Sea kayaking can certainly be an extremely fit and effective exercise, especially if you make the effort to get up to speed quickly. At first glance, kayakers may think that it is simply a leisurely, fun activity that will not take much effort on their part; however, many sea kayakers are surprised at the effectiveness of kayak exercise. Like jogging or walking on a treadmill, exercising in kayaks gets your heart pumping and can burn lots of calories.
Strength and Kayaking. Kayaking requires a lot of paddle strength, both for controlling the boat and for getting a firm grip on the leash. By doing a bit of strength training on your paddle early on, you can develop a solid base of strength that you can build upon to improve your overall grip strength.
Core Strength. Some people may be shocked to learn that kayaking is good for your core, specifically your abdomen and lower back muscles. These muscles can be strengthened by simply using your legs to propel yourself forward. To do this, simply bend at the waist and hips and push your body forward. It is important to push yourself as far as you can, because pushing too far ahead of your body may cause a loss of spine flexibility, putting you at greater risk of injury.
Burning Calories. Of course, you want to burn as many calories as possible, and one way to burn more calories is to paddle harder. Kayaking is a great workout for your upper body, because you can reach overhead and push yourself with less effort than you would when running or walking outside. In addition, you burn more calories because you are moving so quickly. In fact, it is faster to paddle than to walk, so you end up burning more calories in less time.
Strengthening Your Muscles. There are several muscle groups you can target while kayaking, and each of these muscle groups is likely to benefit you in some way. For example, there are the transversus abdominis muscles, which support the torso; the rectus abdominis, which wrap around the torso; and the gluteus minimus, which help stabilize the hips and allow you to get a stable footing.
Paddle Arms. Forearms make up the majority of your paddle arm strength, and they are also the areas where most strokes come from. To strengthen your forearms, hold the paddle in front of your body and turn it over in your hands, moving it from side to side. Try hard to get it to break and repeat this twenty times.
Upper Back and Lumbar Spine. Muscles in the back and mid-back help support your body and carry most of the weight of your body when you're standing. Use an overhead press to target the front chest, and do as many pushups as you can. To target the middle back, lie on your back with knees bent and your feet at shoulder width. Then, using your arms as leverage, press your upper back up against your legs.
Triceps. One of the most overlooked muscles groups when it comes to strength training is the triceps, which are responsible for extending your fingers and forearms in pushups and pull-ups. To workout your triceps, perform pushups while keeping both hands fairly close together, bending your elbows, and releasing your arms upward.
Cardiovascular Workout. Kayaking definitely burns a lot of calories, especially if you go for a long time in one session. Kayakers who kayak on flat water will notice that their heart rate and oxygen levels increase during the workout. If you're on a river or other challenging waterway, consider warming up prior to going kayaking, by riding a bicycle, or starting out on a short bike ride. This will get your heart rate up and help you burn more calories while you're on the water.
The Right Equipment. Now that you know what it takes to get into shape, the next step is learning how to kayak properly. Beginners should start with an ocean kayak, but eventually you can upgrade to a recreational paddle board (usually sold separately). Make sure your kayak is appropriate for your skill level: sturdy enough to handle strong rapids, yet maneuverable enough to get you to where you want to go without getting your anchor stuck.
Proper Paddling Technique. Kayaking requires both paddling technique and strength. A recreational paddleboard will help you improve your hand/eye coordination and strengthen your legs, arms, and shoulders. Beginners should start out on easy strokes that help develop strength, such as ollies, swifts, and freestyle. Advanced kayakers should work on more advanced exercises, such as turns, edgings, and rapids.
More Info: Everyday California 2261 Avenida De La Playa La Jolla, CA 92037