a sweat while trying to encase your whole body in a layer of damp neoprene that somehow fit last spring. Somehow, hopping around a gravel campground on one foot cursing NRS’s wetsuit sizing isn’t an especially auspicious way to start the river season. Want to get in shape for river season or other spring adventures? Check out my top five exercises to get river-ready!
Push-ups. This might be old-school, but push ups are a great way to build strength in the core, arms, and shoulders. This movement also uncannily resembles pulling yourself into a raft, which will be a big help if you suddenly find yourself taking an unexpected swim!
Squats. Most of us have heard the mantra, “lift from your legs.” But having strong legs, glutes, and even lower core muscles can help assure that you have the strength to safely drag a 14 foot raft over all sorts of uneven terrain.
Plank. This great full body exercise especially targets the abdominal muscles. Though you might assume that buff arms and shoulders are the key to good paddling, proper paddle technique comes from the core. By strengthening these muscles, you will thank yourself when you are injury-free and energetic in angry August.
Stairs. Though not exactly intuitive, stairs are great for developing strength and aerobic resistance. Besides, you’ll be able to save the day when someone left the cooler at the top of the boat ramp.
Downward dog. A good downward dog might save your boating future. This pose strengthens the back, wrists, calves, and hamstrings. After being sore from the other exercises on this list, it’s a great full body stretch that also allow you to relax even after you hit a rock and swam half of your boat in a big rapid.