Paddling requires an all over body workout – including the legs. There are days when one is unable to paddle due to weather conditions such as the water being frozen, thunderstorms, hail, snow, high winds, or short daylight hours. On these days, weight training should take place to condition the arms, legs, shoulders, chest, back, and abdomen. Some athletes weight train after a paddling workout to serve as a cool down.
Using a coach is better than doing it on your own. A coach would tell you the best techniques to use, and to do it in the proper form. A coach would also get you to challenge yourself so that you would perform better.
You may have noticed after your first day of paddling, whether sea kayaking, whitewater rafting, or another paddling sport, that some muscles become sore (in some cases, the shoulders). By weight training all year round, you reduce the chance of muscle fatigue or injury. Energy levels will be consistent when summer starts again.
If you are over 35 years old, before trying competitive paddling for the first time, try some exercises which improve your balance. This would be workouts that center on the abdomen and your core. The reason is that the boats tend to be narrow and tricky to balance. Many adults have fallen into the water a dozen times in their first month due to their lack of core strength and the ability to balance. Everyone should be able to enjoy the sport, so if one is prepared, they will tend to stay in it longer.
The routine for paddlers are different than for the general public. You may ask the nearest paddling club about the best workout for you. The benefits of a club’s weight training program can be enjoyed by any type of paddler whether competitive or recreational. You get to show off those muscles to your friends and family!